RAF Lissett Memorial

Remembering the Heroes of 158 Squadron: A Tribute to D-Day Landings

Posted on April 21, 2024

Picture credit: Ackers72

As we approach the 80th anniversary of the WW2 D-Day landings on 6th June, I had the privilege of stumbling upon a poignant tribute that I felt compelled to share with you all.

Picture this – a quaint memorial nestled in Lissett, near Bridlington, paying homage to the brave aircrew of the 158 Squadron. This memorial, commemorating these tumultuous times, was unveiled on 16th May, 2009, and holds a significant place in history as it stands on the easternmost airfield in Britain, being the closest to Germany.

Over the course of its service, approximately 250 operations were flown from this base. Each mission was a high-stakes endeavour, with the fate of nations hanging in the balance. The skies above echoed with the sounds of aircraft engines, as crews set out on daring missions into enemy territory, facing incredible risks with each flight.

Halifax nose art Friday the 13th IWM CH 14589

Picture credit: By Royal Air Force official photographer - This photograph CH 14589 comes from the collections of the Imperial War Museums., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/...

The Sacrifice

The cost of war was steep. Tragically, 144 aircraft, including Halifax bombers, failed to return or met with crashes, resulting in the loss of over 400 aircrew members. Each loss was a stark reminder of the harsh realities of war, where bravery and sacrifice walked hand in hand.

A Touching Tribute

As I approached the memorial, my eyes were drawn to our own 4ft / 1.20m York bench which we lovingly crafted and installed back in 2009. Set upon 'seaworn' cobbles, the pathway leading to the bench, along with the steps, exuded a sense of reverence and respect for the fallen heroes.

Click on the pictures to enlarge

But what truly caught my attention were the corten steel silhouettes of the seven aircrew members, a masterpiece created by the talented Beverley artist Peter Naylor. These silhouettes stood tall, symbolising the valour and sacrifice of those who once soared the skies in defence of freedom.

Click on the pictures to enlarge

A Bittersweet Reality

While the site has aged over the years, showing signs of wear and tear, the essence of remembrance and gratitude lingers in the air. The bench, although weathered, remains steadfast, a silent witness to the passage of time. Surrounded by tall grass, harbouring nesting birds, it seems nature itself has embraced this sacred space, protecting it from the hands of modernity.

The weatherproof obelisk houses a visitors' book, filled with the names of countless individuals who have journeyed from distant lands to pay their respects. It's heartwarming to see how this humble memorial has touched the lives of so many, transcending borders and generations.

Click on the pictures to enlarge

Honouring the Memory

There are also two illustrated signs at the site that have been erected to display the story of the 158 Squadron. As we reflect on the history of this airbase, let us remember the courage and dedication of all those who served there. Their stories deserve to be told and preserved for future generations, ensuring that their sacrifices are never forgotten.

So, the next time you hear the roar of an aircraft overhead or catch a glimpse of a vintage plane in a museum, take a moment to think about the brave souls who once flew from that World War II airbase, writing a chapter of history that will forever be etched in the annals of time.

Final Thoughts

As I reflect on my visit to the memorial of the 158 Squadron aircrew, I am reminded of the resilience and courage displayed by those who fought during WW2. Their legacy lives on in the hearts of those who pause to remember and honor their sacrifice.

So, as we approach the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, let us take a moment to reflect on the significance of remembrance, the power of tribute, and the importance of preserving history for future generations.

And with that, I urge you to seek out such hidden gems in your own communities, to pay homage to the unsung heroes who paved the way for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Until next time, keep exploring, keep remembering, and keep honoring the heroes of our past.

Signing off, Mike Davidson

Useful links and further reading:

Artist Peter Naylor who created the 158 Squadron monument:


More information about the 158 Squadron Association "Strength in Unity"


158 Squadron Association memorial on Trip Advisor