Remembrance service in Ely for tragic loss of airmen in Second World War Battle of Heligoland Bight
- Credit: Archant
A poignant service was held at Ely Cathedral to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Heligoland Bight which saw the tragic loss of dozens of airmen.
Four cadets from the Ely squadron attended the event to mark the first air battle of the Second World War on Tuesday afternoon.
It was held by the Mildenhall Register, who is a group set up to commemorate the sacrifice and bravery of the RAF No. 3 group wartime squadrons.
The cadets joined members of the RAF from Honnington and Marham, veterans, members of the Royal British legion as well as relatives of the aircrew who never returned home from the battle.
The Battle of Heligoland Bight and the tragic loss of so many airmen would change the course of the air war - forcing bomber command to rethink their tactics switching from day to night-time bombing raids after 57 personnel were killed as well as two Luftwaffe pilots who were shot down in pursuit of the British Wellington bombers.
The No.3 group squadrons involved in the ill-fated raid were No’s 9, 37 and 149 squadron - based at RAF Honnington, Feltwell and Mildenhall - of which only No.9 squadron remains active at RAF Marham.