CROSSING THE BAR - SUMMARY TRIBUTES AND OBITUARIES OF FLEET AIR ARM PERSONNEL



Kenneth Daniel Benner, OMM,CD, RCN

Ken served over 40 years in the Canadian Forces , with his early years spent in the Canadian Fleet Air Arm.

Source: Obituary 13 Feb., 2000



Sir Reginald FB BENNETT

Surgeon lieutenant commander. After he won his wings with the Fleet Air Arm in 1941, he became a flying medical officer in East Africa and Ceylon.

Source: The Guardian, 22 January, 2001



Kaj BIRKSTED

WWII fighter ace (pilot in Royal Danish Navy, Royal Norwegian Air force and RAF. Chief of Staff when Royal Danish Airforce established)

Source: The Times, 6 Feb. 1996



Bowden BLACK

1944 Bowden was in Canada on flying training for the Fleet Air Arm.

Source: Online June 1997 Newsletter Karabiner Mountaineering Club, Manchester



Rear-Admiral Arthur Seymour 'Ben' BOLT.

Qualified as an observer in 1931, then served on HMS Glorious & HMS Courageous.  CO 812 Naval Air Squadron 1939. Cape Matapan on March 28 1941. Was to have commanded HMS Smiter in the East Indies Fleet in 1945, but war against Japan ended before he could take up the appointment

Source: Website: FAMOUS BOLTs in the World.
The Daily Telegraph, 2 April, 1994



Commander James BOND (007)

Although a fictional character, James Bond 007 Secret Agent is perhaps one of the most well known Fleet air Arm officers. He joined the Royal Navy in 1941 as an Lt RNVR, soon promoted to Commander, served on board HMS Ark Royal, and at the end of the war he joined the Secret Service MI6. The Author, John Gardner, in his 1989 Bond novel "Win, Lose or Die", which features Bond returning to active service, and him serving on the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible after gaining a promotion to Captain.

Source: In the novels, Bond's naval career is detailed in his obituary in "You Only Live Twice".
Also see Commander Bond and compilation by A Kadjeski: Email: a.kadjeski@paonline.com



Commander Jason BORTHWICK RVNR

Fighter Direction Officer on wartime aircraft carriers). Joined RNAS Yeovilton 1941, then pioneered Naval Fighter Direction, on HMNS Victorious in Operation Pedestal. Served on Admiral Ramsay's staff for the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944. Then  organise fighter direction in Indian Ocean operations, including the invasion of Rangoon in May 1945.

Source: The Daily Telegraph, 14 February 1998



J BRAZIER

He qualified as a pharmacist at the College of the Pharmaceutical Society, London University, in 1936 and spent four years in the Fleet Air Arm during the war.

Source: Hampshire Chronicle.Friday, 28 January, 2000



Peter BROOKS

Aeronautical engineer and author. Test pilot for naval aircraft.

Source: The Times 3 February, 1996.



A BURNS
 



John BURY OBE

A renowned theatre designer. Before opting for the theatre he served in the wartime Fleet Air Arm.

Source: The Daily Telegraph 15 November, 2000
Guardian Newspaper, November 2000



Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph James BURY

Officer in all three fighting services who managed to surface from an aircraft 50ft beneath the Yellow Sea. In 1941 he became an Air Liaison Officer with the RAF, and later had the same role with the Fleet Air Arm, enabling him to claim to have been in all three fighting services. Air Observer for the Fleet Air Arm during the Korean War, HMS Glory.

Source: The Guardian 12 November, 1997
The Daily Telegraph, 8 November 1997



Rear Admiral Dennis Royle Farquharson CAMBELL

Inventor of the angled flight deck that revolutionised aircraft carriers, preventing many crashes and deaths: Qualified as a pilot 1931, then flew Fairey Flycatchers with 401 and 405 Flights from the carriers Furious and Glorious. In March 1939 he got his first command, 803 squadron , flying Blackburn Skuas from Ark Royal. Subsequently a test pilot at Boscombe Down until March 1942 when he was appointed Commander (Air) in HMS Argus which was ferrying replacement aircraft to Malta. Carried out Firebrand first deck landing trials on board Illustrious in February 1943. In 1943,Washington DC as Senior Naval Representative to the British Air Commission.

Source: The Daily Telegraph 15 April 2000
The Guardian, April  2000



Vice-Admiral Sir Stephen CARLILL

Last British commander of Indian Navy (1955-58)

The Times, 14 February 1996
The Daily Telegraph, 17 February 1996



Commander Peter 'Hoagy' CARMICHAEL RN

Fleet Air Arm pilot  for shooting down a)
Fleet Air Arm officer who in a dog-fight over Korea was the first and only Fleet Air Arm pilot of a piston-engined aircraft, Sea Fury, to shoot down a jet-engined aircraft, a  MiG during the Korean War whilst operating with 802 squadron from HMS Ocean in August 1952.
Joined the Navy as a naval airman in 1942, went to Pensacola in America for his flying training, first action in May 1944, flying Seafires with 889 Squadron from HMS Atheling in the Bay of Bengal. With 1834 squadron, HMS Victorious took part in strikes on oil refineries in Sumatra in January 1945, then involved in operations against Japanese airfields in the Sakishima Gunto off Okinawa in April and May, and in the final operations with the US 3rd Fleet against mainland Japan in July and August, 1945. Post-war President of the HMS Ocean Association.

