RAF gifts Tornado to museum

September 16, 2021

Highland RFCA is one of thirteen Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations (RFCAs) covering the UK.

We all work with the common aim of supporting Reserves and Cadets. Sometimes we join forces for events, such as next month’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards to be held at Edinburgh Castle. These will feature Armed Forces-friendly organisations from the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England.

The RFCA for the North of England demonstrated the great work undertaken by RFCAs when they helped to organise the gifting on September 13 of a Royal Air Force fighter jet to the people of the North East of England.

Mrs Susan Winfield OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear and President of the North of England RFCA, accepted the gift of the Panavia Tornado F3 ZE204 fighter from the RAF on behalf of the people of the North East of England. 

The gift has regional significance given its service from RAF Leeming, and is a tribute to the support that the region has given to the RAF.   

The Tornado F3 will be permanently displayed at the North East Land Sea and Air Museum (NELSAM) in Sunderland. It is important to NELSAM as it gives the museum the opportunity to bring the story of the air defence of the UK to visitors. This is especially evocative as the museum site was an RAF station during the Battle of Britain in 1940.

AVM Colin Da’Silva, the senior RAF representative, who handed over the Tornado F3, was a Navigator on this type of aircraft. 

◼︎ Picture shows Tornado F3 ZE204 on one its last sorties from RAF Leeming. Image © Mark Ray.