Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dowding Park

The title of this entry sounds like a leafy glade in Essex. They are, of course, the unpunctuated names of the two men who marshalled the RAF against the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain.
I always get a little misty-eyed around this time of year. The 15th September comes and goes without any recognition now. It was Battle of Britain Day when I was a boy.
Hugh Dowding and Keith Park (a New Zealander, incidentally) were in charge of Fighter Command and 11 Group (which did most of the fighting) throughout the Battle of Britain. They did not "win" the Battle of Britain by themselves. Fighter Command was a formidable "team" in every sense. Had they lost, our history would have been very different.
Yet nobody knows them now. A scant 70 years on and nobody knows them.

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