Airfield’s commemorative fly-in marks anniversary of Second World War Danish pilots escaping to Northumberland

Dozens of aircraft took to the skies at Eshott Airfield over the weekend to honour an incredible escape to Northumberland by two pilots during the Second World War.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 12:43 pm
Picture by Anne Hopper.
Picture by Anne Hopper.

The commemorative fly-in marked the 80th anniversary of Thomas Sneum and Kjeld Pedersen flying from Nazi-occupied Denmark in a Hornet Moth to England overnight in June 1941.

There were between 70 and 80 aircraft in attendance and a Hornet Moth was among the vintage aircraft present on Saturday and Sunday.

Sneum and Pedersen arrived over Coquet Island in the early hours and were spotted by Royal Observer Corps lookout David Baston. They were soon intercepted by Spitfires from RAF Acklington and forced to land in a cornfield at Chevington near Eshott at 5.30am.

Aircraft at the commemorative fly-in. Picture by Anne Hopper.

Though they were initially thought to be German agents, they had brought with them the very first pictures of the new top secret German Freya radar system that convinced the authorities of their innocence.

Jeff Pike, one of the directors at the airfield, said: “The fly-in went very well and it was helped by excellent weather.

“There was very much a picnic atmosphere at the event and we also had some live music in the evening – everyone had a great time.

“People came along from across the UK and we’ve had good feedback from those who attended.”

“We would also like to thank everyone who made a donation to the Great North Air Ambulance Service. A total of £432.10 was raised.”

For more information about what the airfield has to offer, go to www.eshottairfield.com