The Luton Band of the Salvation Army provided musical support for ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the combat activation of the 355th Fighter Group of the US Army Air Force. Stationed at the Steeple Morden airfield, a satellite base for the bomber base at Bassingbourn, this unit was active in England during the Second World War, from July 1943 through July 1945. The organizing committee for the anniversary event requested a Salvation Army band in recognition of the Army’s contributions both during World War II and during the recovery efforts following the events of 11 September 2001.
The ceremonies included the unveiling of two new sections on the memorial wall, recording the names of the airmen from the base who were killed during the war. The service was led by the Venerable Air Vice Marshal Ronald Hesketh, who serves as Chaplain-in-Chief of the Royal Air Force. Also in attendance were HRH the Duke of Gloucester, the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, and the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire. A fanfare for the unveiling was provided by trumpeters from the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment. The ceremonies were concluded with a flyover of World War II aircraft (Spitfire and Hurricane fighters and a Lancaster four-engine bomber) from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
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