One of the world's oldest fighter squadrons, 29(R) Sqn at RAF Coningsby, will mark its centenary with a series of events this week.
On Tuesday the Squadron welcomed HRH Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, to their centenary parade. Prince William joined Reviewing Officer Air Marshal Sir Ian MacFadyen to watch the parade and a flypast before flying in a Chipmunk piloted by Squadron Leader Dunc Mason, Officer Commanding of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Other celebrations this week include a dining-in night, hangar bash, cricket match and an open day for families and friends to attend.
As one of the last remaining Battle of Britain squadrons flying in Lincolnshire, it is fitting the Squadron should reach this milestone in the month which the nation marked the Battle of Britain’s 75th anniversary.
29(R) Squadron began as part of the Royal Flying Corps at Gosport in 1915. During the Second World War the Squadron flew Blenheims, operating as day fighters on convoy protection patrols. In June 1940, its role switched to a night fighter squadron. They received some of the first Beaufighters in November of the same year and were fully equipped by the following February.
In May 1943 the Squadron welcomed another new aircraft, the Mosquito, which continued in service until after the war. In the following years the Squadron flew a variety of aircraft including Javelins and Phantoms and was stationed in Scotland, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands and Zambia.
In 2003 it became the second Squadron to be equipped with the Eurofighter Typhoons and made its home at RAF Coningsby. Since then it has fulfilled the role of Operational Conversion Unit, training new and experienced pilots how to fly the Typhoon.
The Typhoons also have new tail fin artwork featuring some of the aircraft the Squadron has flown in its 100 years’ service as well as the red and gold from the Squadron’s badge to mark the centenary.