ROYAL Air Force veterans celebrated the centenary of Squadron 14 at Shoreham Airport where it was formed all those years ago.
Current wing commander Roger Bousfield said: “It is the 100th anniversary of the squadron’s formation, and it happened right here in one of the flying schools.”
The squadron was formed on February 3, 1915, and was based at Shoreham Airport for only a couple of weeks before it went to Hounslow Heath, which later became Heathrow, but members old and new have not forgotten its true roots.
“In spring 1915 there was a rapid expansion of the flying core and Captain Hume was told to form the squadron,” he said.
“One hundred years of this is quite a big event for us looking back.”
Many members of Squadron 14 fought in the Middle East during the First World War shortly after its birth.
Veterans, some of the Cold War and Faulklands War, came to Shoreham Airport last Tuesday for an afternoon tea and to watch the current members perform a procession outside the building.
Mike Levy, 88, served with the squadron from 1948 to 1950.
He said: “I was squadron adjutant – I was actually a pilot, but someone had to be adjutant and that was me. One of my jobs was writing the squadron’s history.”
Frank Davies, 76, was a ground mechanic for the squadron from 1957 to 1960.
“I think it’s important we keep these things alive,” he said.
An avionic technician, David Turns, 56, served with the force from 1988 to 1991.
He said: “It’s just amazing. I went to the Golf War with the squadron. It’s a camaraderie thing, they all become your friends for three years.”
David Baron was Mr Bousfield’s predecessor and served as wing commander from 1980 to 1983.
“No other squadron has reached a landmark like this before 2015.
“I’m very proud that the squadron I commanded is now 100 years old. It’s a unique occasion and it’s unlikely that there will be a 200 year anniversary. A
“At Shoreham, where it was born, it’s a one off and something not to be missed. It’s my duty to be here.”
Shoreham Airport also marked the sqaudron’s 75th anniversary in 1990, which saw members from across the globe come to join the celebration.