Fighter All Weather (FAW) of the Fleet Air Arm.
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) Workup
  • 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
  • End of the Last Commission and life of HMS Eagle.
  • End of Sea Vixen Operations
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