Fleet Air Arm Patch 800 Naval Air Squadron j Harrier Op Herrick
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Fleet Air Arm Patch 800 Naval Air Squadron j Harrier Op Herrick

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Fleet Air Arm FAA Patch 800 Naval Air Squadron NAS Naval Strike Wing Harrier Strike Force Deployed Op Herrick 2007 Kandahar Afghanistan Harrier GR 9 Embroidered on twill merrowed edge

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Squadron History 1980 2010


800 Naval Air Squadron NAS was recommissioned on 31 March 1980 at RNAS Yeovilton equipped with five Sea Harrier FRS 1 VSTOL aircraft and joined the Air Group of the new HMS Invincible until June 1981 when it was reassigned to HMS Hermes which had recently refitted with a 12 degree ski jump ramp to assist Sea Harrier operations.

On the outbreak of the Falklands War 800 NAS embarked on HMS Hermes and was brought up to its wartime strength of twelve Sea Harrier FRS 1s by transferring seven aircraft and crews from the Sea Harrier training squadron 899 NAS. The other Sea Harrier squadron 801 NAS aboard HMS Invincible similarly received three aircraft. Two of the Squadrons Sea Harriers were lost one exploded on takeoff from HMS Hermes and one shot down during an attack on Goose Green. No Harriers were lost in air to air combat and the Squadron destroyed 13 enemy aircraft. During the conflict another Sea Harrier squadron 809 NAS was formed with eight aircraft from the Sea Harrier training squadron 899 NAS and sent south aboard the MV Atlantic Conveyor and on arrival in the South Atlantic these aircraft were divided between the two carriers four each to 800 NAS and 801 NAS.  

After the war 809 NAS reacquired its aircraft and crews and returned to the UK alongside 800 NAS aboard Hermes only to embark aboard the newly completed HMS Illustrious and return to the Falklands so that Invincible could be relieved to return home. 809 NAS disbanded in December 1982 on return to the UK. 800 NAS was reassigned to HMS Illustrious in September 1983. In the mid 1990s the Squadron reequipped with the more capable Sea Harrier FA 2. In January 1998 800 NAS with its Sea Harriers FA 2s and RAF Harriers GR 7s operated together embarked on HMS Invincible in the Persian Gulf.  

The squadron disbanded at RNAS Yeovilton in April 2004 following the decision to withdraw the Sea Harrier FA 2s early as a cost saving measure. The Squadron was reactivated on 31 March 2006 when 800 NAS became the first RN Squadron to join Joint Force Harrier to operate the Harrier GR7 and GR9 from RAF Cottesmore. In March 2007 the squadron combined with 801 NAS to form the Naval Strike Wing and deployed to Kandahar Afghanistan for Op Herrick. On 1 April 2010 Naval Strike Wing was redesignated 800 Naval Air Squadron. The Squadron disbanded on 15 December 2010 as a result of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review and the subsequent withdrawal of Harrier fleet.


This patch dates from 2007








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