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Marking the link to 201 (Guernsey's Own) Squadron
201 (Guernsey's Own) Squadron Standards
The two standards of 201 Squadron laid up in the Town Church

Following the debut of their new Nimrod aircraft in the 2010 Battle of Britain air display, 201 Squadron's standard was laid up in the Town Church.

This is the Squadron's second standard to be placed there, marking a link with Guernsey dating back to 1939.

The squadron received their first standard in 1955 and their second in 1984 and it shows eight battle honours of the squadron's 15.

The squadron is now based at RAF Kinloss in Scotland.

201 (Guernsey's Own) Squadron standard

201 Squadron received their first standard (which can now be seen in Guernsey's Town Church) in 1955. It was presented to them by Air Vice Marshal Tuttle and stayed with the Squadron until 1984 and the 70th anniversary of the Squadron when a new one was presented by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

The squadron then received a third standard in 2010, again presented by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

201 Squadron battle honours
Western Front 1915-1918
Arras 1917
Ypres 1917
Somme 1918
Amiens 1918
Hindenburg Line1918
Channel and North Sea 1939-1945
Norway 1940
Bismarck 1941
Battle of the Atlantic 1941-1945
Normandy 1944
Bay of Biscay 1941-1945
South Atlantic 1982
Gulf War 1991
Iraq 2003

Standards for RAF squadrons were created by King George VI in 1943 to mark the services 25th anniversary, they are, "a fringed and tasselled silken banner, mounted on a pike surmounted by a golden eagle," and include a display of selected battle honours "in scroll" around the squadron's emblem.

Squadrons are eligible to receive a standard after more than 25 years continuous service or for especially meritorious operations.

201 Squadron's standard displays eight battle honours of a possible 15 and is the only standard permitted to display the Croix de Guerre which dates back to 1917 for the squadron's heroic efforts in the third battle of Ypres.

History of 201 (Guernsey's Own) Squadron

201 Squadron first formed as No 1 Royal Navy Air Squadron, at Gosport, in 1914 and soon saw service supporting the fleet, acting as reconnaissance and gunfire spotting during the First World War.

Throughout the war the squadron evolved taking part in bombing raids and becoming a fighter squadron and were moved to France which saw them take part in the battles of Ypres and Arras during which two squadron members received Victoria Crosses and the squadron received the Croix de Guerre from the French Government.

In April 1918 the squadron was designated as No 201, as the RAF was formed, before being disbanded in 1919 after the war.

Nimrod MRA4
The Nimrod MRA4 performed a flypast during the 2010 air display

201 was reformed in 1928 at Calshot near Southampton and began operating the Supermarine Southampton, a type of flying boat, which saw them nicknamed "the flying boat squadron", they continued operating these craft until 1957.

Along with the Southamptons the squadron operated Saro London flying boats and later Short Sunderlands during the Second World War and was involved in several major actions including the battles of Norway and the Atlantic, the search for the Bismarck and the Normandy Invasion of 1944.

After the Second World War the squadron were involved in the Berlin Airlift taking supplies to the city and flying out evacuees and then in 1957 were once again disbanded.

In 1958 No 201 was again reformed operating the Avro Shackleton and continuing the maritime role for which they had been known since the 1910s.

The Nimrod first came into service with the squadron in 1970, with the mark two version of the aircraft entering service in 1982 and the MRA4 expected to enter active service in 2012.

The squadron became affiliated with Guernsey in 1939 as part of a programme to link squadrons with different towns and cities around the UK to encourage support and recruitment for the RAF. The affiliation between Guernsey and 201 Squadron is thought to be the only one remaining from the programme.

The link means the squadron members wear a Guernsey flag on their flight suits and regularly attend events in the island, as well as supporting local charities and organisations.

In 1994 201 was granted the Privilege of the Bailiwick allowing them to parade "with Colours flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed through the street and highways of the island".

Following cuts made to the UK's defence budget in 2010 it was announced that 201 Squadron would be disbanded, however the squadron would be making a final appearance on Liberation Day in 2011 before the remaining personnel are dispersed among other jobs in the Royal Air Force.




SEE ALSO
In pictures: Red Arrows and the new Nimrod
09 Sep 10 |  Arts & Culture
In pictures: Black Cats and wing-walkers
09 Sep 10 |  Arts & Culture
In pictures: Old and new planes over Guernsey
09 Sep 10 |  Arts & Culture
Squadron's standard to be laid up
01 Sep 10 |  Guernsey
Standard is presented to squadron
18 Mar 10 |  Guernsey

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