Source: The Daily Telegraph 9 August 1997



Lt-Commander John CASSON

Fleet Air Arm squadron commander who as a PoW in Stalag Luft III proved an effective codemaster for MI9 and helped to plan the Great Escape, later a theatre director, and the author of Lewis and Sybil (1972). In 1931, volunteered for flying, joined No 22 Naval Pilots Course at RAF Leuchars in January 1932. By 1934, on HMS Eagle with 803 naval air squadron, subsequently HMS Glorious as Senior Pilot of 802 Squadron. From 1937 to 1938 cruiser HMS Glasgow's Walrus amphibian in the Home Fleet. In command of 803 squadron, flying Blackburn Skua from Ark Royal in May 1940 in the Norwegian campaign. Took part on 13 June 13 in an attack by Ark Royal on the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in Trondheim harbour. Casson and his observer, Peter Fanshawe, attacked by an Me-109and forced into a fjord. POW Stalag Luft III, famous for the Great Escape, which both Casson and Fanshawe helped to plan. As a PoW, working for MI9, and theatre. Casson arrived home on VE Day May 1945.  After a short appointment at HMS Wagtail, a naval air station near Ayr, he resigned from the Navy in 1946

The Daily Telegraph: 4 March 2000



Major Vernon Beauclerk George "Cheese" CHEESMAN

Flying Marine who relished paying back the Japanese after seeing them machine-gun survivors in the water. One of the most highly decorated members of that rare breed - the flying Royal Marine. In 1941, serving in 710 Naval Air Squadron, flying Walrus amphibian aircraft from the seaplane carrier Albatross. On 14 January, the cargo-liner Eumaeus sunk, Cheesman rescued wounded.  In July 1941, Walrus pilot on the cruiser HMS Cornwall, and survived when sunk by Japanese carrier-based bombers. After undergoing a conversion course at the Fighter School, HMS Heron, Yeovilton, joined 824 squadron, a composite squadron of Swordfish and Sea Hurricanes, as Fighter Flight Commander. In October 1943 he embarked in the escort carrier Striker.  In February 1944, took command of 1770 Squadron, the first to be equipped with the new Fairey Firefly. From HMS Indefatigable took part in the Fleet Air Arm strikes against the battleship Tirpitz in July-August 1944. Indefatigable sailed for the Far East in November 1944.  On 4 January, 1945, 1770 Squadron took part in Operation Lentil, a strike involving more than 90 aircraft on the oil refinery at Pangkalan Brandan in northern Sumatra. The squadron's last operation under Cheesman was Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa, which began on April 1 1945.

Source: The Daily Telegraph, 26 June 1999



Captain John Clayton  COCKBURN

Fleet Air Arm pilot who provided cover at the Salerno landings from a makeshift runway in a tomato field. Won the DSC for his leadership of the shore-based Fleet Air Arm fighters at Salerno in September 1943. First joined the Fleet Air Arm in early 1930s, flying Fairey Flycatcher biplanes from the carrier Hermes and from the cruisers Cumberland, Suffolk and Kent. In the late 1930s, Cockburn served with 800 Squadron,on HMS Courageous and then with 802 squadron on HMS Glorious. In March 1939, Cockburn had his first command, 718 squadron, and at the end of the year took command of 804 squadron on HMS Glorious, taking part in the Norwegian campaign in the spring of 1940. In September 1940, took part in the Battle of Britain, based at Wick, under 13 Group RAF. In June 1941 as CO formed 881 squadron, HMS Illustrious, and took part in Operation Ironclad, the invasion of Madagascar in May 1942. Cockburn then joined the carrier Argus as Lt Commander (Flying). She took part in the Harpoon convoy to Malta in June 1942 and the Torch landings in North Africa in November. After that, Cockburn's final wartime appointment was as the commander of HMS Rajaliya, the naval air station at Puttalam in Ceylon.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 28 August 1999



Captain Hugh Charles Bainbridge COLERIDGE

One of the Navy's foremost exponents of anti-submarine warfare, though it was in the Korean War, when there was no enemy submarine activity, that he won the DSO. From 1941 to 1943 Coleridge was on the instructing staff at Osprey and at HMS Nimrod, the anti-submarine school at Campbelltown, Argyll. He then joined the light fleet carrier Colossus in 1944 as Executive Officer. In September 1945 he took part in the repatriation of PoWs from Formosa and Shanghai.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 4 March 2000



Lt Commander John COOPER RNVR

Fleet Air Arm pilot awarded DSC and Bar

Source: The Times, February 1998



Vice-Admiral Sir Peter  COMPSTON

Naval air operations from the Second World War to Suez. Commissioned into the RAF in 1936, went to Iraq 1937 as part of the RAF presence there, transferring to RN in 1938. In 1939, served with 810 Squadron on HMS Ark Royal, and took part in the Norwegain campaign. Subsequently test pilot at the RNAS Donibristle until appointed in April 1942 to the battleship Anson, Admiral Bruce Fraser's flagship in the Home Fleet. In June 1943, HMS Cormorant II, Gibraltar, thence HMS Vengeance in October 1944, followed by a shore appointment at Middle Wallop before appointment in the Far East. He saw out the war organising mobile naval air bases (MONABs) for the Pacific theatre. In 1945 Compston transferred to a regular naval commission and joined the carrier HMS Warrior, at that time serving with the Royal Canadian Navy.

Source: The Times 19, September, 2000



Air Marshal Alan DAVIES RAF

Involved with the introduction of the Shackleton and Nimrod as maritime reconnaissance aircraft

Source: The Times, Febraury 1998



Colonel Bernard William Bill DE COURCY-IRELAND

Commando whose unit captured the German Navy's records, won the DSC while commanding 30th Assault Unit in the final months of the war in Europe in 1945. Joining the Royal Marines as a probationary subaltern in September 1928, served in the battleship Royal Oak from 1931 until 1933, when he went to RAF Leuchars for flying training, gaining his wings in 1934. Served in 810 and 820 squadrons, with HMS Glorious then HMS Courageous from 1935 to 1937. In May 1937, he flew the lead aircraft in the Fleet Air Arm Fly Past at King George VI's Coronation Review at Spithead. De Courcy-Ireland reverted to Corps duty in October 1939 and served afloat in the battleship Warspite and the depot ship Maidstone until October 1939.

