On Saturday 23rd September over 140 members of the 101 Squadron Association gathered at the National Memorial Arboretum to witness the unveiling and dedication of a new memorial to celebrate the unit’s 100 years of service. These included veterans who had flown Lancasters, Lincolns, Canberras, Vulcans, VC10 and current serving Voyager crews.
Air Cdre Jon Ager, the chairman of the Association made a welcoming address and the formal dedication service was led by The Venerable (Air Vice Marshal) Ray Pentland.
The memorial was unveiled by Mr “Rusty” Waughman DFC AFC, the oldest surviving 101 Squadron Lancaster pilot, and SAC Paige Wardle, the youngest serving member of the current 101 Squadron, now based at Brize Norton.
Wg Cdr Al Tano, OC 101 Sqn, participated in the service and the 101 Sqn Standard party (Flt Lt David Nash, Sgt Ben Humphries, Sgt Andrew McClement and FS Martin Blythe) paraded for the ceremony. In addition to Wg Cdr Tano, five ex-OC 101 Sqn were also present.
The National Memorial Arboretum advised the project from the beginning, and funding to support veterans attendance was also obtained from the Big Lottery Fund, but most of the £35,000 needed to complete the memorial and ensure its maintenance was raised from members of the 101 Squadron Association over the past three years.