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RAF Marham’s II(AC) Squadron is presented with a new standard as its centenary year officially gets under way

18:19 11 May 2012

The new standard on parade. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The new standard on parade. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

A new standard was today presented to RAF Marham’s II (AC) Squadron at the official launch of its centenary celebrations.

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The reconnaissance squadron, formed on May 13, 1912, is the oldest fixed wing squadron in the world and was a founding member of the Royal Flying Corps.

Most recently the ‘Shiny Two’ was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and took part in operations in Libya last year.

The historic presentation, attended by veterans, families and officials, was made by Air Chief Marshal Lord Jock Stirrup during a parade at the base this afternoon (Friday).

Lord Stirrup accepted the general salute from the squadron before making his address.

He said there were few occasions more important to an operational squadron than the presentation of its standard. “The standard is the embodiment of all it stands for, all it has done and all it will do,” Lord Stirrup continued. “It’s a reminder of the achievements of the past but also a focus for the challenges which lie ahead.”

The squadron’s achievements include the first use of airborne cameras in 1914, the award of the first air Victoria Cross in 1915 and the first pictures of the D-Day landings in 1944.

Its battle honours include Western Front 1914 to 1918, Neuve Chappelle, Ypres 1915, Somme 1916, Dunkirk, Normandy 1944 and Iraq 2003.

All standards are hand-made in silk and feature squadrons’ individual badges with scrolls either side detailing a maximum of ten honours.

In February, squadron personnel were made honorary citizens of Swaffham and in March the tail livery of a GR4 aircraft was painted to depict the iconic BE2 aircraft it used during the First World War.

The weekend will culminate in a service of dedication at Ely Cathedral on Sunday.

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