New West Sussex film will honour the lost air crews

A new Horsham film will honour air crew lost over the years.

Tristan Loraine
Tristan Loraine

It will come from director and former pilot Tristan Loraine who started his film company Fact Not Fiction Films in 2006 when he had to stop flying due to ill health. The film will be called Angel Fleet, the fleet in the sky that aircrew are said to join when they pass away. It will also raise awareness of The Sally B, the last remaining airworthy B-17 Flying Fortress in Europe.

“It will particularly remember those who were lost during the war but I also know a lot of pilots and cabin crew that are no longer with us and this will be my tribute to these people.

“During the Second World War the British and the Lancasters were doing their best but they just could not cut it and the Americans came across with their B-17s and started doing daylight bombing raids. The risks were phenomenal but they said that if we don't do this then we will never win the war and what they did really did change the war.”

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    Tristan will be filming through the summer, hoping to finish in September, filming around Horsham and also in Portsmouth at a UK Glenn Miller Orchestra concert where one of his young actors will get up on stage and sing the Vera Lynn song We'll Meet Again.

    “It's a short film, and the story is that this family have lost the husband who was a test pilot who has died in an accident. The mum sets up a charity to look after families that have lost aircrew. They have two daughters and the youngest daughter is struggling to come to terms with the loss of their dad. The film is the journey of this family. It's a huge ambitious film. In the film we will have a scene with the last remaining B-17 bomber which is based in Duxford.”

    To make the film Tristan needs to raise £35,000 and is currently around £5,000 short of the target.

    “Since I watched the film The Battle of Britain in a cinema as a young boy, I knew I wanted to be a pilot. When I was 17, I learnt to fly and ever since it’s been an amazing journey. I have had the great honour to meet some amazing pilots, engineers and cabin crew over the decades I flew. I have also met or read about many remarkable crew who are no longer with us. Crews who have now joined Angel Fleet, many sadly long before they should have. For some years, I have been thinking of a story that could be told in a short film that would reflect my emotions, thoughts and pay respect to all those crews looking down from Angel Fleet.

    “There is an old air field at Coolham which was RAF Coolham during the war and they were part of the air support for the D-Day landings. It was mostly Polish people based there and there are plaques for the people that died and I thought for a long time that I wanted to make a film that honoured these people especially as this was right on my doorstep. I was just trying to think of the story.”

    The release date will be in 2023. More details on www.angelfleetfilm.com.