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11 October 2017

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Number 99 Squadron Proudly Celebrates 100 Years of Service

As the Royal Air Force approaches its Centenary a number of squadrons have been celebrating 100 years since their own formation.

On Thursday the 28th of September the Band of the RAF Regiment had the honour of supporting 99 Squadron, based at RAF Brize Norton, in marking one such occasion, attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, The Princess Royal.

Number 99 squadron proudly celebrates 100 years service

Number 99 Squadron was formed on 15 August 1917 at Yatesbury, Wiltshire, from elements supplied by No. 13 Training Unit, The Royal Flying Corps. In April 1918, the Squadron was incorporated into the Royal Air Force, then continued to serve with distinction through both the first and second world wars, as a light bomber, and then heavy bomber squadron, operating at night, in both the European and Far Eastern theatres. In November 1945, following the Japanese surrender, No. 99 Squadron was disbanded.

Number 99 squadron proudly celebrates 100 years service

In 1949, No. 99 Squadron reformed as a transport squadron equipped with Avro Yorks, based at RAF Lyneham, with which, it took part in the Berlin Airlift. The Handley Page Hastings followed in August of that year. The Squadron took part in the Suez crisis in 1956, and later commenced worldwide strategic transport operations with its new Bristol Britannia aircraft. In June 1970, the Squadron moved to RAF Brize Norton, where it remained until 6 January 1976, when it was disbanded.

Number 99 squadron proudly celebrates 100 years service

In November 2000, it was announced that No. 99 Squadron would be reformed to operate the C-17 at RAF Brize Norton, and their first aircraft, was handed over at a ceremony in California. Since then, the fleet has grown to eight aircraft, all of which, play a very important part in RAF Brize Norton’s Air Mobility Force. Most recently, a No. 99 Squadron C-17 was the first aircraft to arrive in the Caribbean, as part of Op RUMAN and, in that first week, carried out 10 flights, to transport personnel and essential aid to the areas affected by Hurricane Irma.

Number 99 squadron proudly celebrates 100 years service

Officer Commanding No. 99 Squadron, Wing Commander Marc Holland said; “It is a great honour to command No. 99 Squadron and a unique privilege to do so over the Centenary. This event is an opportunity to reflect on our illustrious Squadron’s rich history; its achievements, the constant evolutions to meet each new challenge and the losses we have suffered over the last 100 years.”

Number 99 squadron proudly celebrates 100 years service

Mr Robert N. Didwell, aged 97, and former member of No. 99 Squadron, who was an engineer on Wellingtons, said, “It really was a great squadron to serve. I served on other squadrons, but 99 Squadron will always be my best memories. I’m very pleased I was invited to come today.”

Number 99 squadron proudly celebrates 100 years service

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