Pioneer 'guinea pigs' of plastic surgery to reunite

Former airmen who became members of what's known as the 'Guinea Pig Club' will meet at the Yorkshire Air Museum in Elvington today to mark its 75th anniversary.

Members, mostly Battle of Britain pilots with severe burns, became surgical 'guinea pigs' of pioneering plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe. Membership grew in number to a total 649 of Allied airmen with 80% of its members having served in Bomber Command by the end of the war.

Surgery was groundbreaking
Injured airmen recouperate

The members of the Guinea Pig Club changed the public perception of injured and disfigured servicemen in the post-war years and served as mentors and examples to new generations of burned service personnel in the Falklands, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts, including honorary Guinea Pig Simon Weston.

Pioneering plastic surgery carried out