Lecture series to focus on holidays Britain during war


TROY — Bill Albers returns to the WACO Lecture Series with a special Christmas themed lecture, “Christmas in Britain during World War II,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The lecture covers the Christmas traditions of the British people before and during World War II. The life of the British, especially for the Londoners, was very difficult during the five years at war and it was very different from life in the US. The lecture will cover the declaration of war with Germany, the Battle of Britain, the evacuation of 338,000 British and French soldiers from the Dunkirk beaches in France and the daily bombing of the large English cities during the Blitz.

The British fought for survival during the early years of the war and were determined not to surrender and be occupied by the Germans. The arrival of the US soldiers in January 1942 changed the daily lives of many people in Britain and the lives of many GIs. The cultures were different, but were mostly accepted by the British and their American allies.

During these difficult years, the British attempted to celebrate the Christmas holidays without their traditional food and presents. GIs were encouraged to participate; it was appreciated by many British families during 1942-1944. The relations and understanding of each culture has been very good since the days of the American arrivals in Britain during World War II.

Speaker Bill Albers was born in Amsterdam in 1940 and as a child, survived a five-year long German occupation during World War II. He served in the Royal Dutch Air Force as a jet aircraft mechanic and earned a degree in mechanical engineering before coming to the US in 1965. He continued to study engineering in Ohio and lived and worked in the US before becoming a citizen in 1977.

Albers has held positions as an engineering manager, sales manager, and divisional manager, vice president of sales & amp; engineering, and CEO of different US companies. He now is retired and spends two days a week working at the Champaign Aviation Museum as curator, and building the B-17G bomber. He is a pilot with Sidney airport as his home base and holds a private, instrument, commercial, and ground school instructor pilot license.

In keeping with the Christmas spirit and English traditions, complimentary tea and “biscuits” will be served.

All aviation lectures are free and open to the public, and are held in the Willis Wing of the WACO Air Museum at 1865 S. County Road 25-A, Troy. Programs are scheduled to last one hour with questions to follow. Donations to the WACO Air Museum are accepted.

For questions, call 335-9226 or visit www.wacoairmuseum.org.