The Foundation facilitated the loan from the USAF, and display, of a General Atomics retired MQ-1B Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Remote Piloted Aircraft. The arrival of this unique airframe in the Museum’s New Age of Uncertainty exhibition marked the end of a long journey that started in 2013.
This Predator has amassed some 17,050 flying hours and is a true combat veteran, having flown 1,023 sorties during tours of duty with the USAF over Iraq.
The Foundation funded a 601 Squadron Trail at the RAF Museum at Hendon as part of the Museum’s Centenary program. No 601 Squadron was formed on 14th October 1925 and, until the start of the Second World War, was based at Hendon airfield.
The squadron's battle honors most notably include the Battle of Britain, and the first Americans to fly in the Second World War were members of this squadron.
In recognition of the 75th anniversary of the formation of the United States Air Force, the Foundation supported the permanent display of the Memphis Belle at the USAF Museum at Wright Paterson Air Force Base.
Probably one of the most recognizable symbols of the Second World War, the Memphis Belle was the first US Army Air Forces heavy bomber to return from the UK to the US after completing 25 combat missions over Europe during the war from its base at RAF Bassingbourn.
Amongst other restoration projects, the Foundation aided the recovery of the last Dornier 17 bomber from the sea-bed in the Goodwin Sands. The Dornier 17 was a two-engine fast bomber developed in the early 1930s and saw participation in the early part of the Second World War. Production ended in 1942 and the few aircraft that survived the war were scrapped in the early 1950s.
Finding and recovering the last-known Dornier 17 was a tremendously complex project that utilized a number of ground-breaking techniques for underwater recovery and conservation. On 18th June 2013, the Dornier was successfully lifted from the seabed and later transported to the RAF Museum at Cosford for conservation.
The Foundation funded the digitizing of documents and photographs from the First British Flying Training School in Terrell, Texas, to preserve the history of the thousands of Second World War British cadets who learned to fly at six civilian training schools in the United States.
In concert with that effort, the Foundation also funded a technical apprenticeship program in the UK to provide the necessary work on the digital and audio development of this media. This makes the unique story of UK-US aircrew training come alive for visitors to the Museum.
As well as its heritage work, the Foundation also invests in the future by supporting and funding the RAF Museum’s technical Apprentice Exchange Program between the US and the UK with the aim of giving apprentices a global understanding of respective work cultures and procedures.
Apprentices have experienced work and education with the Museum’s conservation center, the Defense College of Autonautical Engineering, the Udvar-Hazy Center, the National Air and Space Museum on the Mall and the Garber Facility at Silver Hills, MD. Their activities included work an movement preparation on the Horten Flying Wing and the Apollo Space Telescope.
In 2018, the Foundation established a RAFMAF Learning Fund. This will fund, annually, a project or program that can be accomplished by many levels of age/scholarship/individuals or groups in a variety of formats – ranging from scholarly research papers, articles and/or artworks that reflect the Foundation’s mission and vision. The Chief Executive Officer of the RAF Museum will select the winning individual(s) or team(s) and their respective projects. The selected work must directly relate to and reflect the enduring joint relationship between the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force in theaters of war and during peacetime.
Examples of topics envisioned for an award from this fund include a project related to the theme of the Foundation’s annual 'Spirit of the Battle of Britain' Banquet and could include compiling, demonstrating, and/or publishing the combat stories of RAF Museum display artefacts that RAFMAF has helped in acquiring for the museum – for example, the P-51 and the Predator.
Ordre national de la Légion d'Honneur
The Foundation, in conjunction with the British Embassy worked with the French authorities to secure the award of the Légion d’Honneur to three veterans for their participation on D-Day:
Wg Cdr Tom Neil
DFC & Bar, AFC AE
Battle of Britain Ace
Leading Aircraftswoman Rose Davies, WAAF
D-Day Radar Operator
‘Captain’ Jack Bradshaw
American who flew with the RAF and the Army Air Corps