A History of Aviation in Alderney

Alderney aviation history 1A History of Aviation in Alderney




Edward Pinnegar



A History of Aviation in Alderney takes a brisk and affectionate look at a previously neglected topic: the lifetime of powered flight on this Channel Island. Packed with information, characters and anecdotes, it covers the period from 1919 to the present day, encompassing the Nazi occupation, the birth (and death) of various airlines, and all the major accidents and incidents that the island and its waters have seen.


Alderney aviation history 2

Commemorating the past but also looking to the future — and championing Alderney Airport in it 75th year -- the book is not solely aimed at the aviation enthusiast or the Alderney resident. It also looks at connections with the other Channel Islands of Guernsey, Jersey and Sark, touching on their own aviation art_exhibition and it considers the many benefits that air links have provided to these island communities. Illustrated throughout, both in black and white and in colour, A History of Aviation in Alderney takes flight and reveals its charm.


EDWARD PINNEGAR is an aviation enthusiast and regular visitor to Alderney. He is a pupil at Charterhouse School in Surrey, and this is his first book. He has pledged to donate some of its proceeds to Channel islands Air Search, a lifesaving, Guernsey—based charity that provides rapid-response airborne search and rescue services in Channel Island Waters.

Amberley Publishing, Cirencester Road, Chalford, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL6 8PE, UK


Air Battle of Ardennes

bataille aerienne ardennes couverture livre FRThe story of the Ardennes Air Battle (Battle of Bulge) tells the importance of the implemented allied air power to counter the German offensive launched in the Ardennes in December 1944 and aimed to reclaim the port of Antwerp.


This book was written with care and accuracy by General-Major-Aviator Roger Taymans and is available for the sum of € 12.00 in the outlets concerned with military history as the Belgian Royal Museum of Army, House of Wings, the Museums of Beauvechain, Florennes, and Bastogne, and in specialised bookstores.


This book is only available in French


This book may be purchased at the Brussels air museum, but can also be sent by mail (shipping costs 3.00 €). You may order by E-mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and make a transfer of € 15.00 on the account N ° 363-4591032-62 of "Edit-Air c / o Marcel Terrasson" with your address. The book will be sent as soon as possible.

Address for correspondence:

c / o Marcel Terrasson
Av Héronnière, 100 / 128
B-1170 Brussels

Avro Lancaster LL943

The enigma of  Lancaster LL 943

18 /19 July 1944 : from Witchford(i) to Aulnoye, from Aulnoye to Laplaigne and to Valenciennes

September 6, 1944: at Laplaigne, impressive funerals


ll943Richly illustrated with detailed maps and previously unpublished pictures, profusely documented from Allied, German and Local official sources; completed with survivor’s art_exhibition; true duty of memory, the enigma of Lancaster LL 943, fate of oblivion the sacrifice of seven young British airmen.

For over sixty-five years, Sergeant Henry Simmonds is buried in the communal cemetery of Laplaigne. His grave is surrounded by the resistant of the village, who, on Sunday September 3 1944, the day after the massacre of Flines, fell under the bullets of the retreating Germans.

The young airman was aboard an RAF bomber shot down one night of July 1944, south of Tournai, in the woods, which at the end of the village of Sart Colin, extend on both sides of the border between France and Belgium, among Laplaigne, Péronnes Maubray on Belgian side and Flines-lez-Mortagne on French side. But there stops today the collective memory of the villagers.


3 equipageFrom where was then turning back the airplane of the young aviator? What was its mission? Where and how has he been stricken? What happened to the other members of the crew? Who were they? These are the questions the author has sought to respond by initiating research in which it engages the reader in a particularly lively research. 

Starting from the narratives of eyewitnesses, he manages to locate the exact location of the collapse of the machine and discovers why, from the seven crew members, only Sgt Simmonds rest on Belgian territory.

Thanks to his reading, to internet, but mostly thanks to the help of a true network of memory smugglers to which he wishes to pay tribute, he managed to restore all aspects of the mission which was fatal to the LL 943 and its crew and which killed seventeen people in Aulnoye-Aymeries near Maubeuge.

