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No 8 Squadron Heraldry

No 8 Squadron Crest

King George VI approved the 8 Squadron Crest in 1943.  The Arabian Dagger, or “Gambia”, signifies the Squadron’s long association with the Middle East.  It is sheathed to signify 8 Squadron’s traditional duties as a protector.  The aircraft call sign “Gambia” is still occasionally used for some Squadron missions.

The Squadron Motto, “Uspiam et Passim”, is Latin for “Everywhere Unbounded” and again refers to operations over the vast areas of wilderness associated with operations from Aden.

The Squadron colours are horizontal bars of Yellow, Blue and Red to signify Sand, Sea and Blood.  The colours appear either side of the RAF roundel on 8 Squadron aircraft post WWII, and these “Fighter Flashes” are still present on the E-3D Sentry in service with the Squadron today.  Only the port side of the Sentry is painted with 8 Squadron markings, these aircraft are shared with No 23 Squadron at RAF Waddington, so the starboard side is painted with their flashes and Red Eagle motif.

No 8 Squadron Standard

The 8 Squadron Standard was granted by HM King George VI and promulgated on 9th September 1943.  It was presented by His Excellency the Governor of Aden, Sir Thomas Hickinbotham, at Khormaksar on 9 April 1954.

No 8 Squadron was the first squadron to receive a replacement standard, which was presented by His Excellency the Governor of Aden, Sir Richard Turnbull at Khormaksar on 25 April 1967.  The old standard, which was badly damaged by the heat and humidity of Aden, was laid up in St Clement Danes Church on 12 May 1967.

No 8 Squadron was also the first squadron to receive a third standard, which was presented by HRH The Duke of Gloucester at RAF Waddington on 28 May 1992.  The old Standard was laid up in Lincoln Cathedral on 25 June 1994.

Battle Honours

RAF tradition allows only 8 battle honours to be displayed on a Squadron Standard.  The full list of 8 Squadron’s battle honours is below.  (Those in bold appear on the Squadron Standard).

No 8 Squadron Standard

Click Image to Enlarge
Western Front 1915 – 1918
Loos
Arras
Somme 1916
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 1999
Iraq 2003

In addition, 8 Squadron, together with all units of the NAEW&CF, was awarded a “battle honour” for Kosovo by SACEUR.