1st October 2015 – ‘Squadrons Formed At Montrose’ Exhibition
This exhibition commemorates the RAF squadrons formed at Montrose during WWI and includes No.2 Squadron who established Great Britain’s first operational military airfield here in 1913.
Scotland’s top RAF officer, Air Vice-Marshal Ross Paterson officially opened the display. Also in attendance were Lord Lieutenant of Angus Georgiana Osborne and Roger Elliott, wing commander for Number 2 Army Co-operation Squadron. The Heritage Centre Chairman Mr Alan Doe warmly welcomed them.
Following a flypast by a No.II (AC) RAF Squadron Typhoon the guests were given a guided tour of the museum. Dr Neil Geddes put on another spectacular aerial display in his replica SE5.
Montrose played an important role during the First World War and the exhibition shows the contribution it made to the expansion of military aviation.
The squadrons formed were:
No.25 Squadron – formed on 25th September 1915 from No.6 Reserve Aeroplane Squadron
No.43 Squadron – formed on 15th April 1916 from elements of No.18 Reserve Squadron
No.83 Squadron – formed on 7th January 1917 from elements of No.18 Reserve Squadron
108 Squadron – formed on 1st November 1917 from elements of No.52 Training Squadron.
The exhibition was in the Lt Ross Robertson building, which is named after a pilot who learned to fly at Montrose and was killed in action on his fourth mission five months later on 12th May, 1917.
15th May 2015 – ‘Russians in Scotland’ Exhibition
Russian historian Anna Belorusova discovered that her late grandfather Commander Peter Kolesnikov had trained in Scotland during WWII. Twenty four ‘Hero-Pilots’ of the 10th Guards Air Division secretly came to Scotland in 1943 to learn how to fly Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle bombers. These aircraft were being supplied to Russia to help their war efforts.
With Anna’s research the Heritage Centre was able to put on the exhibition which gave a great deal of fascinating information on the pilots and the historic background resulting in them being in Scotland. It was opened by Lord Lieutenant of Angus, Georgiana Osborne and the Russian guests included, Anna Belorusova, Andrey A. Pritsepov Consul General at Edinburgh, Elena Nikitina, Head of Vnukovo Air Museum, Moscow, and Alexei Timofeev, a pilot and the former Head of Vnukovo Airport.
Two Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre members who are World War Two veterans were presented with Russian 70th Anniversary medals. Ness Van was in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), and David Oswald served in the RAF.
2nd – 3rd August 2014 – First In France Project
On Saturday 2nd August the Heritage Centre was open free to the public and was well attended.
The Event held on 3rd August 2014 was to see the official launching of the project and the opening of the new building by The Lord Lieutenant of Angus Mrs Georgiana Osborne. The event was organised by the Heritage Centre in partnership with the Western Front Association and the RAF.
27th July 2013, Royal Visit by His Royal Highness, the Earl of Wessex.
Invited guests came to help celebrate the Centenary of Montrose Air Station. It included the unveiling by the Earl of Wessex of a memorial stone and full size replica Supermarine Spitfire MkVb the ‘Red Lichtie’.
There was also the first performance of the poignant play ‘Falls The Shadow’ written by Elizabeth Doe and Directed by award winning John Binnie. Blessed by lovely weather the day was a total success and one that will be remembered by the guest, members and volunteers for a long time.
28th June 2013, Civic Reception was held for No.II(AC) Squadron cyclists.
On 13th February 1913, No.2 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps took off from Farnborough and over the next 13 days flew up to Montrose.
In 2013, 100 years later, No.II (AC) Squadron of the RAF made the same journey to raise money for charity – ON BIKES.
As part of the Montrose Air Station Centenary Year an exhibition was put on at the Montrose Town Museum. Visitors were able to see many displays including the Robertson Cross, the rare Battle of Britain Tapestry and Winkie the Pigeon. Winkie was a pigeon who won the Dickin Medal in 1943 for assisting in the rescue of an aircrew forced to ditch in the North Sea during the Second World War.
On show for the first time was a large diorama of the air station as it was in 1939. There was also an interactive touch screen detailing No.2 Squadrons intrepid flight from Farnborough to Montrose in February 1913.
The exhibition was opened by the Provost of Angus, Mrs Helen Oswald. Also amongst the guests was Wing Commander Jez Holmes, Commanding Officer of No.II (AC) Squadron RAF together with colleagues.