South West Wales

Swansea hosts 'biggest' RAF centenary parade in Wales

Three Hawker Hurricane Mark IIBs of No 79 Squadron RAF based at Fairwood Common during WW2 flying above south Wales Image copyright IWM (CH 4808)
Image caption Hawker Hurricanes, based at RAF Fairwood Common during WW2, flying over south Wales

A parade of more than 400 RAF personnel is taking place in Swansea to mark the centenary of the organisation and its long ties with the city.

RAF St Athan members and 200 air cadets are among those involved in Saturday's event which includes a fly-past.

The parade starts at about 11:50 BST after a service at St Mary's Church.

The event had been 18 months in the planning, according to Squadron Leader Phil Flower, from 215 (City of Swansea) Squadron Air Training Corps.

He said it was the biggest centenary celebration being planned in Wales, although Cardiff and organisations in north Wales were also marking the Royal Air Force's anniversary.

Members of the Queen's Colour Squadron and RAF bands are also involved in Saturday's parade.

Lord Mayor Phil Downing said the city had a long association with the RAF dating back to World War Two when an air base was set up at Fairwood, which later became Swansea Airport.

"It is a real honour to be part of such an historic occasion," he said.

RAF Fairwood Common became operational in 1941 assisting in the air defence of south Wales, south west England and supporting convoys in British waters.

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