Forever Vigilant

Naval 8/208 Squadron RAF – A Centenary of Service from Camels to Hawks

Graham Pitchfork

Date Published :
May 2016
Publisher :
Grub Street Publishing
Illustration :
illustrated throughout in color and b/w
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781910690147
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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208 Squadron based at RAF Valley in Anglesey will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in October 2016, making it one of the few RAF squadrons to achieve this unique distinction whilst still part of the RAF's current order of battle. To celebrate this achievement, Air Commodore Pitchfork has compiled a chronological history of the squadron's main activities and personnel with the aim of illustrating the spirit, comradeship, and professionalism of the squadron.

Taking its title from the squadron's motto, ‘Vigilant', the book starts with the formation of Naval 8 as a scout squadron on the Western Front during the First World War. It then continues through the various conflicts that Naval 8/208 Squadron has played a key role in, including the Second World War and Gulf War. The squadron's move to Egypt in the inter-war years as an army cooperation squadron, which inspired the Gizah Sphinx motif for 208 Squadron, is also covered. Its modern-day role as an advanced flying training squadron concludes the squadron's story. This history has been written with the use of important sources from the squadron's archives, along with interviews from veterans and current members of the squadron. It also has the support of the squadron's Old Comrade's Association, which was pioneered and fostered by its first CO, Air Vice-Marshal Sir Geoffrey Bromet. The association is very active and one of the longest serving and strongest associations within the RAF.

About The Author

Graham Pitchfork spent 36 years in the RAF, as a navigator, and commanded 208 Squadron. He was Director of Air Warfare and, before retiring in 1995, was a Director of Military Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence. Now living in Gloucestershire, Graham is the author of several aviation books, including Buccaneer Boys and The Sowreys (Grub Street).In 2012 Graham received both the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators Award for Aviation Journalism and the Air Power Association Award of the CP Robertson Memorial Trophy for his services to aviation writing.


Numerous photos, including some in color, show not only personnel and aircraft, but bases and operating areas.
Much publicity attended the approaching 2016 centennial, but the squadron's service was interrupted in 1919-20, and 1971-74. Nonetheless, the institutional esprit throughout that period is evident in the well-researched text...

- Over the Front , October 2016

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