Gallery: RAF Mildenhall - Looking back at the famous Air Fetes that brought the west Suffolk community together

Mildenhall Air Show May 1983

Mildenhall Air Show May 1983 - Credit: Archant

For many years the Mildenhall Air Fete was one of the highlights of the year in West Suffolk, and as the closure of the base is announced we look back at this spectacular event.

The event was eventually cancelled in 1999, when it was called off during Operation Allied Force, the NATO-led effort to push the Serbs from the Kosovo province.

At the 1983 event the almost mythical Lockhead SR-71 Blackbird spy plane – the fastest plane in the world – was shown to a European audience for the first time, 19 years after it entered service.