Source: The Daily Telegraph 31 July 1999


Lady  Rimma  DURLACHER (widow of Admiral Sir and Fifth Sea Lord Laurence " Laurie" Durlacher, RN)

Russian emigrée who became a pillar of the British community on the Riviera, the widow of Admiral Sir Laurence Durlacher. In 1933, she met Lieutenant Commander Durlacher, then a flag lieutenant and signals officer in the 3rd Cruiser Squadron. They were married in England the next year. After the war, she followed her husband on postings to Malta and the Far East, made friends with the local people and helped to support the families of junior officers and other ranks from all three services with practical advice and hospitality. Lady Durlacher never fully recovered from Sir Laurence's death in 1986.

Source: Daily Telegraph 12 April 1997



Peter Richard Walter EARL

Naval helicopter pilot and industrialist. Helicopter pilot who flew almost every day for three weeks in the desperate attempt to save victims of the Dutch floods of 1953. He was accepted, and six months into an engineering degree at Manchester and initial training in Cambridge, he was sent to South Africa under the Empire Training Scheme. He obtained his wings in 1944 and became a flying instructor, transferring to the Fleet Air Arm in 1945. He joined 766 Squadron at Rattray, where he familiarised on Fireflies and made his first deck landings. Successfully completing his training he soon joined 795 and then 814 squadrons.

Daily Telegraph, 5 December, 2000



Commander Charles ECKERSLEY-MASLIN RN

Aviator who served in the Army, RAF, Royal Irish Constabulary and Colonial police forces before joining the RN.

Source: The Times 11 July 1997



Lt Commander Douggie ELLIOTT RN

Pioneer of RN's use of helicopters

Source: The Times, January 1997



Admiral Sir Leslie Derek EMPSON RN

Naval aviator, Second Sea Lord,1971-74, and Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom, 1986-88: Fleet Air Arm officer who rose from the lower deck to the highest rank and executed 782 deck landings without a single mishap: He joined the lower deck of the Navy as a Naval Airman 2nd Class in April 1940, and retired 36 years later as a full Admiral, having been the first ex-RNVR officer to command a fleet aircraft carrier and having occupied several of the top Fleet Air Arm appointments. Empson gained his wings at RAF Netheravon in November 1940, and was commissioned as a Sub-Lieutenant RNVR. After courses at HMS Jackdaw, the naval air station at Crail in Fife, and in deck landing at HMS Condor, at Arbroath, he was appointed to 814 squadron in the carrier Hermes in the Indian Ocean. Empson was one of a naval draft of officers and men who sailed in April 1941 in SS City of Nagpur, bound for Bombay, but the ship was torpedoed, shelled and sunk by U-75 Empson was picked up by the destroyer Hurricane. In December 1941, Empson joined 813 squadron who embarked in the carrier Eagle in January 1942 and sailed for Gibraltar. They rejoined Eagle to deliver Spitfires to Malta in March and May 1942, and to take part in the Harpoon convoy to Malta in June. The squadron disembarked again after Harpoon, and ashore when Eagle was sunk. In November, a detachment of 813, which included Empson, went to North Africa to take part in the Torch landings. Empsonserved with 813 until May 1943. Empson was rested from front line flying and given an appointment training telegraphist-air-gunners with 755 squadron at HMS Kestrel, Worthy Down. He then trained as a deck landing control officer ("batsman"). In April 1944, he joined the carrier Argus, where he flew a variety of aircraft with 768 squadron and spent short periods in the carriers Ravager, Trumpeter, Pretoria Castle and Biter when they were training batsmen. In 1944 Empson accepted a permanent commission as a Lieutenant RN. In October, as an Acting Lt Cdr, he was appointed Lt Cdr (Flying) to the new light fleet carrier Vengeance to join
the 11th Aircraft Carrier Squadron in the British Pacific Fleet in July. She took part in the reoccupation of Hong Kong after VJ Day. Empson had his first command, 767 squadron, in 1946, based at HMS Fulmar, the Deck Landing Training School at Milltown, near Lossiemouth.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 27 September 1997



Andrew FAULDS

Theatre actor and wartime aviator. After serving in the Fleet Air Arm, Andrew was invited to Stratford by Robert Atkins in 1944, for the first of his four seasons at the theatre; the last was in 1956, Andrew was in Spain at the time making a film with Orson Welles, The Chimes at Midnight.

The Guardian 8 June, 2000



Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Carteret FLETCHER RAF

Fighter pilot who scrambled his Hurricane squadron to take on a mass of Japanese aircraft over Ceylon: Born in Durban, South Africa, and brought up in Southern Rhodesia. Led a Hurricane fighter squadron against overwhelming Japanese air attacks in the desperate and costly defence of Ceylon in 1942. A total of 30 Hurricanes from 258 and 30 Squadrons and six Fleet Air Arm fighters had engaged the enemy. Heavily outnumbered, and at a tactical disadvantage, only 15 Hurricanes and two Fulmars survived the air battle. Moreover, six Fleet Air Arm Swordfish torpedo-bombers preparing to attack the Japanese fleet were shot down.

