Boeing UK and VE Day 75
LONDON, May 8, 2020 - Sir Martin Donnelly, President of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing UK and Ireland, shares a personal message to coincide with VE Day 75 commemorations.
8th May marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day, when victory was declared by the allied nations and the war in Europe ended.
Boeing’s partnership with the UK began in 1938, just before the Second World War. Our commitment to the UK armed forces carries through to Boeing’s products that help meet the needs of defence today, and the many Boeing employees who are veterans or active reservists, or work alongside their military counterparts within the broader defence community.
Back then, and as part of the collective effort known as the “Arsenal of Democracy,” the United States built nearly 300,000 airplanes during the Second World War. Roughly 30 percent of those were built by Boeing, including the Harvard, the first Boeing aircraft in the UK. The sheer quantity of airplanes in the allied inventory played a huge role in their victory.
Three quarters of a century on and the world still owes a great deal to those who sacrificed so much.
Many events have been planned to pay tribute to the Second World War generation and the sacrifices they made securing peace across the continent. But unlike 75 years ago, when millions of people took to the streets and pubs to celebrate peace and freedom across the continent, mourn their loved ones and spread hope for the future, people across the UK are being encouraged to mark the historical anniversary from the safety of our own homes, gardens or doorsteps.
At Boeing, our employees in the UK are no exception, and in these extraordinary circumstances we are finding alternative ways to celebrate this key historic occasion.
Boeing employees are raising funds for our charity partner of the year, SSAFA, the Armed forces charity. SSAFA’s Boeing Emergency Fund is currently being accessed by their on-the-ground team of caseworkers to urgently assist those in immediate need during the COVID-19 crisis. We’re also supporting their efforts to help service leavers whose next steps might have been impacted by the virus.
SSAFA will celebrate this special date in history in several ways, and I know many of our employees plan to take part:
- VE Day 75 home tea parties, in aid of SSAFA.
- A ‘Nation’s Toast’ to say “To those who gave so much, we thank you”.
- Dame Vera Lynn will invite the nation for a sing-along of the wartime classic "We'll meet again".
Just like 75 years ago, people are once again pulling together during a time of national crisis. The British military is playing a significant role in supporting the fight against COVID-19, and we are working with them closely to carry out essential preparation and maintenance of aircraft deployed to transfer patients, supplies and NHS staff.
We will be recognising the sacrifices of those who gave so much in a moment of remembrance. And we stand by our commitment to support the current and ex-serving men and women of today, and long into the future.
Sir Martin Donnelly
About Boeing in the United Kingdom
Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defence, space and security systems, and global services. The company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries. Boeing employs more than 150,000 people worldwide and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Boeing has a growing UK workforce of 2,500 direct employees across the country and spends £2 billion a year in the UK supply chain. In 2018 Boeing opened its first European manufacturing facility in Sheffield. For more information visit www.boeing.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @BoeingUK.