The last mission of LL 943 is located within the general framework of the air war and, in particular, the bombardments in support of the Allied landings in Normandy, which were targeting the communication means utilised by the enemy and opposed the four engines of the RAF to the night fighters of the Luftwaffe. 


1-couverture-2Book cover pictures showing:

- The cross marked RAF preceding the coffin of Sergeant Simmonds at his funeral in Laplaigne September 6, 1944 

- The Lancaster B.1 PA474/WS-J from BBMF (RAF) in flight. ( Photo T. Shia Enterprise Aviation Publishing, 42 Claygate Road. London W13 9XG).  

- Graves of the six other crew members in Valenciennes. (LFAV). Photo Lawrence Delplace. 



The book (only in French) is available directly from the author.

Information and orders at:

+32 69 44 34 53

By mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



RAF Witchford memorial

raf memorial witchford(i) Witchford is a small village near Ely in Cambridgeshire, England. RAF Witchford was built in 1942 and closed and broken up in 1946. It was initially home to the Vickers Wellington bombers of No. 196 Squadron RAF, but after they relocated to RAF Leicester East their place was taken by No. 115 Squadron RAF flying Avro Lancaster. It was proposed to become a missile base thereafter (rumours were it was to become a Blue Streak base), which is why some of the older residents refer to the site (now an industrial park) as "The Rocket Base". RAF Witchford is not actually at Witchford but at Sutton. It could not be called RAF Sutton as such a base already existed, so Witchford was chosen as the name. (source Wikipedia)


{jcomments on}

Flying Machines Volantes - The First Book

The First book of the  FLYING MACHINES VOLANTES presents Jean Leclercqz work. Limited edition.

FlyingMachines 1,  Book  21 x 26 cm,  48 pages + cover


A light mist envelops the runway this early morning.

The beating wings of fugitives Avocets tune the inconspicuous move of a hippotragus herd. Glowing dawn escorts my departure, see you soon again Burkina, African lady.

Return flight to Brussels. Tomorrow I meet Leonard, a client of the Agency. I must hand over to him my latest models to illustrate the presentation of a European program, which subject is the aviation. Did were my very first drafts  born, while looking for a logo?

Delicately installed on her seat, Nina clinks my eyes with her smile. The candour of the young passenger challenges my childhood dreams: a passion for kites which hover in the sky at Nieuport beach, nocturnal readings of the adventures of the heroic conquest of the sky, first drafts of futuristic machines discreetly scrawled during the high school courses.

Take off. Welcome aboard for a tour in the sky and perhaps, the creation of myninety ninth Flying Machine.... I kiss Nina who wants to know.
First the writing, this continuous line on the blank page, free from any constraint of gradation and colour. Some parts of the drawing make me closer to abstraction. Only then, put the colours, a separate effort that brings depth, volume and space.
On some drawings, the scenery is taking much more importance. The vegetal aspect often prevails in a concept of noumenon.

Each machine was born as a pretext to create, as a call for innovation. It bears a challenge: to discover new propulsion technologies. Let slip the imagination to transport these strange flying machines to the myth of Icarus still present after more than a century of aviation.

"You see Nina, this is also my way to glimpse our tomorrows on the blue planet ....»

Marie Lopez for the Friend of Simelas
(Forewords by La Fiancée du Pilote)

Georges Guynemer

Guynemer VanackerA late crown for Guynemer


by Luc Vanacker

format 17 x 24, 88 pages (price: 14 €) - (In French only)

The disappearance of Guynemer in September 11, 1917 within the skies of Flanders remains shrouded in mystery.

Who killed the French Ace holder of 53 registered victories? Quite probably not the aviator Kurt Wissemann who were awarded the win.

Where did the Spad of Guynemer fall? Poelkapelle south, of where it was found, in 1935 an aircraft engine? If so, the place of the fall is on a picture taken from that place three days later.

Finally, what happened to the body of Guynemer?

Which of the four German official responses correspond to the truth? And what credit should be given to young Belgians who saw the body of a French aviator "anonymous''at the end of summer 1917?