Daily Telegraph, 16 January 1999



Commander Mavourn Baldwin Philip FRANCKLIN

Was the pilot of the Walrus amphibian aircraft in the cruiser Effingham, flagship of Admiral the Earl of Cork and Orrery, the Commander-in-Chief, in the Norwegian campaign in the spring of 1940.When the Allies withdrew from Norway in June, Francklin had a very lucky escape. He was ordered to land his Walrus on the carrier Glorious on 7 June, but was diverted to Ark Royal instead. Glorious was sunk by Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, with great loss of life, the next day.
He went to Dartmouth in 1926. In 1935, he served as a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert. He took part in King George V's Silver Jubilee Fleet Review at Spithead. In 1938 volunteering to train as a Fleet Air Arm pilot, serving in the cruiser Glasgow at Scapa Flow until starting his flying course, getting his wings in 1939. From December 1940 to 1942, he flew from the cruisers Shropshire and Dorsetshire, escorting convoys in the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic and off the North Cape of Norway. From 1942-43, commanded 764 squadron, based at HMS Daedalus I, at Lawrenny Ferry, Pembrokeshire, as Chief Flying Instructor of the advanced Naval Seaplane School. In August 1943, Francklin joined the Airfields and Carrier Requirements Department of the Admiralty. He ended the war flying Fairey Barracuda torpedo-bombers from HMS Gannet, the air station at Eglinton.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 23 October 1999



Michael Trevor FULLER

Won the DSC as a Fleet Air Arm pilot for his part in Operation Dukedom, the hunt for the Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro in the Indian Ocean in May 1945, then a lieutenant commander, RNVR, and CO of 851 squadron, from the escort carrier Emperor in the East Indies Fleet.
Fleet Air Arm pilot who sighted a Japanese cruiser and gave the signal that led to its sinking. His  flight of 530 miles, the longest attacking round trip of any carrier-borne Fleet Air Arm aircraft during the war, was also the only dive-bombing attack made by British aircraft on a major enemy warship at sea. Haguro, only slightly damaged, carried on towards Singapore, but was surrounded and sunk by the gunfire and torpedoes of the 26th Destroyer Flotilla in a night attack in the Malacca Strait early on 16 May.

Fuller joined the Navy as an ordinary seaman in May 1940, sent to HMS St Vincent, Gosport, as a naval airman. He earned his wings and was commissioned as a Sub-Lieutenant (A), RNVR. In May 1941, he joined his first squadron, 755, training TAGs at HMS Kestrel, Worthy Down. Then joined 825 Squadron, HMS Victorious and took part in the hunt for the Bismarck. Transferred at short notice to 820 squadron in Ark Royal. In February 1942, 820 joined the carrier Formidable for operations in the Indian Ocean, including the invasion of Madagascar, and in November provided anti-submarine cover for the Torch landings in North Africa. Fuller then went home to serve as Senior Pilot at RNAS Machrihanish. Then appointed CO of 851 squadron, HMS Shah, transferring to HMS Emperor for Operation Dukedom and covered the invasion of Rangoon, for which Fuller was mentioned in despatches.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 29 November 1997



Commander Richard Exton “Jimmy” GARDNER, OBE, DSC, RNVR

Naval pilot who flew Hurricanes in an RAF squadron under Douglas Bader during the Battle of Britain:  He learned to fly before the war, joining the Navy and starting flying training as a leading airman at Gravesend in May 1939. He was commissioned as a Sub Lt RNVR in September 1939, got his wings at RAF Netheravon in April 1940, and joined 760 naval air squadron at HMS Raven, Eastleigh. In June, 1940 Gardner went to No 7 Operational Training Unit at RAF Hawarden, in north Wales, for an intensive two-week course in flying Spitfires and Hurricanes. Early in July,  joined 242 Squadron RAF, flying Hurricane 1s under the celebrated Douglas Bader. In December, he joined 252 Squadron, Coastal Command at Chivenor, and flew with them until April 1941, when he returned to the Navy, joining 807 naval air squadron, flying Fairey Fulmars from the carrier Ark Royal in the Mediterranean. In May, Ark Royal escorted the Tiger convoy, carrying tanks and Hurricanes through the Mediterranean to Alexandria. He was awarded the DSC for his service in Tiger. Gardner's final tally as a fighter pilot was six destroyed, four shared and one "probable". After Ark Royal was sunk in November 1941, 807 joined the carrier Argus for convoy duties in the western Mediterranean. In April 1942, Gardner was appointed as an instructor to 760 Squadron, part of the Fleet Fighter School, at HMS Heron, Yeovilton. In July 1942, Gardner was CO of 899 squadron flying Fulmars from HMS Greve, at Dekheila and Syria to operate with 260 Wing RAF in the Western Desert until disbanding in February 1943. In May 1943, he was appointed to CO of 736 Squadron, flying Seafires from Yeovilton at the School of Air Combat (later School of Naval Air Warfare), teaching the latest air combat techniques to experienced naval fighter pilots. Gardner remained Chief Fighter Instructor for the School of Naval Warfare until he left the Navy in March 1946, and was appointed OBE for his service there in 1945.

Daily Telegraph Saturday 24 April 1999



Lt Commander Sir William Frances Cuthbert Garthwaite 2nd Bt, DSc and Bar.

A cross between Bond and Biggles: He started to fly in 1928 obtaining a private pilots licence, joining the Fleet Air Arm when war broke out, he subsequently took part in the attack on Bismarck from HMS Victorious in May 1941, he was awarded the DSC. His second DSC was won in Malta with 830 squadron during night attacks on Rommels forces. In command of 842 squadron in December 1942 and eventually became First Chief Pilot to the Admiralty.

