Lancaster bomber the star of the show as thousands pay tribute to Armed Forces in Larne

Thousands of people descended on Larne on Saturday to enjoy this year's Armed Forces Day in the County Antrim town.
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The wet weather didn't put those off in attendance which honoured the Armed Focus community – serving troops, reserves, cadets, veterans and their families – for their service and sacrifice at home and overseas.

The star of the show was a rare appearance by the spectacular Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster bomber.

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The Lancaster is famed for its WWII attack on the major dams of western Germany in 1943 by RAF No. 617 Squadron, which was later called ‘the Dambusters’. They famously used a purpose-built ‘bouncing bomb’ developed by Sir Barnes Wallis in order to destroy the dams and achieve their mission.

The Lancaster passes over Larne during Armed Forces Day in the County Antrim townThe Lancaster passes over Larne during Armed Forces Day in the County Antrim town
The Lancaster passes over Larne during Armed Forces Day in the County Antrim town

Those attending also had the chance to see a fly past by the current RAF P8 Poseidon. The 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.

The appearance of the Lancaster replaced the planned display by Spitfire and Hurricane fighters.

It marked the second assignment for the aircraft after taking part in the flypast over The Mall and Buckingham Palace for the Trooping of the Colour.

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Other highlights on the day included a historic 21 Gun Salute to mark the King’s official birthday.

Furthermore, there were performances from the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment, a fantastic military village, interactive and static military displays and a RAF Police Dog Display Team demonstration.

Talented musicians took the stage which included those from The Music Yard in Larne, The Swingtime Starlets and righteous rock and soul brothers The Gold Tips.

Mid & East Antrim TUV Councillor Matthew Warwick praised the event by writing on social media: “Great afternoon at Armed Forces Day in Larne....always nice to catch up with a few familiar faces as well.”

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Furthermore, Antrim & Newtownabbey DUP Councillor Alison Bennington said: “Delighted to attend Armed Forces Day at Larne. Made and met lots of contacts.

“Lots of work to do now as Veterans’ Champion in Antrim and Newtownabbey area.”