Plaque marks war service at RAF base

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A PLAQUE paying tribute to the men and women who served at an RAF base during World War Two will be put up tomorrow.

The Mildenhall Register has obtained permission for a plaque commemorating servicemen and women at RAF Mildenhall to be placed at St John’s Church, in Beck Row.

Sqn Ldr John Gentleman, chairman of Mildenhall Register and an air force veteran of 24 years, said those who served during the war deserved recognition.

“We wanted to remember those who served at the base during 1939 to 1945.

“The plaque isn’t just for those who flew during the war though, we wanted everyone from RAF Mildenhall who contributed to the war effort to be remembered,” he said.

The group, which brings together veterans, relatives and friends with an interest in RAF bomber squadrons, applied to the diocesan authorities for permission for the plaque.

After months of negotiation, they were given the go-ahead and the plaque has been drawn up by a Kent-based company this week.

The plaque will be put up on the north wall of the church, overlooking the Commonwealth War Grave where airmen who died in action are buried.

A memorial service and dedication will take place from noon tomorrow at St John’s Church, with about 100 people expected to attend.

The event will be attended by RAF Mildenhall USAF base commander, Lt Col Chad T Manske, the Air Attaches of Australia, Canada and New Zealand and personnel from RAF Honington. The service will be carried out by RAF Honington’s chaplain, Padre Richard Clements.

The Bomber Command Association Standard will be paraded in the church and the service will conclude in the church yard with the Last Post and a blessing.

The service will be followed by a recoption in Beck Row Church Hall.

Mildenhall Register has been running regular reunions since 1978.