Source: The Times, 1 January 1994


Vice Admiral Sir Donald GIBSON, KCB, DSC, RN

Flag Officer Naval Air Command, 1965-68. Naval aviator . Leaving British India in 1937, applied for RNR training. At that time, a shortage of regular recruits prompted the transfer to the regular Navy of 100 RNR officers, the “hungry hundred”, of which Gibson was one.
In 1938 he specialised as a pilot at the fighter school at Donibristle. His first operational deck landing of the war was in Glorious, on the way to the Norwegian campaign, where he saw action before transferring to 803 Squadron in Ark Royal and took part in the unsuccessful attack against the German warships Scharnhorst and Hipper in Trondheim in June 1940. Ark Royal subsequently joined Force H at Gibraltar, Gibson taking part in the operations against the French Navy at Oran. When Ark Royal returned home for refit, he transferred to a Fulmar fighter squadron in the carrier Formidable. He slept through the night action of the Battle of Cape Matapan, being mildly disturbed by gunfire. In April 1941, while attacking Italian aircraft, he was wounded in four places. After a period operating from RAF airfields in North Africa and Palestine, appointed commanding officer of 802 Squadron in the escort carrier Audacity for 7 days before she was sunk. Gibson was sent to the Central Flying School at Hullavington to train as an instructor, and thence to the Empire Central Flying School in Miami, Florida. After two years in America, he was destined to be an air group commander in the Pacific theatre, had the war not come to its end first.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 28 November 2000



Alan  GOODFELLOW

Alan Goodfellow learnt to fly at Hendon, flew in the RFC during WW 1, joined the Fleet Air Arm for WW 2 and ended as Commander (A), RNVR. He helped Leeming found Lancashire Aero Club, but preferred their gliding activities, and got B badge number 11 in 1930, helping to found the Derby & Lancs club at Camphill.

Source: Sailplane & Glider, August 1944 "Alan Goodfellow - Vivatuary."
Sailplane & Gliding, June 1971 "Alan Goodfellow - Obituary."



Captain David Gordon GOODWIN, CBE, DSC, RN

Fleet Air Arm officer who took part in the Taranto raid: launched from the aircraft carrier Illustrious but included aircraft and crews from Eagle, of whom Goodwin and his Royal Marine pilot, Captain "Olly" Patch were one. Goodwin and Patch were both awarded the DSC. He went to Dartmouth as a cadet in 1925. His first ship, which he joined in 1929, was the old  battleship Emperor of India. Goodwin subsequently served in the cruisers Cornwall and Kent on the China Station. he volunteered for flying and joined No 30 Naval Observers Course, passing out top in 1936. He then attended the School of Naval Co-operation at RAF Lee-on-Solent in 1937. From 1937 to 1939 Goodwin flew in Swordfish, first with 820 naval air squadron from Courageous and then with 824 squadron from Eagle on the China Station.After three years in Eagle, Goodwin came home in July 1941 and had three months in the Naval Air Division in the Admiralty before being appointed to 819 squadron as CO, one of the first observers to command a squadron. In April 1942, Goodwin was appointed to HMS Condor, the naval air tation at Arbroath, to establish the Naval Air Signal School. Promoted Commander in December 1944, he joined the light fleet carrier Glory as Commander (Ops) and went out to the Far East in her to join the British Pacific Fleet, but she arrived in Sydney on VJ Day, too late for operations against the Japanese. Glory went to Rabaul to receive the surrender of Japanese forces in the Bismarcks, the Solomons and New Guinea, before taking part in repatriation duties.

The Times 5 March 1999
Daily Telegraph 20 March 1999
The Independent 26 April 1999



Vice Admiral Sir John Michael Dudgeon "Jock" GRAY

Went to Dartmouth in 1926.he qualified as a gunnery officer at HMS Excellent in 1938. He then served in the carrier Hermes in the East Indies until early 1942, when he was appointed gunnery officer of the cruiser Spartan, building at Vickers Armstrong, Barrow. He was an Officer who served in post-war Japan, knew the spy George Blake in Korea and became the last British admiral at Simonstown: Naval Adviser to the British Liaison Mission in Japan, based in Tokyo, from 1947 to 1951. Japan was then occupied by the American Armed Forces, under General Douglas MacArthur, supported in southern Honshu by Commonwealth units from Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Gray was in Tokyo throughout the two-year war crimes trials of senior Japanese military and political leaders, including the Prime Minister, General Hideki Tojo. All were found guilty, and Tojo and six others were sentenced to death.

Daily Telegraph 14 February 1998



Rear Admiral Peter GRAY

Officer who won a DSC off Norway, swept a U-boat conning tower with Lewis gun fire and was five times mentioned in despatches. Was one of the Navy's most distinguished destroyer captains; he served at sea in small ships throughout the Second World War, won the DSC, and was mentioned in despatches five times during his career.  After leaving Durban, Gray went out in 1937 to the China Station, to join the Yangtse river gunboat Ladybird. On his return from the Far East, Gray qualified as a pilot at RAF Leuchars, but did not join a Fleet Air Arm squadron. When war broke out, Gray was serving in the destroyer Echo, which was credited with early successes against U-boats, such that her Captain was awarded the DSO, but in fact none of the U-boats she attacked was sunk.

Daily Telegraph, 28 June 1997



Sir Hedley Bernard  "John" GREENBOROUGH

Shell director who kept oil supplies flowing in the crisis of 1974:was a managing director of Shell and president of the CBI. He joined the Asiatic Petroleum Co (later renamed Shell Petroleum) in 1939, and served as a pilot in the RAF and Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War. He also qualified as an aviator with the US Navy at Pensacola.

