New memorial unveiled at National Memorial Arboretum for RAF Marham’s IX(B) Squadron
- Credit: SAC SARAH JONES, RAF.
A new memorial has been unveiled to one of the RAF's oldest squadrons.
The memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, has been dedicated to all those who have served on Marham-based IX(B) Sqn, since its formation in December 1914. The ceremony began with a flypast of two Tornado jets from the Norfolk base.
The memorial, in the shape of a pyramid was designed by IX(B) Squadron Association honorary member John Fox, features three sections made from sandstone, green granite and brown granite.
The dedication service was led by Air Commodore Nick Hay, the chairman of the IX(B) Squadron Association.
He said 'It has been a real team effort to get to where we are today with this wonderful memorial. The initial idea of a Squadron Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum came from member Roger Blackburn. The association then asked member John Fox if he could design a memorial and he designed this unique and wonderful memorial.
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'It has taken three years to design, procure and mount the memorial and the project officer was Richard James'.
Wing Cdr James Heeps, current commanding officer of IX(B), said: 'It was an extraordinary honour for me to represent the squadron at the National Memorial Arboretum and receive the memorial on behalf of the current serving officers of IX(B) Sqn from the association.
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'The memorial not only represents the proud history of IX(B) Squadron, but also the very special relationship between the Squadron and its association.'
Warrant officer Ken Johnson, now 93, served on IX(B) Squadron in 1944 and 1945 as a Lancaster air gunner.
He said: 'I was honoured to be asked to say a few words at the service today and I did it in memory of all the friends I lost in the Second World War and on behalf of the 10 other surviving members of the Association from the Second World War, who were unable to attend today.'
IX(B) Sqn has been based at RAF Marham since 2001, and in that time has been engaged in combat operations over Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.
More than 150 squadron association members were present at the unveiling, spanning the eras of Lancasters, Lincolns, Canberras, Vulcans and the current Tornados.