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Spitfire salute plan for WWII hero of skies

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By Christie Breen
Spitfire salute plan for WWII hero of skies

THE annual tribute to a World War II hero takes place this weekend in Moffat.

This year marks the 82nd anniversary of the successful defence of the skies over Britain. Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding was an air officer commanding RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain and is generally credited with playing a crucial role in Britain’s defence, and hence, the defeat of Adolf Hitler’s plan to invade Britain.

Following the successful defence of Britain’s skies Lord Dowding became known as ‘The Architect of Deliverance’.

From 2.15 pm on Saturday September 4, tributes will be paid to Lord Dowding at the namesake Dowding Memorial in Station Park.

At around 2.25 pm, weather permitting, a Spitfire from The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will make several passes over the park and the whole town, flown by BBMF fighter pilot Flight Lieutenant Andy Preece MBE.

At 2.30 pm, there will be a ceremony of laying three wreaths, on behalf of Lord Piers Dowding, Lady Odette Dowding and the town of Moffat – followed by wreaths from several other associated organisations.

Many VIPs will be present, including representatives from the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland and the Embassy of the Czech Republic.

This year the tribute to Lord Dowding will be delivered by Air Marshal Sir Baz North, President of the Royal Air Forces Association.

Moffat is proud to have been the birthplace of Hugh Dowding, and his legacy lives on through Dowding House, formerly St Ninian’s School, where he was born. The building now serves as a sheltered development, owned by the Royal Air Forces Association, and exclusively for the use of ex-RAF personnel.

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