Sir Patrick (right) next to his wife, Lady Jill.
Return to the airfield after many years
Former English pilots visited Jever / The Royal Air Force was stationed in Upjever in the 50s
The British were an integral part of life in Jever. At that time the airfield fire brigade helped in extinguishing the large church fire.
Jever / NA - On Thursday, in the Graf-Anton-Gunther-Hall in the townhall, Angela Dankwardt, Jever's Mayoress, was able to greet for the first time a genuine 4-star general from the Royal Air Force (RAF). Air Chief Marshal Sir Patrick Hine who came accompanied by his wife, Lady Jill, and 50 former RAF pilots, served as Flight Commander of 93 Squadron and lived for a while in Schortens during the British time at the airfield in Upjever.
Air Commodore Ken Goodwin organized the visit. He was stationed in Upjever from 1954 to 1957 and was a well-known aerobatics ace in 118 Squadron. Ken Goodwin is the president of the "RAF Jever" organization which was founded by servicemen who were formerly stationed here and where they meet once a year in London. Amongst the guests was another 1-star general, Air Commodore Pat King. Their visit which lasted several days was the realization of a long cherished wish. They were naturally especially pleased to see the airfield again where the RAF was stationed from 23 August 1951 to 1961. Wing Commander Cleaver ended the British era on 29 December 1961 by handing over to the German air force.
Speaking also for her opposite number, Gerhard Baling from Schortens, the Mayoress stressed how even today Jever looks back happily on the former occupation forces who, apart from their commission as victorious power, always honoured their support for the German population. The Anglo-German Club was founded in 1956. This provided for many kinds of joint socials and numerous friendships. These close ties became especially clear on that disastrous 1st October 1959 when the Jever town church burnt down. Without delay the airfield fire brigade also set out and joined in preventing the fire from spreading to the town centre and also in enabling the EdoWiemken-Memorial to be saved.
The German Air Force, represented by Wing Commander Karl-Heinz Kubiak from the Objektschutzregiment Friesland (Site Protection Regiment Friesland) as well as the station commander Wing Commander Joachim Linke, was pleased with the
provisions made by the RAF in the past. They had already extended the air station in 1951 for jetplanes before the airfield became the main base within NATO in 1953. The most important type of aircraft used by the six air squadrons which were successively stationed here was the then highly modern jetplane Hawker "Hunter", which had been flown personally by many of the guests.
In the evening a meal was planned in the former Officers' Mess, the present-day Offiziersheim (Officers' Hostel), and on Friday a visit to 71 fighter squadron "Richthofen" in Wittmund.
(Thanks to Angela Dankwardt.)