Northern Ireland

Ulster oldest RAF reservists honoured with new colours

RAF planes at Aldergrove
Image caption 502 Squadron was formed in 1925 and is one of the oldest in the UK

The Royal Air Force's oldest reservist squadron has been honoured in an event at Aldergrove Flying Station - the base of the air force in Northern Ireland.

502 Ulster Squadron was presented with a new squadron standard by Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim Joan Christie.

The presentation took place while a Hawk T1 aircraft passed overhead.

A battle standard is the colours used to identify a squadron.

502 Ulster Squadron was formed on 15 May 1925, and was presented with its current battle standard in 1954.

Image caption The presentation of the squadron standard took place while a flyover passed overhead

In attendance at the presentation were veterans of the original 502 Squadron.

One of these, 96-year-old Bill Eames from Enniskillen, was a wartime bomber pilot and served in the squadron in the 1950s.

Air Vice Marshal Harvey Smyth, a Northern Ireland Royal Air Force officer, said: "As when in World War Two members of 502 Squadron played a significant part in securing victory in the Battle of the Atlantic, so too today the RAF is committed to ensuring that we are able to keep our sea lanes open".

Image caption 502 Squadron has trained reservists who have served around the UK and overseas

502 Squadron has trained reservists who have served in operations around the UK, and overseas in places including Crete, Cyprus, Croatia, France, and Hungary.

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