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Thousands at Heacorn Aerodrome to view the last pair of flying Lancasters in the world

By Alan Smith

More than 15,000 people attended the Combined Ops event at Headcorn Aerodrome yesterday - more than double last year’s attendance.

Tim Hewitt, events secretary for the Invicta Military Vehicle Preservation Society, joint organisers of the show with Headcorn Aerodrome, said: “It’s really taken off this year - although I’m sure the appearance of the last two flying Lancasters together had helped draw in the crowds.

“That’s something not to be missed”.

The two bombers with their fighter escort

The war-time Lancaster bombers put on a 20-minute display escorted by two Spitfires.

Although today’s weather is not as sunny as Saturday’s, Mr Hewitt said the Lancasters would fly again this afternoon.

One of the Lancasters, known as Vera, has flown over from Canada where she is based at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario, to take part in a series of air-shows around the country this summer in a salute to the veterans of Bomber Command.

Vera flies over Headcorn

She is flying with Thumper from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. They are the only two air-worthy Lancasters left in the world.

The full programme of nostalgia at Headcorn includes more than 400 military vehicles, ranging from jeeps, through trucks and armoured cars, to tanks.

The entertainment includes a 1940s fashion show, dancing to swing music, and displays about the homefront, the work of the wartime fire services and the unexploded bomb squad.

Recording the moment for posterity

There are stall selling everything from camo to tin hats and a full range of hospitality tents.

The Combined Ops military show has been an annual event since 2009. For details, visit www.combinedops.co.uk

Veteran Gerry Abrahams was himself a Lancaster pilot
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