RAF Pilots with Scramble Bell Perhaps the most iconic item associated with the RAF involvement in the 1940 Battle of Britain are the large bronze Station (or “Scramble”) bells that once adorned British airfields. These impressive bells were used to signal incoming enemy raids to waiting RAF pilots. From the Imperial War Museum to the museums at the old Tangmere and Duxford airfields, the display of these bells often attracts the awe of visitors, and the envy of collectors.
While it is the brave Fighter Command pilots who flew during the Battle of Britain that stir the imagination and conjure up Churchill’s proud remembrance of “The Few,” there were many RAF pilots who were lost in action during the Battle of France or who died unceremoniously during training missions whose memory has faded into history. During the Battle of France more than 1,000 British aircraft were destroyed and more than 1,500 RAF personnel lost. In the months of the so-c
One of the most attractive RAF-related items from World War II is the “1942 Badge” that is so popular with militaria collectors. The badge is often inaccurately referenced as an “Eagle Squadron Badge” because of its general association with the American pilots who flew for the RAF but the official name of the badge was the “American RAF Foreign Volunteer Badge.” The badge was awarded not just to Eagle Squadron pilots but to any American officer who served in any capacity wi
Photograph of RAF Pilot Bill Millington (left) and Tom Neil. The RAF pilot Tom Neil recalled that Bill Millington always had an affinity for animals. The diary of another Battle of Britain pilot, George Barclay included several photos of Millington with various mascots that he introduced to No. 249 Squadron. There was a dog, “Pipsqueak” and a duck “Wilfred” that became famous mascots of the embattled fighter squadron. In this photo, Pilot Officer Millington is seen in the