Project AA810, which includes the restoration to flight of Spitfire AA810 and the associated Sandy Gunn Aerospace Careers Programme, is delighted to announce the support of No. II (Army Co-operation) Squadron Royal Air Force, the first fixed-wing squadron in the world. Currently operating the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 ‘Shiny Two’ are based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and are part of the UK’s Quick Reaction Alert Force policing UK air space, in addition to deploying with Operation DESERT SHIELD in 1990, assisting with enforcing the ‘no fly’ zones in Iraq, operating in the Gulf and Afghanistan, and now as part of the NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission and Operation SHADER over Iraq and Syria.
Formed at Farnborough, Hampshire, on 13 May 1912 on the founding of the Royal Flying Corps, the Squadron’s Battle honours are legion; indeed, the first airman to be awarded the Victoria Cross was a member of the Squadron in 1915, Lieutenant Rhodes-Moorhouse. The Squadron crest above, approved by The College of Arms in 1931, represents the RAF roundel (three concentric circles) over a wake knot, the knot being derived from the armourial bearings of Hereward the Wake, and indicating the basic role of the Squadron as a “guardian of the Army”, hence the Army Co-operation element in the Squadron’s title.
Dr Michael Smith FRAeS, Chairman of the Sandy Gunn Aerospace Careers Programme, said:
“Having had the privilege in 1995 of initiating the affiliation - with Wing Commander Dick Garwood (now Air Marshal Sir Richard Garwood, KBE CB DFC) who very kindly wrote the Foreword to Tony Hoskins’ book, Sandy Spitfire) - of No. II (AC) Sqn with the City of London Livery, I am absolutely delighted that the Squadron is joining us on this exciting journey aimed at introducing young people across the UK to STEM learning and the potential aerospace and aviation careers globally that await them.”
The current Officer Commanding No. II (AC) Sqn, said:
“It is a great delight to support Project AA810, which is a fantastic initiative to bring part of our tremendous heritage back to life. It is also a fitting memorial to honour the incredible bravery and immense skill of these Photographic Reconnaissance Unit (PRU) crews, many of whom lost their lives conducting their duty. II(AC) Sqn were responsible for taking some of the first aerial photographs of the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944 and it is therefore a particular pleasure to see a PRU aircraft being restored so carefully. We wish every success to all the team working on the Project, and very much look forward to seeing Spitfire AA810 back in the skies again soon.”