Hawk jets a highlight of RAFA visit

North Eastern RAF Association branch members visit RAF Leeming'Image Cpl Paul Oldfield
North Eastern RAF Association branch members visit RAF Leeming'Image Cpl Paul Oldfield

North Eastern RAF Association (RAFA) Branch members including those from the Harrogate RAFA Branch were invited to visit RAF Leeming.

Arranged and hosted by RAF Leeming personnel, the visit started at the Station Armoury where the visitors were shown various weapon systems that are in service.

The enthusiasm of the presenters and the fact the presenters were members of the RAFA made the visit especially interesting.

Next, the Drill Sergeant was on hand to meet the group and after spotting a little scruffiness in the party’s movements, he provided the RAFA visitors with a little drill practise. The group was promptly formed up and marched over to the Historical Training Facility (HTF) much to the amusement of passer-bys.

Now smartened up following their quick drill refresher, the group enjoyed an informative presentation on the history of RAF Leeming prior to a tour of the facility.

During the tour, one of the visitors, ex-navigator Flt Lt Sterling BA RAF Retired presented a photo of ‘No. 158 Night Flying Course’ that had been taken while he had been based at RAF Leeming in the 1950’s and this is now a valuable addition to the RAF Leeming historical archive.

Lunch was taken in the Junior Ranks Mess where the visitors had the opportunity to rest and exchange stories with serving personnel before heading over to 100 Squadron (Sqn) and meet the RAF Leeming Station Commander, Gp Capt Bradshaw and have a group photo next to a Hawk.

The group was shown the 100 Sqn historical room and had an opportunity to look around the Hawk and chat to the aircrew.

For many, 100 Sqn was the highlight of the day and it was difficult to prise the group away from the jets.

After a short walk to the neighbouring 34 Sqn RAF Regiment hangar the group were provided an informative presentation on the history and role of the RAF Regiment which was well received by the group.

The day was a fantastic success.

The Harrogate RAFA Branch is located at 6 East Parade and welcomes all RAFA members to visit old friends and new on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8pm until 11pm.