XV(Reserve) Squadron unveiled a special 100th anniversary paint scheme in spectacular style over the snowy peaks of the Scottish highlands.
The Squadron had a Tornado GR4 especially painted for their centenary in the Squadron’s famous blue and red colours. In a special training sortie, this unique jet flew alongside the Squadron’s famous ‘MacRobert’s Reply’ aircraft.
The MacRobert’s Reply story has its roots with the MacRobert family and World War II. The three sons of Lady Rachel MacRobert and her husband Sir Alexander MacRobert were all killed within 3 years of each other in separate flying incidents; the eldest of the three was killed in action whilst on missions during World War II. Lady MacRobert’s response to her sons’ deaths was to donate £25,000 to purchase a bomber for the RAF and asked that it be named “MacRobert’s Reply”.
This was the start of a tradition that the RAF has kept alive. A succession of RAF aircraft has since carried the name. The current “MacRobert’s Reply” is a Tornado GR4 from XV (Reserve) Squadron, still identified by the cherished tail letter ‘F’.
Formed on the 1st March 1915 at Farnborough the Squadron acted as a training unit supporting the Royal Flying Corps in the Great War. One hundred years later the modern incarnation of that unit, XV(Reserve) Squadron, marked the start of its centenary year at RAF Lossiemouth with a formal parade in front of their families, colleagues and the head of the Royal Air Force’s combat fast jet fleet.
The Squadron’s illustrious history has included service in both world wars flying both fighters and bombers most notably the Hawker Hind, Avro Lancaster and Panavia Tornado.
The Squadron’s crest shows “a hind's head affrontee erased at the neck between wings elevated and conjoined in base” and was approved by King Edward VIII in May 1936. The badge was a modification of the hart emblem used previously, changed to highlight the fact that the Hind aircraft was in service when the badge was authorised.
XV(Reserve) Squadron personnel will be raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund throughout their 100th year by holding or participating in numerous charity events, as they strive towards their target of raising £15000.
Photographs: Sgt George
XV Sqn 100th Anniversary Paint job on GR4, Images taken over Lockness and the Highlands.
RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2015