July 13: The Royal Air Force said goodbye to 43(F) Squadron at RAF Leuchars in Fife as it disbanded for the fourth time in its 93-year history.
At the parade overseen by Air Chief Marshal Sir Roger Palin, four Tornado F3s performed a ‘missing man’ formation in memory of Flight Lieutenants Kenneth Thompson and Nigel Morton who died in the crash in Argyll on July 2. Wing Commander David Hazell, Officer Commanding 43(F) Squadron said “The events alone were very tragic. They weren’t just air crew on my squadron, they were friends.” ACM Palin said: “Despite the uncertainty that attaches to the Squadron’s future, all of us with an association to 43 Squadron can be extremely proud of what the Squadron has achieved.”
The disbandment of 43(F) Squadron leaves just one Tornado F3 unit, 111(F) Squadron, to maintain Northern Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) until the Typhoon is deemed ready, expected by the spring of 2011. 43 Squadron may be resurrected as one of the two Typhoon units planned to join the first at Leuchars, 6 Squadron, which will begin to form in October.