Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 13:44 UK

Model show honours bomber crews

Metheringham airfield
The display at the centre pays tribute to the bomber crews.

Dozens of model aircraft depicting Lancaster bombers lost in World War II have gone on display at a former airfield in Lincolnshire.

The models have been made by 85-year-old modeller Peter Stevenson who built the planes with their insignia.

Each of the 59 model planes representing 106 Squadron will be suspended from the ceiling at Metheringham Airfield visitor centre.

The squadron was based at RAF Metheringham from 1943.

And the display was unveiled as veterans gathered at the visitor centre for the squadron's reunion lunch.

These models will be 'flying' long after I've gone
Modeller Peter Stevenson

The squadron's previous home had been at RAF Syerston, near Newark.

One of its senior officers was Wing Commander Guy Gibson, who was stationed there before becoming the leader of 617 Squadron, known as the Dam Busters.

Mr Gibson was well known to 106 Squadron. He was allowed by "Bomber Harris" to transfer some of 106 Squadron to the 617.

Modeller Mr Stevenson said it took him eight months to build the aircraft and several months to get the mounting equipment organised.

He said that during the Second World War he was waiting to join the RAF and was in the Air Training Corps connected to 106 Squadron.

'Proud' moment

He said: "We saw all these aircraft going out and not all of them came back.

"I thought, well statistics don't really mean much to people, but if I could convert those statistics of the 59 aircraft that were lost into something people could see then it would count for something.

"The 59 Lancasters are dedicated to the crews based at Metheringham, something for those whose fathers or grandfathers may have been connected to."

Mr Stevenson said the reaction to the display had been "a bit embarrassing" but he was nonetheless "proud" of his work.

"These models will be 'flying' long after I've gone," he said.


Veterans see the memorial for the first time

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