HMS Eagle sails from Plymouth on her final Commission.
899 Squadron to HMS Eagle 1970 to 1972 Last Commission
Captain I.G.W. Robertson DSC. RN takes command of HMS Eagle 1st June 1970 while ship is in Dry Dock at Devonport
In this last Commission HMS Eagle covers withdrawal of UK Military bases in the Far East and Persian Gulf
HMS Eagle enters Fremantle Australia on her last Commission.
Friday 30th July 1970. The last issue of the Rum Tot in the RN
26th September 1970 Eagle sails for Sea Trials from Devonport. Squadrons Embark. 899 Sqn under the command of Lt. Cdr. M.H.G. Layard RN.
Sea Trials and first workup
9th October Plymouth for rectification. Hull repair after striking a rock entering Plymouth.
9th November 1970 Sail from Plymouth. West CoastUK to Moray Firth. Second
HMS Eagle before the final Squadron disembarkations. (A reference to her future)
11th November 1970 14 Sea Vixens of 899 Sqn embark.
13th November 1970 Sea Vixen Lost. . Pilot Killed and Observer safe. Accident ID 30
Sail the East Coast of UK to Southampton for visit. Then off SW Wales (RNAS Brawdy) 27th November 1970
899 Sqn conduct live missile firings in Aberporth Range
10th December 1970 Plymouth for Christmas leave. One third change of personnel.
19th January 1971 sail Plymouth for third workup. Squadrons embark for flying in English Channel and off the Isle of Man for night flying. Head south 31st January 1971 for ORI 8th to 9th February off Gibraltar
8th to 10th February 1971 flying stations. An old hulk named FRESHNER was to be used for target practice by the ships seacat and gunnery teams. 899 Sqn conducted a 2” RP attack and it sank (prematurely)
12th to 17th February 1971 entered Cote d’Azur, Bay of Villafranche South of France for visit.
Flyex Ex Perfect Princess off Sardinia and enter Malta for SMP 4th March 1971. 899 Sqn disembarks to RAF Luqa
899 Sqn change of CO to Lt. Cdr. F. "Dusty" Milner RN
Since their formation in 1961, 899 Sqn have achieved 20,000 hours. With an average of 200 hours per year per aircraft. Average Sqn compliment was 10 aircraft per year. An achievement unsurpassed by any other fighter aircraft. (from Sqn records)
23rd March 1970 sail Malta for exercise with the USN and CVN Frankin D Roosevelt.
31st March to 2nd April at Gibraltar. Firepower Demonstration by 899 Sqn.
7th April arrive Devonport. Squadrons disembark before entering harbour
26th May 1971 sail Devonport for final cruise to Far East, Australia via Cape Town. 5 days intensive flying and night flying.
Flying off Ascension Island en route to Cape Town arriving 17th to 22nd June 1971
22nd June 1971 sail from Cape Town via Mauritius (Fly Past), Diego Garcia (Low level High Speed Fly Past) for exercises (4 days including night flying) in the Penang areas before Singapore.
8th July 1971 enter Singapore for DMP
899 Sqn disembark 8 aircraft to RAF Tengah
21st July sail Singapore
4th August 1971 enter Sydney Harbour, Australia after flyex and Flypast over Sydney
9th August 1971 sail Sydney for exercises (cancelled due weather) and visit Wellington, New Zealand 20th August 1971
26th August 1971 sail Wellington for Fremantle 9th September 1971
14th September 1971 sail for Singapore arrive 20th September 1971
Only three days flyex before Fremantle and 2 days before Singapore.
With the run down of far east UK forces the Far East Colour parades and is transferred to HMS Eagle. 899 Sqn disembarked at Tengah exercise with Hunters of SAF and Mirages of RAAF
5th October 1971 sail from Singapore for Hong Kong. Exercises at Subic Bay cancelled due bad weather
15th October 1971 enter Hong Kong for SMP. 899 Sqn disembark five aircraft to Kai Tak. 899 Sqn conduct flypast for outgoing governor of Hong Hong and for the visit of HRH Princess Anne.
27th October 1971 sail Hong Kong
To Singapore for decommissioning of the Far East Fleet and mass Fly Past
Flying exercises off Singapore . Ex Curtain Call. Nightly 8 Sea Vixens launched for Lepus Attacks before sailing for Gan (flyex 6 days and nights) then to Persian Gulf to cover the withdrawal of British forces from that area.
Operations off RAF Maseira with 899 Sqn conducting live ground attack practice exercises. Situation required an extra week at sea
Events in Pakistan required support operations for HMS Albion and Commando forces and helicopter support.
Mombasa visit was bypassed
22nd December 1971 enter Durban after 56 days at sea
4th January 1972 sail Durban for Gibraltar arriving 19th January 1972
Squadrons disembark in Bay of Biscay for the last time
25th January 1972 anchored off Spithead
26th January 1972 HMS Eagle enters Portsmouth harbour in Procedure Alfa and full ceremonial, exchanging gun salutes with the Royal Marine paraded