The Duchess of Cornwall has joined in celebrations to mark the centenary of 100 Squadron at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire.
Braving the chilly weather and windy conditions, Her Royal Highness, who is Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Leeming, enjoyed a drill display by the Queen’s Colour Squadron as they formed a 100 shape in the Parade Square.
The drill was followed by a flypast of 100 Squadron’s black Hawk T1A jets, first flown at Dunsfold, Surrey in 1974.
Speaking on the occasion, the Duchess saluted the bravery of the RAF.
‘’I’m honoured to be here on this historic occasion to celebrate the Centenary of 100 Squadron,’’ she said. ‘’When I presented their new Standard to them in 2010, who would have known that this generation of pilots would be conducting operations in the skies above Syria and Iraq, in the most intense and sustained air operation that the RAF has conducted in the last 25 years?
“One this very special occasion we honour the heroism, and valour of our predecessors. But let’s not forget that as today marks the passing of the baton to the new generation of Airmen, the next chapter of this Squadron is yet to be written.
The Duchess was then invited to meet with families and 100 Squadron association veterans from the station. She also paid tribute to relatives and friends of those taking part in duty overseas.
Wing Commander Andy Wright, Officer Commanding 100 Squadron, said, “It’s been a real honour to have the Duchess of Cornwall with us today – everyone has been walking around with a smile on their face. Before I arrived here, I knew I would be lucky enough to be here for this day.’’
The No. 100 Squadron RAF was formed at Hingham in Norfolk on 23 February 1917 as a night bombing unit during the First World War. It continued its role during World War II, marking its first operation with an attack against a U-boat base at St Nazaire.