Naval Eight

A History of No 8 Squadron RNAS – afterwards No 208 Squadron RAF
– from its formation in 1916 until the Armistice in 1918.

Edited by E G Johnstone

Introduced by Air Vice-Marshal Sir Geoffrey Bromet DSO OBE

ISBN-10 1843429861

ISBN-13 9781843429869

232 Pages

Black & White Illustrations

This is a collective history, written by various members of No 8 Squadron, originally intended only for private circulation amongst members of the Squadron. In the words of Sir Geoffrey Bromet, it never intended to be anything other than a record of how a Fighter Squadron in World War I ‘ticked’, and how the daily responsibilities, activities, off-duty relaxations, and Squadron personalities were seen through the eyes of individual officers and airmen. It was hoped that, apart from its value to those who actually served with Eight Naval, the book would succeed in conveying to the non-service reader something of the atmosphere and duties of the Squadron.

The book comprises the recollections of the Squadron’s formation and early days in France by the then Group Captain Geoffrey Bromet; the second half of the war by its second CO - Major Christopher Draper; the recollections of a Flight Commander by Squadron Leader R J O Compston; those of a Flying Officer – E G Johnstone (who also edits the book); the recollections of an armaments officer – Captain D W Pinkney; and an account of ‘The Lower Deck’ by F D Hammond. Various appendices describe the Squadron casualties; honours and awards; aerodromes occupied; aeroplanes and engines; and the composition of the Squadron on its formation.

It is not a ‘novel’ but a collection of individual recollections of a unique period. In its own words, it presents an admirably lucid history of No 8 Squadron RNAS through its turbulent service in WWI. In sum, it is an excellent account of an elite flying unit and comes complete with some 30 photographs of men, machines and airfields. It will be of interest to all students of the history of flight.

Originally published in 1931 by The Signal Press Ltd, 133 Great Suffolk St, London, SE1.

Republished in 1972 by Arms and Armour Press, Lionel Leventhal Ltd, 2-6 Hampstead High Street, London NW3.

Republished in 2004 by Naval and Military Press Ltd.