 Daily Telegraph, 25 July 1998



Captain Michael Goodier “Pinkie” HAWORTH, CBE, DSC*, RN

Fleet Air Arm officer who took part in the Battle of Matapan - was one of the Fleet Air Arm observers whose close shadowing and accurate reporting of the Italian fleet made an invaluable contribution to the British victory off Cape Matapan on 28 March 1941. Haworth's squadron, No 826, who began with a dawn search. In another torpedo strike, the heavy cruiser Pola was hit and lay dead in the water. In 1927 went as a cadet to Dartmouth. Haworth joined No 33 Observer Course in 1938 and after getting his wings was appointed to 823 squadron, flying Fairey Swordfish from the carrier Glorious in the Mediterranean. Came home early in 1940 to join 815 squadron and then 826, flying from RAF Bircham Newton, covered the Dunkirk evacuation, made 22 night attacks against coastal targets in France, Belgium and Holland, dropped seven tons of mines and 56 tons of bombs and escorted 92 Channel convoys. In December 1940, 826 sailed in Formidable for the eastern Mediterranean, attacking Italian bases at Massawa and Mogadishu on the way. The squadron covered convoys to and from Malta, spotted for the fleet's guns bombarding Tripoli, and took part in the battle for Crete.Operating with the RAF over the Western Desert, became 826's Senior Observer in July 1941, and was awarded a Bar to his DSC for his service in the desert. In early 1942 went to Advanced Air HQ at Tobruk as Naval Liaison Officer to 201 (Naval Co-Operation) Group RAF. In June 1942, he was appointed Assistant Operations Officer in the carrier Furious and took part in the Pedestal convoy in August, then joined the staff of the Allied Naval Commander Expeditionary Force, planning the Torch landings in North Africa in November 1942, followed by the landings in Sicily in July 1943. His next appointment was on the staff of the Supreme Allied Commander South-East Asia, first in Delhi and then in Kandy in Ceylon, planning amphibious landings in Japanese-held territory in the Far East. Late in 1945, he joined the new carrier Triumph as Operations Officer, for training and trials in home waters. In May 1947, Triumph escorted the battleship Vanguard on her return from the Royal Tour of South Africa. Haworth was awarded a DSC, and CBE postwar.

Daily Telegraph, 22 May 1999



Ronald Geoffrey HENTON

On coming down from King’s College, London in the early years of the war he enlisted in the Fleet Air Arm and became a navigator; his war experience including service in RNAS stations in Ceyton , uneventful on the whole, first roused in him his life-long enthusiasm for travel overseas. On demobilisation, a short unhappy spell in his father’s clothing business drove him, like so many of us failed commercial venturers, into discovering in schoolmastering a more rewarding way of life, and, after a short spell at a Scottish Prep School, he was appointed to Oakham by Talbot Griffith in 1946.

Source: Old Oakhamian Club, 2000



Captain Sandy HODGE GC RNVR

He joined the RNVR in 1938, and was one of the first two RNVR officers to join Eagle in 1939. He served in her in the Mediterranean Fleet, when her aircraft covered Malta convoys. Eagle also took part in the action against the Italian fleet off Calabria and in the attack on the Italian battle fleet at Taranto. Later she ferried fighters to Malta and searched for raiders in the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic. Won his award for gallantry early in the Second World War when he was serving in the aircraft carrier Eagle, which was badly damaged by a serious accident. Hodge was a Sub-Lieutenant RNVR when, on 14 March 1940, Eagle's Fairey Swordfish torpedo-bombers were being ranged and armed to search for a German commerce raider reported between Ceylon and the Nicobar Islands. A 250 lb bomb was being fused in the bomb room when it detonated, killing 13 ratings and wounding five. A large fire broke out, which was eventually extinguished by spraying the hangar. It was quite possible that the entire bomb room might explode at any moment, yet he went down to search for survivors. Hodge was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal, which was subsequently replaced by the George Cross, instituted by King George VI in September 1940.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 11 January, 1997



Professor H W M HODGES

Conservationist who was fascinated in the way ancient objects were made, he was a specialist in the conservation of archaeological artefacts. In 1938 he went up to St John's College, Cambridge, to study human pathology, and on the outbreak of war served in the Royal Naval Air Branch and flew Swordfish with Atlantic convoys until he was invalided out with tuberculosis.

Daily Telegraph, 12 July 1997



Colin Gerald Shaw 'Hoppy' HODGKINSON

In the summer of 1938 accepted for pilot training as a midshipman in the Fleet Air Arm. After training aboard the aircraft carrier Courageous, he had gone solo and completed 20 hours in a Tiger Moth biplane trainer when he collided whilst practising blind flying with another aircraft. The Tiger crashed from 800ft at Gravesend,  and so grievously injuring Hodgkinson that his legs were amputated. Although he was a naval type, Hodgkinson was welcomed into McIndoe's Guinea Pig Club brotherhood of burned airmen. Such was their spirit that he determined to emulate Bader and to fly again. He set his heart on flying Spitfires and by the autumn of 1942 had left the Navy and went into the RAF as a pilot officer. He was briefly with number 131 squadron, successively to 610 and 510 squadrons, then 611 squadron, then in the famous Biggin Hill wing. The RAF  talked about him as "a second Bader" when he joined 611 squadron in June 1943 under Wing-Commander "Laddie" Lucas, the hero of the Battle of Malta.

Daily Telegraph, 21 September 1996



Lt Commander Sir Michael Murray HORDERN RNVR

A wonderfully versatile actor, equally engaging as King Lear or as the voice of Paddington Bear: When war broke out Hordern volunteered for the Navy and served as a gunner in the merchant ship City of Florence, which was taking ammunition supplies to Alexandria. Later he was posted to the aircraft carrier Illustrious as Flight Direction Officer. He proved exceptionally good at this new military science. Off Salerno in 1943 an enemy flying boat stumbled on Illustrious. Hordern dispatched the carrier's fighters, and later announced the flying boat's destruction over the ship's broadcast system, quoting Hamlet's lines on discovering he has stabbed Polonius: "Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell. I took thee for thy better."  Hordern later took part in the ferocious fighting in the Pacific, off Okinawa. He rose to lieutenant commander, and after the war worked at the Admiralty.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 4 May 1995



Professor William McPhee "Bill" HUTCHINSON

An academic parasitologist. His education was interrupted by the second world war, during which he served as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm. Afterwards he continued his education at Glasgow University, graduating in zoology in 1952.

