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Spitfires To Soar As Part Of D-Day Commemoration At IW Armed Forces Day

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?... Well, technically both.

This year's D-Day commemoration over Wight skies will include two classic war birds.

Joining the Red Arrows on the Air Asset bill at Isle of Wight Armed Forces Day, is the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Event Organiser and Armed Forces Champion Ian Dore

“Last year's Spitfire display left an indelible impression on many — the aviation history the Island boasts is something to be incredibly proud of, especially when it comes to the Spitfire.

"For this year’s event, we had to go one plane further making it really special. 

"The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) is sending two aircraft to perform a chase display as part of Isle of Wight Armed Forces Day.

"Like the Red Arrows, this is a full display and feature two classic warbirds, going through their moves one chasing the other."

Fishbourne Parish Council is sponsoring this element of the event and with good reason.

As well as those in the community of Fishbourne with Armed Forces connections, in the Ward itself sits a war memorial on which, a number of RAF personnel are commemorated.

One such individual is Sgt Edmund Eric Shepperd who joined the RAF in 1935.

During the Battle of Britain, as a Sergeant Pilot with 152 Sqn, he was credited with the destruction of various German aircraft including a ME109, three junkers and a Stuka.

Sadly,in October of 1940, he was killed instantly when his Spitfire crashed as he was returning to his base at RAF Warmwell in Dorset.

He was buried in the same cemetery as his father, who died during the First World War.

Ian Dore added:

"War should never be glorified or celebrated, but remembered and commemorated.

Along with many others, we are forever in Sgt Shepperd's debt.

"As they tip their wingtips, let us tip our hats to those who never returned."

Isle of Wight Armed Forces Day takes place on Sunday June 30.

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