Tail livery honours RAF Marham-based squadron’s anniversary

Centenary celebrations of RAF Marham's II (AC) Squadron continued at the weekend with the unveiling of a glorious tail plane.

The tail livery on the Tornado GR4 depicts the iconic Bristol Scout aircraft with which the squadron nicknamed Shiny Two was equipped during the first world war.

Group Captain David Cooper, Station Commander at RAF Marham, said: 'This is a fitting tribute to 'Shiny Two' and a demonstration of the skills of our spray and finishing bay.

'Royal Air Force Marham personnel look forward to sharing in [the] squadron's celebrations this year alongside those of III squadron who enjoy a similar, significant anniversary.'

He added: 'The potent capabilities of the Tornado and Typhoon could not have been imagined by those early aviators and these events mark a notable occasion in the Royal Air Force's history.'

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The squadron's badge with its distinctive 'Wake' knot in the centre roundel is also shown on the fuselage.

Next to this is the equally distinctive squadron insignia of the white 'triangle, circle, triangle', which was the symbol used by the squadron during its service above the Western Front during the first world war.

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RAF Marham's II (AC) Squadron is the oldest fixed wing squadron in the world having been formed in May 1912.

Its many 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. The squadron also helped in the Libya conflict last year.

The squadron will also receive its new standard in May. It will be a historic event which precedes a weekend of celebratory activities, culminating a service of dedication in Ely Cathedral on the 13th May.

This latest celebratory event comes after the squadron's personnel became honorary citizens of Swaffham last month.

The town's honorary citizen award is given out every four years. Breckland councillor Ian Sherwood suggested the squadron should receive the accolade because he believes the Swaffham community has an 'affinity' with the west Norfolk base.

The celebrations also follow a successful campaign, spearheaded by the Eastern Daily Press, to secure Marham's short-term future.

In November 2010, nearly 37,000 people signed the our petition after it was announced Marham was under threat of closure.

The signatures were then delivered to Number 10 Downing Street and last July the government announced the Tornado station would stay open – saving more than 5,000 local jobs and more than �1bn for the local economy.

*Ex-squadron members wishing to join in the centenary celebrations can find details about the events at www.twosqnassc.co.uk

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