A sheathed Arabian dagger - approved by King George VI in December 1943, and adopted in recognition of the units long association with Arabia. The weapon is sheathed to symbolise the guardian duties of the Squadron.
Uspiam et passim - Everywhere unbounded
1915 - Formed at Brooklands.
1956 - Took part in the Suez crisis.
2003 - Took part in the Operation Telic in Iraq.
Current Aircraft and Location:
Current Aircraft: E3D
Current Location: RAF Waddington
Western Front 1915-1918, Loos, Somme, Arras, Cambrai 1917, Somme 1918, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Kurdistan 1922-1924, Aden 1928, Aden 1929, Aden 1934, East Africa 1940-1941, Eastern Waters 1942-1945, Burma 1945, Kosovo, Iraq 2003.
(Honours marked with an asterisk, may be emblazoned on the Squadron Standard)
The History of VIII Squadron:
8 Sqn was formed at Brooklands on 1 January 1915 before moving to St Omer, France in April with BE2Cs where it became an army co-operation unit. During the Great War, the Squadron specialised in the spotting of anti-tank guns, and in June 1918 was attached to the Tank Corps for this purpose. Shortly after this, Captain FMF West was awarded the VC for his outstanding dedication and bravery in pin-pointing enemy concentrations in the face of intense opposition and severe injury while flying an Armstrong-Whitworth FK8. After the end of the World War I, the squadron briefly went to Germany as part of the occupation forces disbandment in January 1920.
Reformed as a day-bomber unit with DH9As at Helwan in Egypt in October of that year, the Squadron began a long association between the unit and the Middle East and during the 1920s was one of the Squadrons responsible for the air-policing of Iraq. In 1927, the Squadron moved to Aden and re-equipped with Fairey IIIFs.
By the outbreak of World War II, No. 8 Sqn had received Blenheims and was involved in the action in Somaliland against the Italians before moving to maritime reconnaissance duties with little success. The Squadron was again disbanded on 1 May 1945, but was dormant for only 15 days when the Liberator-equipped No. 200 Sqn at Jessore, India was renumbered. This respite was brief, and after a short period on supply-dropping flights in Malaya, it was again disbanded in November 1945.
Another short rest saw the squadron reform in Aden in September 1946 with Mosquitos equipped for fighter-bomber duties. These were superceded by Tempests, Brigands and then Vampires in 1947, 1949 and 1953 respectively. During the Suez crisis in 1956, the Squadron, now flying Venoms, moved to Cyprus before returning to its base at Khormaksar, Aden. During 1960, No. 8 Sqn and its Hunters moved to Bahrain to protect Kuwait against Iraqi aggression.
After another disbandment in December 1971, No. 8 Sqn was reformed again, this time with Shackletons at Kinloss on airborne early warning duties before moving to nearby Lossiemouth in late 1973. This type gave sterling service until 1991 when the Squadron re-equipped with its current mount, the Sentry AEW1, and moved to Waddington. Since then, No 8 has been involved in operations over the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq (Operation Telic).