Monday, 16 December 2019

Beaujolias Nouveau charity car run begins at RAF base

Beaujolias Nouveau charity car run begins at RAF base

A CHARITY Beaujolias Nouveau run began at RAF Benson.

The 49th annual event featured cars including Porsches, Ferraris and Aston Martins which were driven to Burgundy to collect the wine. The run was in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund.

The drivers were welcomed by Wing Commander Matthew Tandy, chief of staff at the base, before they set off. Their first stop was the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons restaurant, where they joined chef Raymond Blanc for his 70th birthday celebrations.

From there they made their way to Eurotunnel. Once in France, the drivers and their passengers completed several fun navigational challenges before loading up with Beaujolais Nouveau and heading back to the UK via the shortest route possible. Wg Cdr Tandy said: “The RAF Benevolent Fund is at the heart of the support provided to the whole RAF family, for both serving personnel and veterans, and they have been there for us all during tough times.”

uring the Second World War, RAF Benson was home to the photographic reconnaissance unit. The pilots flew deep into enemy territory armed only with cameras and many did not return home. Several were captured, including Fl Lt Alastair “Sandy” Gunn, whose Spitfire was shot down so he bailed out over Norway.

He was eventually sent to Stalag Luft III, where he was a member of the “Great Escape” tunnelling team. Unfortunately, he was recaptured and was shot by the Gestapo, along with 49 other escapees.

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