This book attempts for the first time to reconstruct, from unpublished documents, what happened between the 11 to 14 September 1917.

Excavations or testimonies can always come later to support the hypothesis ...

Luc Vanacker is a professor of history at Ypres. He has published two books in Dutch about the history of Flanders on both sides of the border, and several contributions on regional history and the Great War.

(Translated from original presentation)

Order the book at Histoire et mémoire




Old Airfields LILLE-RONCHIN (France)


couv Ronchin

Rub out runways.......,

but not forgotten.


These ancient airfields, where Grandpa could land, are resurrected in our memories thanks to the painstaking work of the members of the association "Anciens-Aérodromes"  (former airfield).


The No. 1 of this collection brings to life the airfield of Lille-Ronchin which was active from 1907 until the end of the 2nd ww war.


The book is published with the support of the French Commission's Memory for Civil Aviation (DGAC) and ONERA-Centre of Lille. 


This book tells the history of this airfield which welcomed the first planes in 1907 to land there and became, until the end of the Second World War, a place dedicated to aeronautics.


You will find in this book the exact location of the field, the history of early pioneers, the evocation of airshows and airlines that have connected the capital of Flanders. Aviators and builders who attended the airfield of Ronchin like Jerome Cavalli, Willy COOPENER Raymond Delmotte, Michel Destroyat, Marcel Doret, Mark and Maurice Finat, R. Kronfeld, F. Novack, Fernand Scrive, Roland Toutain, and many others, are cited.

The book (size 17x24), written French, contains 40 pages and 90 period photographs from private funds. A beautiful evocation of the history of this airfield for the reminder of aviation in north France region. A ''tag'' code placed on the back cover enables the connection with Anciens-Aérodromes website to learn about future updates.


 To order:

  • by mail at the seat of the Association Anciens-Aérodromes,Base Eolys, aérodrome de Merville-Calonne, rue de l’Epinette, 62136 Lestrem.
  • at  the Internet site of the association http://www.anciens-aerodromes.com/  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Price: 5 euro per copy (postage 2.50 euro)

{jcomments on}


Old Airfields MERVILLE - CALONNE (France)



couv MervilleRub out runways.......,

but not forgotten.


These ancient airfields, where Grandpa could land, are resurrected in our memories thanks to the painstaking work of the members of the association "Anciens-Aérodromes"  (former airfield).


The No. 2 of this collection tells the history of MERVILLE - CALONNE airfield which was built, as other airfields in 1936, by the French Air force.

At the outbreak of World War II, the Royal Air Force will use it during the campaign of France in 1940. Shortly after, the Germans made an active base with multiple facilities and three concrete runways.


At the Liberation, it is briefly used by the Royal Air Force (for No. 609 and 349 Belgian Squadrons). The Americans then make this site an important service center for their aircraft.

In 1952, following a NATO decision, the airport becomes a field dispersion within the device to deploy its air force in Europe.
After the withdrawal of NATO in 1966, the airfield becomes permanently civilian. The activities of the flying club and of the flying school IAAG, created in 1945 and 1962 respectively continue to grow.
In 1980, a major modernization program will allow to transform the degraded and poorly equipped aerodrome to  the today efficient platform.
This book is published with the support of the Commission's brief Civil Aviation (DGCA), Institute Amaury de la Grange (IAAG), the Joint Union of Airports Lesquin and Merville-Calonne (SMALIM) of the Community Commons Flanders-Lys, and municipalities of Lestrem and Merville.
Foreword by President Daniel Percheron of Smalim.


The book, format 17x24, is made of 68 pages and 105 vintage photos and drawings from existing and private funds. A beautiful evocation of the history of this land for the memory of aviation in the region North (of France). A''tag''code placed on the back cover enables the connection with our website to learn about future updates.


To order:

  • by mail at the seat of the Association Anciens-Aérodromes,Base Eolys, aérodrome de Merville-Calonne, rue de l’Epinette, 62136 Lestrem.
  • at  the Internet site of the association http://www.anciens-aerodromes.com/  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Price: 8 euro per copy (postage 2.50 euro) 

{jcomments on}