A REUNION lunch has sparked a campaign for a memorial to the RAF's 'forgotten heroes'.
Pilots of 610 Squadron fought in the Battle of Britain while based at Hooton Aerodrome.
More than 40 of the wartime veterans, including seven Spitfire pilots, staged their annual reunion at Hooton Hotel on Wednesday.
They tucked into spam fritters and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, washed down by Spitfire Ale.
They then visited the aerodrome at Hooton Park to see some of the aircraft they once flew.
During the Battle of Britain, 610 Squadron operated from Biggin Hill, Hawkinge, and, on one occasion, from Croydon.
During August 1940, 40 enemy aircraft were confirmed as having been destroyed by its pilots.
In June 1946, the squadron was reformed, with Spitfire XIVs giving way to Spitfire XXIIs and finally Meteor VIII jets. The squadron was disbanded in 1957.
Association member and spokesman Mike Lewis said: 'Everyone present said they had a wonderful time and are looking forward to the next one.
'They were soon swapping anecdotes of the old days and remembering absent friends. Undoubtedly, the next reunion will be bigger and better.' He thanked Ash at Hooton Hotel and squadron members for all their hard work in organising the event.
Mr Lewis, from Upton in Chester, also thanked association president, Squadron Leader Cyril Stanley 'Bam' Bamberger DFC, for travelling up from West Sussex.
But he added: 'The most important thing here is that Cheshire does not seem to have any pride in its only Battle of Britain squadron.
'The sacrifices of The Few on behalf of their fellow men seem to have been ignored.
'There is no memorial to the brave men of 610 Squadron and we need to redress this.
'We are mounting our own campaign to secure a memorial to these Few and other members of the squadron who served during its short period of life.
'If you want to preserve the memory of this unique and brave band of Cheshire men, please support us.'
Mr Lewis can be contacted on 01244 373551 or firstname.lastname@example.org