To mark the Bailiwick of Guernsey’s 76th ‘Liberation Day’, the Royal Air Force have announce that the UK’s sixth Poseidon MRA Mk1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, ZP 806, will be known as ‘Guernsey’s Reply’ to honour the close bond between 201 Squadron, the island of Guernsey and Flight Lieutenant Herbert Machon OBE.
According to a news release:
“Herbie Machon left his home in Guernsey shortly before the German occupation during WWII and joined the British Military. He was destined to fly Spitfires in the RAF and, in honour and memory of his countrymen living under occupation, he named his Mk XVI Spitfire “Guernsey’s Reply”. Herbie sadly passed away in 2004 and 201 Squadron personnel had the privilege of acting as pall bearers at his funeral.”
Due to be delivered to the RAF in September 2021, ‘Guernsey’s Reply’ is undergoing its final checks at the Boeing factory in Seattle before joining the growing fleet. The first five Poseidon aircraft have been named Pride of Moray, City of Elgin, Terence Bulloch DSO DFC, Spirit of Reykjavik and Fulmar.
The RAF Poseidon fleet, which will total nine aircraft, is already providing maritime patrol capabilities working side-by-side with the Royal Navy to secure the seas around the UK.
The Royal Air Force say on their website that Boeing’s Poseidon MRA1 (P-8A) is a multi-role maritime patrol aircraft, equipped with sensors and weapons systems for anti-submarine warfare, as well as surveillance and search and rescue missions. It features an APY-10 radar for high-resolution mapping, an acoustic sensor system, an electro-optical / IR turret and electronic support measures.
The aircraft can also be armed with a weapons system that includes torpedoes for engaging sub-surface targets.