XIII turns XC
Gary Parsons reports from RAF Marham on XIII Squadron's anniversary photocall held on 5 June. Pictures by the author and Mike Kerr
Although XIII Squadron turned ninety in January, it was decided to leave it until June for a families' day in anticipation of better weather. Of course, probably the worst Saturday in June was picked, with low cloud and heavy showers punctuating the day, but a fine flying display was offered with fifty-eight aircraft in attendance, providing a better programme than the official station families' day often manages.
A day later the squadron took the welcome step of opening the HAS area to aviation enthusiasts for a limited-ticket photocall, something that happens all too rarely these days. For £10 a fine array of Tornados was on offer, including many with different weapons fits and some colourful tail art from all of the RAF's front-line GR4 squadrons. Together with a solitary F3, F-15E, Canberra, Hawk, Tucano and Hunter some fine photography was to be had, especially when the sun finally decided to make an appearance half an hour before the end. XIII Squadron's brand new OC, Wing Commander Terry Jones, welcomed many of the enthusiasts personally and was on hand throughout the three hours to chat and answer questions. With 350 happy photographers and over £3,500 raised for charity (the East Anglia Children's Hospice at Quidenham), this was a well-organised event that has set a standard for the other Marham-based units to live up to - 31 Squadron celebrates its 90th anniversary in September, so how about it, 31?