12(B) Sqn Celebrate their 100th Birthday
On the 14th of February 2015, 12 (Bomber) Squadron celebrated its 100th anniversary and so current squadron members of all ranks celebrated this illustrious event with a dinner hosted in the Officers’ Mess. Guests included the Station Commander and Guest of Honour, Wg Cdr (ret’d) Lewis, a previous member of 12(B) Sqn and now an associate member.
Before dinner a small awards ceremony was held, with the Station Commander presenting a number of operational honours and awards. After the awards ceremony the Station Commander surprised everyone by deciding that he would like to take the place of Mr Vice. Mr Vice was all too happy to switch places and quickly found himself promoted to the top table with a sigh of relief and a feeling of being let off the hook! Throughout the dinner, stories were told of how the Sqn originally formed, how the beloved fox became the emblem of 12(B) Sqn and how the Sqn was awarded the first VCs won by the RAF in WWII.
By far the most entertaining of the speeches was given by Wg Cdr (ret’d) Lewis, now in his 90s, recalling his career and connections with 12(B) Sqn with enthusiasm, with and a small amount of cheek. This culminated in him blowing his silver fox hunting horn previously presented to the Sqn upon his retirement. He then regaled how in 1959, he was part of the first crew to circumnavigate the globe in an RAF aircraft, a Vulcan, which crashed in New Zealand during this epic undertaking.
Mr Vice followed proceedings with some 100th anniversary themed entertainment before declaring the bar open! The usual fun and games of a mess dining in night ensued with the squadron engineers beating the squadron aircrew 3-0 at bar tug-of-war. All in all, a good time was had by everybody.
12(B) Squadron would like to extend its thanks to Wg Cdr (ret’d) Lewis for his attendance and all of the mess staff involved who made the occasion a huge success.
While the celebrations were taking place at RAF Marham, the other half of the squadron was enjoying a well deserved force development and adventurous training week in the Austrian Alps. Mayrhofen and Hintertux was home to 12(B) Sqn for a week, giving the aircrew and engineers a chance to develop their skills on skis. The weather was a bit grey for the first couple of days, with constant snowfall reaching down into the valley. This made for testing conditions, but there was excitement in the middle of the week when the clouds parted and the sun cast its shadows across ridge after ridge of fresh deep powder!
As there was a wide variety of experience the groups were split down so that all involved could progress throughout the week. Apres ski offered the perfect opportunity for the groups to get together and share tales and more importantly comedy GoPro footage from the day’s events. All personnel on the exercise successfully achieved ski foundation level 1. Special thanks must go to GLC for organising such an excellent event!