The 2020 ‘Operation Fuller’ Remembrance Service, also known as the ‘Channel Dash’ was held on the 12th February at their memorial on the promenade at Dover Seafront.
The service remembers the date in 1942 when a tri-service operation was launched to intercept and destroy the well protected German battle fleet which was ‘dashing’ up the channel from Brest to their home port in Germany. Eighteen young men of 825 Squadron Fleet Air Arm based at RAF Manston and flying Fairey Swordfish Aircraft, were unsuccessful in their attempt to stop and sink the ships. All six aircraft were shot down and only five of the aircrew were rescued from the channel waters. A number of awards and Mentions in Despatches were granted to the airmen, and the leader that day Lt Cdr Esmond the was granted a posthumous VC.
There were six standards on parade, with a large contingent of RAF Cadets. The service was taken by the Reverend John Lines MBE, Chaplain to the Downs (Deal) Branch RBL. Admiral of the Fleet Lord Boyce KG, GCB, OBE, DL laid a wreath, as did descendants of two of the surviving airmen, and representatives of the RAF and RN. Bob Davies attended on behalf of the Deal RMA branch and also took the accompanying photographs for the website.
On completion of the service a buffet reception was held in the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club.
Tracie Thomas – RMA Committee