Discover how comedian Jimmy Edwards took part in Doncaster’s D-Day efforts

Jimmy Edwards in Whacko!
Jimmy Edwards in Whacko!

Wartime enthusiasts can discover how Doncaster played its part on D-Day as aircraft museum Aeroventure marks the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

The South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum in Dakota Way has special displays and a trail marking the contributions of two of the town’s air squadrons which took part in the historic events of June 6, 1944.

Both 616 and 271 squadrons were involved in the push into Northern France which eventually proved the turning point in World War Two and helped pave the way for the Allies’ victory.

Among the pilots billeted at Doncaster in 271 squadron was Jimmy Edwards, the radio and TV comedian from the 1950s and 60s, who was shot down at Arnhem later in 1944.

On the night of D-Day, seven 271 Dakotas towed gliders carrying 25 troops each from the 3rd parachute brigade who were landed in the dark to take the bridge crossing the Orne river, not too far from the famous Pegasus Bridge while another ten carried paratroopers to other drop zones. Meanwhile, Spitfires for 616 squadron were used for ground attack, destroying locomotives and army lorries.

Aeroventure is open 10am-5pm every day except Mondays.