Cadets honour pilots' memories

THE high-flying cadets of 1333 Grangemouth Squadron Air Training Corps are on a mission to remember fallen Spitfire pilots.

Last year the youngsters travelled to Poland to ensure the memories of the WWII fighter pilots, who died serving with Grange-mouth's 58 Operational Training Unit, were remembered in their home country.

Now they are raising funds to build a memorial to the pilots on ground near the former airfield site.

Flying Officer Tom McMorrow, Grange-mouth ATC commanding officer, said: "The first phase of the project was so favourably received by Falkirk Council that its second phase has received the backing of senior councillors and MSP Cathy Peattie.

"The council has now granted us a site for the memorial garden on a piece of ground on the perimeter of where the old airfield once stood."

The piece of ground, just off Bo'ness Road near the BP service station, already has a commemorative cairn which marks the 75th anniversary of the RAF.

F.O. McMorrow said: "The new memorial stone will feature the names of each of the fighter pilots who died at Grangemouth. They came from Poland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Holland and America."

The Grangemouth Common Good Fund, administered by Falkirk Council, recently agreed to make a contribution of 2000 to the memorial.

The squadron is currently sourcing and costing the memorial stone and it is believed the whole project will cost an estimated 16,000.

Councillor Alistair McNeil said: "I am delighted at the decision by the Grangemouth Common Good Fund – depute provost Allyson Black and I have been in dialogue with flying officer Tom McMorrow at Grangemouth Air Cadets for several months, seeking funds from other sources."

The cadets, who range in age from 13 to 17, will be taking part in their own fund-raising ventures, including bag packing and a sponsored walk.

"We hope the unveiling ceremony will take place in September," said F.O. McMorrow, "and steps are being taken to get an actual Spitfire fly past."

For more information on the cadets' project, call the squadron on (0131) 310 5822.