A flypast salute by the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team and black jets emblazoned with skull and crossbones was fitting farewell as RAF Leeming marked the closing of illustrious 100 Squadron.
Formed as a night bomber unit in 1917, 100 Squadron has a proud and distinguished history of aircraft and roles.
It was the last Squadron to land from a combat mission before the Armistice was signed and endured being decimated by Japanese forces in 1942 only to rise again – as from the ashes – by the end of the same year.
It was home to the celebrated Phantom of the Ruhr Lancaster bomber, and its distinctive black Hawk T1 jets have been a familiar sight over North Yorkshire for more than 20 years.
Officially closing its hangar doors for the last time on 31 March 2022, family, friends and former members of the Squadron have gathered with distinguished visitors to watch the skull and crossbones Squadron Standard paraded for the last time, accompanied by the Band of the RAF College.
Some of the squadron’s aircraft will now transfer to the Red Arrows who will continue to fly the Hawk T1.
Wing Commander Ted Taylor-Head, Officer Commanding 100 Sqn said said:
“We had to make sure we said goodbye to 105 years in the best way possible and honoured the history of the Squadron. It’s about the people who came before us and the people here now, who make the squadron. There have been more than 25 years with the Hawk T1 – our job day in, day out has been training for the front line.”
Group Captain Gareth Prendergast, Station Commander RAF Leeming added:
“It’s a bittersweet day – it’s always sad to see a squadron disband but it has been amazing to see the guys perform on parade. The Squadron have performed an incredibly important role and we’re here to celebrate that today. We’ve seen capabilities evolve in different ways and we’re on an incredibly important journey with synthetic training as well as live capabilities to simulate adversary aircraft in the future.”