Junkers Ju 87 Sculpture to go on Show at the Battle of Britain Memorial
A full-size sculpture of a crashed Junkers Ju 87 is due to arrive at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne, Kent, on February 28. The installation of the model reflects the spirit of reconciliation and international outlook of the charity that maintains the National Memorial to the Few.
The ‘Stuka’, formerly on show at Burghley House in Lincolnshire (see FlyPast's July 2019 issue) is made of stainless steel. At Capel-le-Ferne it will be sited alongside replicas of a Battle of Britain-era Spitfire and Hurricane.
The Secretary of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, Group Captain Patrick Tootal, whose father Flt Lt Jack Tootal RAFVR was lost while flying Halifax bombers with Bomber Command, explained that reconciliation was not a new concept for the Trust, the custodian of the National Memorial to the Few.
“When the Memorial was unveiled by Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1993, we used a dramatic photograph of an RAF Tornado and a German Tornado from the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment at Cottesmore flying over the site in formation to promote the opening. [see below]
“As well as reconciliation, the image reflected the close personal relationships that had built up since the war between some of the Few and their German counterparts, not least Wing Commander Geoffrey Page, who was the inspiration behind the Memorial and who became close friends with Luftwaffe ace General Adolf Galland.
“In later years the Trust felt that the image might be a little insensitive to some of the surviving Few, but those who are still with us feel that the time is now right once again to broaden the Memorial’s appeal. In early 2020, on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Trustees re-examined the charity’s role and decided it should also address and record the role of the Luftwaffe in the Battle in order to provide a comprehensive and authoritative overview of the events of 1940.”
The Stuka's German sculptor, known simply as Hex, told the Trust he is “proud and privileged to be part of your Memorial for a time”.
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