Aviation history celebrated

A MEMORIAL commemorating the former RAF airfield at Tealing is to be unveiled on Sunday.

The day marks the 70th anniversary of the Russian Foreign Minister’s, Vyacheslav Molotov’s, historic landing at the base on his way to meet Winston Churchill to sign the Anglo-Russian Peace Treaty.

The Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust (ABCT) is erecting the monument to ensure the significance of the airfield, and the people who served there, are never forgotten.

This will be the charity’s 25th memorial to date.

The base, which opened in 1942, played a vital role during the WW2, training fighter pilots in Hurricanes & Spitfires right up until 1944, along with its satellite, Kinnell. However, the airfield is best known for Molotov’s visit, the mystery surrounding his onward trip to London continuing to fascinate both local people and historians alike.

The official account held at the Imperial War Museum is that Molotov travelled to London by train, although Sir Archibald Hope, Senior Controller of Fighter Command in Scotland later said that the Minister was given a choice of two aircraft and the one he did not choose crashed in flames in the Vale of York, killing several members of the Foreign Minister’s staff and senior RAF personnel.

Tealing Airfield was probably chosen to attract as little attention as possible to the visit and Molotov’s visit was shrouded in secrecy by a publicity embargo in Scotland at the time.

Kenneth Bannerman, ABCT’s founder, said: “We are delighted to be paying tribute to an airfield that holds a very special place in history.

“Airfields are every bit as part of our heritage as castles and stately homes; the airmen and women stationed there were crucial in securing the freedom we have today.

“We hope the memorial will be a lasting tribute for present and future generations.”