Tradition means a great deal to the RAF in Moray and that was underlined this week when aircraft from XV(Reserve) Squadron made a special tribute flight in honour of a second world war benefactor.
The Squadron has had a Tornado GR4 especially painted in the Squadron’s famous blue and red colours for their own centenary which kicked off on Sunday.
They went one step further this week In a special training sortie when the unique jet flew alongside the Squadron’s famous ‘MacRobert’s Reply’ aircraft.
The MacRobert’s Reply story has its roots with the MacRobert family and World War II. The three sons of Lady Rachel MacRobert and her husband Sir Alexander MacRobert were all killed within three years of each other in separate flying incidents – the eldest of the three killed in action whilst on missions during World War II.
Lady MacRobert’s response to her sons’ deaths was to donate £25,000 to purchase a bomber for the RAF and asked that it be named “MacRobert’s Reply”.
This was the start of a tradition that the RAF has kept alive through a succession of aircraft that have since carried the name. The current “MacRobert’s Reply” is a Tornado GR4 from XV (Reserve) Squadron, still identified by the cherished tail letter ‘F’.
XV Squadron’s illustrious history has included service in both world wars flying both fighters and bombers most notably the Hawker Hind, Avro Lancaster and Panavia Tornado.
The Squadron’s crest shows “a hind’s head erased at the neck between wings elevated and conjoined in base” and was approved by King Edward VIII in May 1936. The badge was a modification of the hart emblem used previously, changed to highlight the fact that the Hind aircraft was in service when the badge was authorised.
XV(Reserve) Squadron personnel will be raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund throughout their 100th year by holding or participating in numerous charity events, as they strive towards their target of raising £15000.