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No. 8 Squadron RAF: Wikis


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No. VIII Squadron RAF
8 Squadron badge
Active 1 January 1915 (RFC)
Garrison/HQ RAF Waddington
Motto Uspiam et passim (Latin: "Everywhere unbounded")
Equipment E-3 Sentry
Battle honours 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
A sheathed Arabian dagger, correctly called a "jambiya."

No. 8 Squadron (sometimes written as No. VIII Squadron) of the Royal Air Force operates the Boeing E-3D Sentry (AWACS) from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire.

The RAF AWACS fleet is made up of seven E-3Ds, with the UK designation Sentry AEW1 and the aircraft are pooled between 8 Squadron and No. 23 Squadron.



As No. 8 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps it was formed at Brooklands, Surrey, in 1915, but soon moved to France, where it spent the rest of the war in the Army Cooperation role. After the war, the squadron was moved to the Middle East, including spells in Egypt and Iraq. The squadron's association with the Middle East gave rise to the adoption of the Arabian dagger as the unit's badge. 8 Sqn continued to be based in and around the region up until 1971, when it moved to RAF Kinloss, the first time it had been based in the UK since 1915.

The squadron moved to the Airborne Early Warning (AEW) role on Avro Shackletons at Kinloss in 1971, moving to RAF Lossiemouth in 1973, where it stayed until its disbandment in 1991. The squadron was then receiving the first of the E-3Ds at its present home of RAF Waddington.

Almost immediately upon becoming operational on the Sentry in 1991, the squadron was deployed on operations over the Balkans. The squadron, along with its sister 23 Squadron, have operated the Sentry over Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Previous aircraft operated

8 Sqn Shackleton AEW2 in 1982.
Sentry AEW1 of No 8 Squadron.

See also


  • Ashworth, Chris. Encyclopedia of Modern Royal Air Force Squadrons. Wellingborough, UK:PSL, 1989. ISBN 1-85260-013-6.
  • Lewis, Peter. Squadron Histories: R.F.C, R.N.A.S and R.A.F., 1912-59. London: Putnam, 1959.
  • Royal Air Force website - 8 Squadron


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