A competition to find the military’s favourite gate guardian came down to a battle between two of Britain’s most iconic fighter planes but the result can now be revealed.
The final was on a knife edge between RAF Wittering’s Harrier and the Spitfire at RAF Lakenheath – but there could only be one winner.
Over the last week, we've been holding polls on social media to find out which one of the entries sent in to us was the people’s choice.
We asked you to send in pictures of your most loved base monuments and you did not disappoint.
- Meet the gate guardian men
- Why Britain Never Made A Harrier Successor
- Spitfire's final victory? Its legacy
Twelve made it through to the competition phase, from tanks to helicopters and more.
Drum roll … the military’s favourite gate guardian, as voted by you, is:
RAF Wittering's Harrier.
That pipped the post over the Spitfire by a whisker, with the Harrier landing the winning place with just over 51% of the votes.
Congratulations to the personnel based at the Cambridgeshire station and to John Cooper, an ex-RAF Aircraft Engine Fitter who served from 1956 to 1969, and who submitted the winning entry.
After the Spitfire, the Harrier is probably the most iconic British fighter design.
Even Arnold Schwarzenegger flies one in the film True Lies.
To understand the significance of the Harrier Jump Jet in the British psyche, you need to go back to 1982.
Harriers became infamous during the Falklands War.
A total of 28 Sea Harriers and 14 Harrier GR3s were deployed. The Sea Harrier squadrons shot down 20 Argentine aircraft in air-to-air combat with no air-to-air losses.
Out of the total Argentine air losses, 28 percent were shot down by Harriers.
It was the first time the vertical/short take-off and landing (VSTOL) aircraft had seen action.
Our poll perhaps shows how the Harrier still holds its place in the nation’s affections to this day.