Emotional return to Iceland for 612 Sqn

March 24, 2017

RAF Reservists from Leuchars-based No 612 (County of Aberdeen) Squadron travelled to Iceland to honour an air crew who lost their lives at RAF Reykjavik in 1942. 

The squadron was originally formed at Dyce on 1 June 1937. At the outbreak of the Second World War it was mobilised in an operational role in Coastal Command, subsequently deploying to Iceland in 1942. The period of operational deployment in the Nordic country, then under Allied Occupation, was among the most challenging and difficult of the war.

During this time there were a number of tragic losses of aircraft and crew. Notable among those was the loss of an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk VII, S/N Z6807  which crashed on take-off at RAF Reykjavik with the loss of the crew of seven on 15 March 1942.

They were buried in the North Atlantic island nation’s Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in Fossvogur.

On the 75th anniversary of the crash, a small team from 612 travelled from Fife to Reykjavik to remember and commemorate their colleagues with a visit to the cemetery.

Leading the visit, Wing Commander Alan Cowan said: “Many of my team have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, but it is important for the current generation to remember the sacrifice made by those who have gone before them. In this case and on the 75th anniversary we simply wanted to make sure that our colleagues were not forgotten.”

Now an RAF Medical Reserve Squadron, 612 recruits and trains medical professionals to serve with the RAF Reserves.

Main image (above) shows the graves of the airmen at Fossvogur Cemetery.

The stunning Icelandic scenery.

Members of 612 Sqn make their mark.