This article was published on May 10, 2012 and information contained within may now be out of date.
King Edward VI Humanities College recently found themselves part of an exciting event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of a critical World War Two bombing mission, led by Squadron Leader John Nettleton from RAF Waddington, to bomb the U-boat manufacturing plant at Augsburg, Bavaria.
Along with seven other schools, King Edward VI met with RAF mentors who told the tale of the crucial mission and exactly what John Nettleton and his squadron achieved.
Ahead of their visit to the airbase, the students were challenged to create an innovative way of presenting the squadron’s mission brief as if they were back in 1942 Waddington. Additionally, the students were asked to consider how the mission could have been improved if the same raid was tasked in 2012.
Upon arriving at RAF Waddington, the students were treated to a guided tour of the airbase, and were briefed on the day ahead in the John Nettleton briefing room. The tour took in the airbase heritage centre before being deployed to Squadron 8 to begin their mission.
King Edward, alongside Spalding Grammar, Cordeaux School and St Peter and St Paul School, were invited up onto a plane and even had the chance to sit in the plane’s cockpit.
The King Edward students showed remarkable enthusiasm for the briefing task, getting thoroughly involved with the challenge and carefully considering how they would have reacted if they were part of the original squadron, and also what they would do to further enhance the mission’s success. This included creating and presenting two news items, set in both 1942 and 2012, to the visiting schools and the station commander of RAF Waddington.
Mr Myhill-Johnson, Head of Humanities at King Edward VI, said “All of the students who took part in the project were not only a credit to themselves but very much a credit to the college.
“It was a fantastic project to be involved in, and all of the students were very enthusiastic about the challenge. They put in a lot of effort, and learnt a lot and managed to have fun at the same time. I’m very proud of them all.”
Squadron Leader John Nettleton and his Lancaster bomber formation took off from RAF Waddington on 17th April 1949. Their successful mission resulted in Nettleton being awarded the Victoria Cross for his outstanding leadership.