A few weeks ago three Pumas arrived at Newquay Airport for fuel before working with troops on Bodmin Moor. One of the Pumas was ZJ955, painted earlier this year in special markings to commemorate 230 Squadron's 95th anniversary and the 70th anniversary of the loss of Sunderland JM673 which was painted in a non standard black colour scheme and coded P - Peter.
On the 28th November 1944 JM673 took off for an anti-submarine patrol over the east coast of Ceylon flown by Flt Lt Ingham of the RAAF. The weather in the patrol area deteriorated to cyclonic conditions and recall messages were sent to the Sunderland. There was no reply, JM673 and its crew of 10 were never seen again.
Believe it or not RAF news which is of course the official newspaper of the RAF. So I take it that as RAF news designates it as Puma II then that must be the official designation!!! And ever since the mark 2/II has been in service every article has used II and not 2.
After the Tornado leaves service will the Puma be the longest serving aircraft or are there some of the original C130s still knocking around?
And who remembers when the grand plan was for the EH101 to replace the Puma, and for the Puma to replace the Sea King in the SAR role??? It was called project SABRE, which stood for Standard Battlefield Rotary Equipment.