8. Presentations and Talks

We can provide knowledgeable and entertaining speakers on local aviation history. If your group would like to book a presentation, please contact us via the e-mail address: fonfa2010@gmail.com

Our Chairman Dr Henry Goodall gives illustrated presentations on the following topics:

The New Forest Airfields during World War II                                                         This presentation is an overview of the New Forest Airfields in WWII, including their purpose, genesis, locations, types of airfield, squadrons and aircraft stationed hereabouts and their uses, with particular emphasis on the D-Day period in June 1944.

Stoney Cross (Airfield No. 452) – The Story of a New Forest airfield during World War II                                                                                                                           This presentation covers the building, operation and eventual closure of the largest of the New Forest airfields built in WWII, together with details of the various 16 aircraft types and 14 different units based there from 1943 to 1946.

Advanced landing Grounds in Hampshire – the story of the portable airfields of WWII                                                                                                                                     This presentation describes the reasons for and purpose of these temporary airfields, their construction, operation and locations, together with the aircraft and personnel, which used them, leading up to D-Day in June 1944.

The Allied Assault Gliders in WWII                                                                                This presentation describes the various types of Allied Assault glider used in WWII, the differences between them and the ways in which they were used to spearhead ‘Operation Overlord’ in June 1944 and subsequent operations. In addition, details of their construction, repair and deployment are included.

In addition, we have a FONFA Member who is a professional speaker, Colin van Geffen, who is an expert on the Calshot seaplane base and the Schneider Trophy Air Races (1913-1931)

The New Forest  and nearby areas have many associations with the other Armed and Civilian Services and events in WWII.                                                                                                 To illustrate these aspects of local military history Dr Henry Goodall can also offer the following presentations:

Hobart’s ‘Funnies’ – the inventions in ‘Churchill’s toyshop’ that made D-Day successful                                                                                                                                  This presentation describes the innovative inventions that were produced to solve difficult and practical problems, which were expected to be encountered during the sea and land assault on Hitler’s ‘Festung Europa’, particularly in the D-Day landings, masterminded by the ‘Forgotten General’, Percy Hobart.

The Battle of the Atlantic – the longest campaign in WWII                                  This presentation traces Britain’s vulnerability to the deployment of Germany’s Admiral Doenitz’ U-Boats and the counter measures forced on the Allies to defend the shipping lanes, to keep the supplies coming to Britain from the USA and elsewhere, during WWII. The U-boats, the convoy system, the escort vessels, the aircraft, the losses and the cost of the campaign that was the longest in WWII, lasting six years, are all described, together with the eventual victory, won by a variety of different means, on land, sea and in the air.

‘We Landed by Moonlight’ – Special Operations Executive missions in WWII      This presentation describes the clandestine night time flying operations to insert secret agents into France, to support the French Resistance during WWII. The aircraft, personnel and airfields are illustrated, together with the locations and agents landed behind enemy lines.

Lepe Beach – the D-Day Mulberry Harbour Construction Site                           This presentation describes the reasons why the Allies took their harbours with them, during the D-Day invasion in June 1944, the types of equipment involved, what happened to them in practice and the relics left today in Hampshire, where many of the massive caissons were constructed.

 

Each illustrated presentation lasts approximately 45-60 minutes, with time for questions, and are delivered as PowerPoint slide shows, accompanied by expert commentary. They can be shortened on request. We can also modify the content of a presentation, if listeners have a particular interest in one or two locations.

PLEASE NOTE: We ask for a donation to FONFA funds and a contribution to the speaker’s mileage costs, from organisations requesting presentations. These donations are currently the main source of the FONFA Charity’s income and are much appreciated.

In addition, we can recommend a speaker on the following specialist topics, covering the period leading up to the First World War and between the Wars, and the immediate post-WWII period:

A History of the New Forest Airfields 1910-1967

New Forest Aviation – The pioneering Years 1910-1939

New Forest Airfields in WWII and the aftermath 1939-1950

Shorter talks are available on single airfields and the RAF Radar Station at Sopley. Early aviation was also active in East Dorset so a pioneering aviation talk 1909-1920 that covers the whole coastal strip from Portland to Calshot and as far inland as Salisbury Plain is an alternative topic.

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