As we commemorate the contribution of the many, as well as The Few during the Battle of Britain, we should also remember the many included thousands of factory workers and businesses who also contributed to the war effort.
One such business is our long-term partner, Lockheed Martin. During the Second World War they supplied the RAF with a wide range of aircraft – from the doughty Hudson, to the Liberator (one was used by Winston Churchill as his personal plane) and the mass-produced Marauder. But it wasn't just aircraft they provided; the company also employed about 6,000 people in Belfast to repair damaged planes and get them back into service.
Lockheed Martin is still very much part of the RAF family, providing innovation within defence and also as an enduring supporter of the RAF Benevolent Fund. The company's UK Chief Executive, Peter Ruddock, who himself had a distinguished 37-year career in the RAF, serves on our advisory board and so can see first-hand the work we do and which his company's contribution makes possible. About 15 per cent of Lockheed Martin's UK workforce are veterans and so the company fully understands the need to look after those who have served.
We are proud to partner with Lockheed Martin and would like to thank them for their engagement and invaluable support as sponsors of this week's Back on the Radar event. This sponsorship is particularly appropriate as one of the radars onto which we projected our animated film was the Remote Radar Head at Buchan in Scotland, a radar that was built by Lockheed Martin. Since the Second World War, knowledge gained has helped the company improve the technology, and Lockheed Martin continues to play an integral role in the UK’s radar defences.
If you know any RAF veterans and their partners in need, you can refer them to the Fund online or by calling 0300 102 1919.