Wanderings & Witterings

By IvarBlipS


We will remember them.

Seventy years ago today, on 7th May 1945, the German High Command, in the person of General Alfred Jodl, signed the unconditional surrender of all German forces at Reims, France. Although the instrument of surrender wasn't ratified until the following day - now known as Victory in Europe or VE Day - it marked the formal end to the hostilities that had ravaged Europe for the previous six years.

At the outbreak of hostilities Grangemouth was designated a fighter airfield and 602 and 603 Spitfire Squadrons were moved here for the defence of Central Scotland. In 1940 the Grangemouth base became an operational training unit for fighter pilots.

The replica Mk1 Spitfire at this memorial is of X4859, the 1,356th Spitfire built at the Vickers-Supermarine factory at Eastleigh, Hants. Having seen active service it moved to Grangemouth in September 1941 but unfortunately crashed on a training flight, killing the pilot, just over two months later.  On 9th May 2013 the full-sized replica (pictured), made by GB Replicas, was unveiled by cadets from the 1333 (Grangemouth Spitfire) Squadron, Air Training Corps.*

* Information from all but the first main paragraph above taken from panels at the site.

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