The Eagle Squadrons connection

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During the last 12 months Lee Cognetta, a lady from the USA who’s been researching the history of the WW2 Eagle Squadrons (especially No 71 based here at Martlesham Heath in 1940/41), has been in contact with MHAS, MH100 and BBC Radio Suffolk. The Eagle Squadrons were formed of US airmen who volunteered to come to the UK and fly for the RAF, before the USA formerly entered WW2 as our allies at the end of 1941. Visits have been made and contact made with relatives of the Eagle Squadron flyers.

Seventeen of these family members are flying over to join MH100 for our celebration weekend in July. For most, if not all, it will be the first and maybe the last time they will be here, treading on ground where their family member flew from. Memorabilia has emerged which has not been seen before, particularly photos of Martlesham Heath and the men of No 71 squadron. We’ll be making this weekend a special one for the family members.

The photos below are of two of the MH Eagle Squadron pilots – Peter Provenzano and Oscar Coen (on the aircraft wing with a ground-crew member). Both pilots have family members who’ll be attending our weekend. We’ll be sharing some more never-before-seen photos of No 71 squadron soon.

Peter Provenzano

Oscar Coen (right) and ground-crew member