Militaria Renovation Projects

During my youth, one of the more commonplace newsworthy items of interest to me, was Military or Aviation archaeology. I can remember as a child, lucky enough to be growing up near one of the eponymous places associated with the Battle of Britain, and after the Americans joined the war, the exploits and operations of the United States 8th Air Force; Duxford Airfield. And at that time being obsessed with the thought that just a few feet beneath my feet, at any given place I could be walking over the crashed remains of a Spitfire or a German Bomber. This was the period during which the incredibly successful After the Battle series of publications first hit the book shelves. [After the Battle] Nowadays there are far fewer finds of interest from the World War 2 period than there were then, but occasionally something really exciting hits the news, and WWII enthusiasts can once again marvel at an authentic artifact. Such as the recently discovered Dornier Do 17 discovered at Goodwin Sands in Kent: [RAF Museum Cosford]

During my days at School I was privileged enough to be able to visit Duxford Airfield as a volunteer worker for the Duxford Aviation Society. [The Duxford Aviation Society] The Duxford Aviation Society undertook light restoration of historic and classic aircraft and I have fond memories; climbing inside the wing spars of a dismantled aircraft in order to strip out the old scotch tape in readiness for more intensive renovative processes, cleaning or polishing the exterior of period aircraft etc. Later in life, I also had a golden opportunity to become employed at the Duxford Airfield that had by then, become incorporated into the Imperial War Museum's composite of locations as an official restoration assistant. You can imagine how pleased I was to find out about of that vacancy!

With another colleague, who was an ex-serving RAF Engineer on the English Electric Lightning, I spent a happy year with a compressed air hammer; hammering away at the sea-salvaged remains (dragged from the sites of several areas of the East European coastline), of one of Germany's revenge, or V weapons. The V weapons were a last-ditch effort by Germany to turn the tide of the war. Between us we managed to renovate what began as huge chinks of rusty metal, weighing several tons each into recognisable sections of the VI [the first Revenge or Vergeltungswaffen weapon - Imperial War Museum]. It still stands today, at IWM Duxford as a testimony to the horrors of modern warfare.