Seventy-five years for 322 Squadron

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Leeuwarden-based F-16A J-879 received special tail markings in early May to celebrate 322 Squadron’s 75th anniversary. The aircraft was seen landing at its home base on May 7, following a mission to the Cornfield air-to-surface range on the island of Vlieland.
Kees van der Mark

Leeuwarden-based 322 Squadron, the oldest squadron within the Koninklijke Luchtmacht (Royal Netherlands Air Force) will celebrate its 75th anniversary on June 14. To mark the occasion, F-16A J-879 received special tail markings in early May. Established as a Royal Air Force squadron at RAF Woodvale, Merseyside on June 12, 1943, the famous 322 (Dutch) Squadron flew Spitfires until the end of World War Two. Reactivated at Twente Air Base on September 27, 1946, it was again equipped with Spitfire Mk IXs. After moving to Soesterberg in 1951, 322 Squadron converted to Gloster

Meteors, followed by Hawker Hunters in 1958. The squadron flew F-104G Starfighters from Leeuwarden between 1964 and 1980, when it converted to the F-16. It is earmarked to be the Koninklijke Luchtmacht’s first operational F-35A Lightning II squadron, with deliveries of the new jets to Leeuwarden starting in November 2019. Kees van der Mark