The Guardian, 6 April, 1999



Rear Admiral John Augustine "Johnny" Ievers RN

Joined the Navy as a cadet at Dartmouth in 1926. Qualified as aopilot in 1933, subsequently flying from Courageous in 1935 with 821 squadron. Flew walruses from thecruiser Glasgow in 1939 and into the Norwegian campaign of 1940. Then served with 814 squadron on HMS Hermes, and was ashore when the ship was sunk in April 1942.  Served with 827 squadron in indomitable during the capture of Diego Suarez, then from October 1942-January 1945 commanded 824 and 747 squadrons, then in January 1945 commanded the Naval Test Squadron at Boscombe Down.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 19 August 1995



Lt Commander Peter Denis JONES

Joining the aircraft carrier Hermes as a midshipman (A) in 1939. He qualified as an observer in 1940 and joined 819 naval air squadron in Illustrious, then went out to join Eagle in the Mediterranean Fleet. He took part in the historic night strike against the Italian battle fleet in the harbour of Taranto on 11 November 1940, in the second strike - and scored a hit on the starboard beam of the battleship Caio Giulio.  Later the squadron was absorbed into 815 Squadron and a detachment went to Crete for minelaying, and afterwards flew to Greek airfields to attack shipping. Jones also served with 819 squadron in the carrier Formidable, on her way to America for repairs, and with 823 squadron in Furious, on convoy escort. In January 1943, he joined Cunningham's staff at HMS Hannibal in Algiers. Later Lt Cdr (Ops) in the escort carrier Begum with the Eastern Fleet, and then ashore at HMS Bambara, the naval air station at China Bay in Ceylon.

Daily Telegraph: 2 September 1997



Sir John Donald Brown JUNOR

Sunday Express editor whose column lambasted homosexuals, bishops and trendies, but whose paper declined: Junor joined the Navy as a midshipman (RNR), serving in the armed merchant cruiser Canton, a converted P & O liner. Later he transferred to the Fleet Air Arm. His training revealed that he was by no means a natural pilot. Relief from the hazardous business of taking off and landing on aircraft carriers came when he was appointed editor of Flight Deck, the Fleet Air Arm magazine. In 1945 Junor was demobbed as a lieutenant, but not before he had fought Kincardine and West Aberdeenshire for the Liberals at the general election of that year, losing to the Tories by only 642 votes. Subsequently editor of the Sunday Express for 32 years, from 1954 to 1986, and one of the last survivors of the Fleet Street generation that came to prominence under Lord Beaverbrook.

Daily Telegraph, 10 May 1997



George KIDD

Wrestling champion of the world for 26 years whose speciality was the 'surfboard': He was the lightweight wrestling champion of the world from 1950 until 1976, when he retired undefeated after making an unprecedented 49 successful defences of his title. During the Second World War he served as a mechanic in the Fleet Air Arm.

Daily Telegraph, 17 January 1998



Lieutenant Commander Peter Melville "Sheepy" LAMB, DSC*, AFC, MRAeS, RN

A Fleet Air Arm pilot who survived seven wartime prangs at sea to win a DSC and Bar in Korea and Suez. He was the third and last test pilot of the Saunders-Roe SR.53.
In 1941 he went to HMS St Vincent, Gosport, for initial training as a naval airman and then to America for flying instruction at Pensacola, returning as a Midshipman (A) RNVR at the end of 1942. His flying career began inauspiciously when he was delivering a Seafire to Christchurch, Hampshire, in June 1943. He joined 808 squadron, flying Seafires from the escort carrier Battler, to give fighter cover over the Salerno landings in September. In 1944, Lamb joined 807, flying Seafires from another escort carrier, Hunter, taking part in the landings in the south of France in August and carrying out anti-shipping strikes in the Aegean later in the year.He joined Hunter in 1945 to join the East Indies Fleet in the Indian Ocean, where 807 gave air support to the reoccupation of Rangoon in May and anti-shipping strikes in June. After the war, Lamb applied for a regular RN commission and was appointed an instructor at the School of Naval Air Warfare, HMS Vulture, St Merryn. Postwar Lamb spent a year at the Empire Test Pilots School and went to Boscombe Down for three years, during which he tested more than 20 different types of aircraft. On becoming chief test pilot for Saunders Roe, Lamb flew the rocket jet aircraft SR53, designed to be manned at instant readiness on a carrier's catapult, thus cutting the cost of maintaining combat air patrols over the fleet. The first prototype SR53 crashed on take-off at Boscombe Down, killing the pilot, but Lamb successfully flew the second, achieving British records for height, of 56,000 feet, and speed, of Mach 1.45, before the whole project was cancelled.He made the first hovercraft crossing of the Channel on July 25 1959, the 50th anniversary of Bleriot's historic flight.

Peter wrote the foreword for this book by Henry Matthews "The Saga of SR.53
A Pictorial Tribute"

Source: Daily Telegraph, 7 August 2000



Captain Desmond Bernard "Dick" LAW

One of the Navy's outstanding wartime fighter pilots, and eventually made the difficult transition from RNVR aircrew to the regular RN, with command of a major warship. Joined the Fleet Air Arm in 1941, serving with 805 squadron, in support of the 8th Army in the Western Desert. Law went in January 1943 to 787 squadron, the Naval Air Fighter Development Unit at RAF Duxford, testing fighter aircraft for the Navy. He then joined 886 squadron, flying Seafires, first from the escort carrier Attacker, and then from RNAS Lee-on-Solent. In June 1944 during the D-Day landings, Law was one of 48 pilots spotting for the guns of the bombarding ships off the Normandy beaches. Later in 1944, Law was seconded as an exchange pilot to the US Air Force. One day he was flying Seafires with 886; the next he found himself flying - with no acquaint course or instruction - a North American P 51 Mustang long-range fighter with the 352nd US Fighter Group, escorting a massive B-17 Flying Fortress raid over Germany.  In December 1944, Law was appointed CO of 800 squadron on Emperor, Shah and Khedive in East Indies Fleet operations. In May 1945 he went to the escort carrier Ameer as CO of 804 squadron, and in July beating off the final kamikaze attack of the war in the Indian Ocean. Law was awarded the DSC.

