Created during the Second World War, 617 Squadron carried out the "bouncing bomb" raid to destroy dams in Nazi Germany. The squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, has twice been disbanded and reformed as it moved from operating the Lancaster to the Vulcan to the Tornado, in a process that is usual for RAF squadrons.
The latest disbandment is part of the drawdown of the Tornado force, but 617 squadron are to reform, taking delivery of the Lightning II fighter to be based at RAF Marham in Norfolk with RAF and Royal Navy personnel.
A flypast by an original Lancaster bomber was due to mark the disbandment but was cancelled due to the weather. The squadron bade farewell to active service with a parade at the airbase and a royal salute in front of the Duke of York.
Officer Commanding 617 Squadron, Wing Commander David Arthurton, said: "It's a sad day, but seeing the current members of 617 Squadron lined up on the parade square was an exceptionally proud moment for me."