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 unit’s move to Egypt in the inter-war years as an army co-operation 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 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 208’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.