RAF Unveils VC “Battle Of Britain” Typhoon
The RAF today unveiled at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire a state-of-the art Typhoon fighter jet in a Battle of Britain era paint scheme to commemorate this year being the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and to acknowledge the bravery and sacrifice of those often referred to as “The Few”: the aircrew who took part in the battle. The Typhoon is also painted with the 249 Squadron identification number of the only Fighter Command pilot awarded a Victoria Cross during the battle: Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC. The Typhoon along with a WWII Spitfire, as part of a Synchro-pair, will perform aerial displays at air shows across the UK this summer.
The Typhoon will be flown by Flight Lieutenant Ben Westoby-Brooks from Coningsby’s 29(R) Squadron; he said, “It is a great privilege to fly this extraordinary aircraft in recognition of the sacrifices made by our predecessors 75 years ago. Their task of securing the skies was critical in the summer of 1940 and it’s an honour to pay tribute to those few brave airmen who gave their all when the stakes were so high”.
Present to see the unveiling was Flight Lieutenant Nicolson’s nephew, Mr Jim Nicolson, he said, “I’m so thrilled that the Royal Air Force has commemorated this aircraft the way they have. It just looks amazing. The plane is amazing anyway but to see it in those colours it is just fantastic and it is the icing on the cake for me.”
The Battle of Britain ranks alongside the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo as one of the most significant in British history. It was the first strategic defeat suffered by the Nazi Third Reich during the Second World War. The victory by the RAF enabled the Western Allies to later launch the liberation of Western Europe and compel the Nazis to fight on two fronts leading to their consequent defeat.
The success of the RAF was due not just to the exceptional bravery and skill of the aircrews of Fighter Command but also those of Bomber and Coastal Commands and the many women of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force who worked tirelessly to repulse the threat of invasion – the many who supported the few.
RAF Coningsby Station Commander, Group Captain Jez Attridge said, “This fully operational Typhoon will be a dynamic reminder to all that see it over the summer of the link between the modern Royal Air Force and The Few that defended our nation 75 years ago during the battle. Today that mission endures with Typhoons on Quick Reaction Alert, every minute of every day.” The RAF’s Quick Reaction Alert Typhoons defend the UK against potentially hostile aircraft approaching the UK sovereign airspace. Group Captain Attridge added: “The technology has changed since the Battle of Britain but the mission for the RAF to protect the UK remains unchanged”.
Crown/MOD Copyright 2015
Photo Credits: Mr Richard Paver and Cpl Phil Major (RAF)
Header Image: A state-of-the-art RAF Typhoon fighter jet in Battle of Britain era paint scheme soars above RAF Coningsby.
Image 1: A state-of-the-art RAF Typhoon fighter jet in Battle of Britain era paint scheme soars above RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, with a Hurricane from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Image 2: A state-of-the-art RAF Typhoon fighter jet in Battle of Britain era paint scheme soars above RAF Coningsby.
Image 3: Jim Nicolson (left) is the nephew of Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) James Nicolson VC DFC and is seen with Flt Lt Ben Westoby-Brooks who is the Typhoon pilot who will be flying the Typhoon in the synchro display with a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire during the 2015 display season; 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.