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22 June 2017

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72 (RESERVE) SQUADRON CENTENARY – GRAND FLYPAST

27th June 2017 will see 72 (Reserve) Squadron from RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire conducting a nationwide Grand Flypast in honour of its Centenary.

Members of the Yorkshire and Humberside media are invited to RAF Linton-on-Ouse for photographs and interviews with 72 (Reserve) Squadron aircrew when they land at 3.45pm.

Starting at RNAS Culdrose, the route will take 4 of the Squadron’s Shorts Tucano T Mark1 aircraft across the South Coast visiting many former RAF Stations that were operational during the Second World War with stops at RAF Odiham, Imperial War Museum Duxford and RAF Linton-on-Ouse on the way to the final destination at JHFS Aldergrove in Northern Ireland. One of the Tucanos will be newly painted in a specially designed commemorative livery. This commemorative Tucano will also be visiting RAF Stations and airshows around the country this summer as a static display aircraft.

At IWM Duxford 72 (Reserve) Squadron will be meeting members of the media next to their aircraft from approximately 1.40pm for photographs and interviews.

2017 marks the centenary of RAF Duxford. Work began to build Duxford's airfield in 1917 and it became pivotal to the air defence of Great Britain throughout the Second World War - particularly during the Dunkirk evacuation, the Battle of Britain and D-Day operations - and into the Cold War era.

Over the past 100 years, Duxford has been a continual witness to world-changing events, where ordinary people have shared extraordinary experiences. As part of the commemoration of its centenary, IWM Duxford shares surprising stories and personal memories from across the former RAF fighter station, our museum and the collections here.

72 Squadron has a rich history as one of few Squadrons still in active service today to have operated the Spitfire during the Second World War. Personnel from 72 Squadron were members of ‘The Few’ who defended the country from invasion during the Battle of Britain.

72 Squadron performed Air Defence and Convoy Protection duties based in Northern England at the beginning of the War before moving South to assist with the Dunkirk evacuations in June 1940. It was later in 1940 that the Squadron earned its Battle Honours for the Battle of Britain after which the Squadron moved to conduct operations in North Africa, Malta and Austria, supporting Allied forces as they progressed towards Germany at the conclusion of the War.

After the Second World War, 72 Squadron continued to operate fighter aircraft into the Jet-era, with the Vampire, Meteor and Javelin before disbanding and reforming as a helicopter unit in 1961. Initially operating the Belvedere, this was replaced in 1964 by the famous Wessex helicopter which served the Squadron for the next 38 years in operations ranging from disaster relief in Malaya to supporting security forces in Northern Ireland.

In its present form 72(Reserve) Squadron is the UK’s Basic Fast Jet Training Unit responsible for training Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and International Defence Training pilots in the basic skills required to fly frontline fighter aircraft using the Tucano. Students undergo rigorous training in general handling, aerobatics, low-level navigation, formation and instrument flying culminating in the award of the coveted Pilot’s Brevet. The 72(Reserve) Squadron Motto of ‘Swift’ combined with the Squadron Crest both share a special connection to the Pilot’s Brevet which displays wings modelled on those of a Swift.

Image 1: Centenary Photoshoot

Image 2: Grand Flypast Map Final

Image 3: Full Size Render

For further information, contact Flight Lieutenant Mike Lumsdon, Media & Communications Officer, RAF Linton-on-Ouse on 01347 847477 or 07791 026071

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