100 sq RAF rememberance visits

Groningen Eelde Airport, the Netherlands


On 20 October 1943, an RAF AVRO Lancaster from No. 100 sq, taking part in a raid on Germany crashed near the village of Eelderwolde. This village, just south of the city of Groningen, is closely located to the current Groningen-Eelde Airport. During this crash, seven crewmembers perished. 

On 4 May each year, Rememberance Day in the Netherlands, the crew members are being remembered along with the civilians of Eelde who lost their lives during World War II. 

1994 saw the first participation of relatives of one of the crews taking part in rememberance service and this gave rise to the idea of inviting 100 sq RAF to take part in 1995's rememberance service, that year being the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. 

100 sq replied positively to the invitation and three Hawks made their way to Eelde on 4 May 1995. This was repeated five years later. Eelde was visited on a third occasion by Hawks on 4 May 2003, in memorial to the 50 years that passed since the loss of the Lancaster near Eelderwolde.


Thanks go to Groningen-Eelde Airport's management for allowing these pictures to be taken at the airport's grounds. 

Compliments go to Hendrik Cazemier and his team who initiated these visits.



All pictures (c) Hans Rolink.

T.1A XX193/CB was one of the first Hawks to visit Eelde on 4 May 1995. 

In those days, RAF Hawks were still resplendent in the air defence grey colours they had received during the 1980's when they had a secondary air defence task supporting Lightnings, Phantoms and later Tornado F.3's. 

By the early 1990's 100 sq had received Hawks in yet another role, namely target towing and adversary training. 

Hawks replaced Canberra TT.18 twin jet bombers. For this purpose, a small modification had been made below the fuselage allowing the aircraft to tow a banner type target for practise firing by Tornado F.3's.

This picture shows T.1A XX352/CP. This also was one of the original trio on 4 May 1995.

Completing the trio on 4 May 1995 was T.1A XX248/CJ

Note the different location of the squadron badge and banner compared to the ones below in the later gloss black scheme.


2000 only saw one Hawk making it's way to Eelde on 4 May of that year, heavy tasking did not allow more to be sent. XX331/CK had by this time been resprayed gloss black. This paint scheme was selected for most if not all RAF training aircraft. Gloss black it was found was the most conspicious when viewed against a bright sky, a very important thing for a training aircraft. 100 sq's Hawks also got this paint scheme in order to facilitate maintenance of the Hawk fleet as a whole. 

In order to pay tribute to their comrades lost 50 years back, three Hawks visited Eelde on 4 May 2003. One of these was XX160/CP. The aircraft is in the same colour scheme as XX331 three years earlier. 

In 2003 the Hawks flew memorial flypasts not just over Eelde, but also over two other places were 100 sq personnel lost their lives. These places where Grashoek in the south of the Netherlands and Twello in the east of the country.

T.1W XX314/CN wears, apart from the usual 100 sq badge, a sticker behind the cockpit reading 100 years of flight. The sticker contains silhouettes of three landmark aircraft of the past century, namely a generic biplane, a Concorde and a Joint Strike Fighter. 

The third of the 2003 trio of Hawks to visit Eelde was XX325/CT. Note that it does not carry the 100 sq skull and crossbones badge. Instead, it carries the badge of JFACS&TU or Joint Forward Air Control Standards & Training Unit. This unit, like 100 sq also based at RAF Leeming, Yorkshire, pools aircraft with 100 sq.