The Royal Air Force is naming its fourth Poseidon MRA1 maritime patrol aircraft ‘Spirit of Reykjavík’, in honour of Iceland’s role in enabling Allied victory in the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II. This information was announced in a status on the RAF’s Facebook page.
In this status, the RAF explained the history behind their decision: “During World War II a lack of range prevented RAF Coastal Command aircraft and crews from covering the entire ocean from their stations in the UK. In the area they couldn’t patrol, wolf packs of German U-boat submarines wreaked havoc on the Allied ships bringing essential food and supplies to the UK, without which it could not have carried on the war effort. The introduction of the long range Liberator (B-24) bomber and a new airfield, seaplane base and refuelling port at Reykjavik which extended the range of RAF aircraft and Royal Navy escort vessels had near immediate effect as the German submariners lost their immunity from air attack in the North Atlantic air gap.”
The other three Poseidon MRA1 aircraft have been named Pride of Moray, City of Elgin and Terence Bulloch DSO DFC. The Poseidon fleet will eventually have nine aircraft, and aims to “provide cutting-edge maritime patrol capabilities working side-by-side with the Royal Navy to secure the seas around the UK and abroad.”
More information is available on the RAF’s website.
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