The Chiltern Aircrew Association
At Support4Dacorum, we like to highlight and promote the hard work of our member groups. This week, we would like to tell you all about the Chiltern Aircrew Association!
The Aircrew Association (ACA) was formed in 1977 to foster comradeship amongst those who, having been awarded an official flying badge, qualified to operate military aircraft in the armed services of the UK, its allies and the Commonwealth. Under the central ACA organisation, many branches were established in the UK and overseas where aircrew could meet and enjoy like-minded company.
The great majority of members were aircrew from WWII and inevitably time has taken its toll. As a result of declining membership, the central ACA organisation disbanded in Summer 2011, leaving remaining branches to continue independently.
The Chiltern Branch has continued apace since the demise of the National Association. Having in former years met at the Royal Air Force Association building in Hemel Hempstead, the group were forced to move when their former home was demolished moving to Hemel Hempstead (Camelot) Rugby Club. As their age demographic increased it was decided to meet in the daytime and for the last few years they have been made very welcome at The Greenacres Tavern in Hemel Hempstead.
The group meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 11am and following a meeting, normally with a speaker, the majority of members stay for lunch at Greenacres, where ‘the hangar doors’ remain open.
The membership, once approved by the committee, now includes those with an interest in military aviation, as second world war veterans are sadly diminishing. They also organise visits with particular aeronautical interest. They have recently visited the deHavilland Museum, Old Warden airfield, the RAF Bomber Command memorial in central London and even Lords Cricket Ground, where many of the wartime aircrew signed on and had their medicals upon joining the RAF.
The group will start meeting again at Greenacres as soon as possible once this pandemic ends.
If you are interested in seeing what the Chiltern Aircrew Association are about please contact their membership secretary: Ian Mason, 65 Sunnycroft, Downley, High Wycombe, Bucks HP13 5UR.