Battle of Britain After 75 Years at Heron Point


Mike Lavelle will be giving a talk about the 1940 Battle of Britain at 7:00 PM, January 8th at Wesley Hall, Heron Point, in Chestertown.

Nearly 75 years ago in the summer of 1940 the world saw the greatest air battle in history above the skies of England. It was referred to as the “Battle of Britain”. How did the Royal Air Force overcome what seem like overwhelming odds against Germany’s Luftwaffe? What stopped the German air offensive?  Was it British planning and leadership, command structure, aircraft, or was it the Luftwaffe’s aircraft capabilities, undefined mission objectives or lack of leadership?  Did the RAF win or did the Luftwaffe withdraw from their offensive?  Why was the out come so important to the Roosevelt Administration? These and other questions will be address as we reflect on the key leadership attributes of RAF Fighter Commander Air Chief Marshall Hugh Dowding.

Mike Lavelle is an aviation historian and author with 48 years of aviation/aerospace experience that includes Cessna and the Boeing Aircraft Companies. His assignments were primarily in flight crew and maintenance training organizations for both commercial and military programs. After retiring from Boeing he spent 7 years as a director at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA. A Pilot, Flight Instructor and Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic, Mike has always had an interest in the people, events and aircraft that have make up the rich history of aviation. The Battle of Britain ranks high in all three of those categories.

While living in England from 1999 to 2002 Mike had the opportunity to visit many of the Battle of Britain sites and airfields. In addition, he talked with some of England’s leading aviation historian who wrote on the topic, he also met and interviewed a variety of Battle of Britain participants, and these connections he has integrated their stories into his presentation.



An interesting side note about the Spitfire planes used in the 1969 movie, “Battle for Britain.”


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