Christmas comes early at IWM Duxford for some very special children!

Christmas past and present came together as the 48th Fighter Wing of the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE) hosted a very special children’s Christmas Party in AirSpace at IWM Duxford on Saturday 3rd December.

The Christmas party was hosted in association with the Starlight Children’s Foundation and provided an unforgettable experience for seriously and terminally ill children from Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

 

The Christmas Party

Children enjoyed a range of fun seasonal games and activities, including Bean Bag Toss, Snowman, Fishing for Santa, face painting, craft activities and made reindeer candy canes. Children met and mingled with members of the 48th Fighter Wing and were able to try on some of the pilots’ own flying equipment.

There wwas Christmas Carol singing before the grand finale, where Santa arrived on the IWM Duxford fire truck to give presents to all the boys and girls.

This very special party continued the tradition of children’s Christmas parties at IWM Duxford that dates back to the Second World War.

On Christmas Day 1943, the 78th Fighter Group, United States Army Air Force (USAAF), based at RAF Duxford, hosted a party for local children. This tradition continued the following year and has remained the inspiration for Christmas parties held by USAFE in recent years.

Enlisted men and guests present their packages

The men of the 78th Fighter Wing continued their wartime philanthropy by ‘adopting’ seven children who had been orphaned during the Second World War. The Duxford Diary from the time states, “Seven children who had lost one or both parents during the war were ‘adopted’ by Duxford units. The $400 for each child paid for school and two meals a day for four years.”

IWM Duxford was delighted to be the host venue for this very special event and enjoyed providing a magical day for its very special guests.

For public enquires about IWM Duxford, please call 01223 835000.

By Emily Richardson

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