Daily Telegraph, 28 September 1996



Lieutenant commander Paul LEYTON, DSC, RN

Fleet Air Arm Officer, rocket engineer and restauranteur who served the snails he bred in a disused swimming pool: Well known to the public as "Our Man at Woomera" [the rocket test site in Australia], he won the DSC as a Fleet Air Arm officer in the carrier Furious in 1944; two years later he retired from the Navy and became one of the country's leading rocket engineers; and after that a restaurateur in Somerset. Joined the RAF Reserve for flying training in 1935, getting his wings in August 1936. He transferred to the Air Branch of the Royal Navy in 1938 and after an aero-engineering course served at HMS Kestrel, Worthy Down, and then in the carrier Argus, ferrying Hurricanes and Spitfires to Malta, in 1941. In 1942, served at HMS Daedalus, Lee-on-Solent, and at RNAS Machrihanish, before joining Furious as Air Engineer Officer for the next 18 months. Furious's aircraft took part in the series of Fleet Air Arm attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz, in Kaafjord, Norway, in the spring and summer of 1944 and in the sinking of 25,000 tons of enemy shipping along the Norwegian coast.  When Furious paid off for the last time in September 1944, Leyton went to HMS Dipper, Henstridge, Somerset, as Air Engineer Officer. He then transferred to the Emergency List and left the Navy in 1946.

Daily Telegraph,  13 January 1999



Lieutenant commander Ivan Lawrence Firth  LOWE

Naval pilot who claimed many enemy aircraft and himself ended in the drink three times: Lowe joined the Navy in 1938, doing his initial naval training in the carrier Courageous. After winning his wings, he went to the Fleet Fighter School at RNAS Eastleigh, his first front-line squadron was 806 squadron and in May took part in the Norwegian campaign, carrying out day bombing raids on shipping and oil tanks in Bergen. He was mentioned in despatches, then moved to Detling to cover the Dunkirk evacuation. Later on joining Illustrious in the Mediterranean Fleet shoting down a Cant Z 501 flying boat, and subsequently 3 other aircraft. He was an instructor at the Fleet Fighter School, RNAS Yeovilton in 1941-42, and in September 1942, he had his first command: 882 squadron, and took part from HMS Victorious in the Operation Torch landings in North Africa in November. Lowe's second command was 898 squadron on HMS Victorious on her way to the Pacific in February 1943.   After an instructors' course at the Empire Central Flying School, RAF Hullavington, in 1944, Lowe went to America as Senior British Naval Officer, US Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida. He was released on the Emergency List in 1946 and returned to civilian life.

Daily Telegraph 29 August 1998



CommanderThomas James Germaine MARCHANT

Officer who took command of a destroyer while beating off a fierce attack on a convoy: He was commissioned and promoted sub-lieutenant in December 1930. After attending the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, he served in the battlecruiser Hood, in the cruiser Caradoo on the China Station and as first lieutenant of the gunboat Peterel on the Yangtse river. In 1943, Marchant had a combined appointment as Torpedo Officer on the staffs of Flag Officer Air and Flag Officer Western Approaches when, as he put it, he shuttled between RNAS Lee-on-Solent and Donibristle, reporting the state of affairs at each air station to himself. After a year as "Torps" at HMS Urley, the naval air station at Ronaldsway on the Isle of Man, Marchant went out to the Far East to join the carrier Indomitable in the British Pacific Fleet. After VJ Day, Indomitable brought home 1,000 troops and nurses who had suffered appalling treatment in Japanese camps; Marchant took charge of their welfare.

Daily Telegraph, 12 December 1998



Commodore Geoffrey Thrippleton MARR

The last captain of the Queen Elizabeth, who as a wartime officer witnessed the sinking of the Bismarck: Gained his master's ticket in 1933. Marr joined the new battleship King George V when she commissioned in October 1940, as the assistant navigating officer. He was on board for the chase and destruction of the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic in May 1941. In August 1942, he was appointed to the escort carrier Activity, again as navigating officer, providing air cover for convoys to Russia, anti-U-boat patrols in the Western Approaches for the D-Day landings, and then joining the East Indies Fleet for the rest of the war.

Daily Telegraph, 13 March 1997



Vice Admiral Sir Hugh Colenso MARTELL

At Dartmouth as a cadet in 1926. In 1941 Martell was appointed "G" of the cruiser Berwick, in the Home Fleet and escorting convoys to Russia.Martell joined the carrier Illustrious as "G", serving in the East Indies Fleet in 1944 and taking part in raids on Sabang, Surabaya and Palembang. In 1945, HMS Illustrious operated with the British Pacific Fleet off the Sakishima Gunto in the battle for Okinawa, when she was attacked by kamikaze bombers. Martell was promoted commander out of the ship and mentioned in despatches.Subsequently a Commander of a naval task force subjected to secret atomic tests off Australia in 1956 who later faced torrid examination by a Royal Commission: Commander of Task Force 308 for Operation Mosaic, the British atomic bomb tests in the Monte Bello islands, off the coast of Western Australia, in the summer of 1956.

Daily Telegraph, 13 February 1999



Air Commodore Aeneas Ranald Donald MACDONELL OF GLENGARRY, CB, DFC RAF

Hereditary 22nd Chief of Glengarry and 12th Titular Lord MacDonell, Donald MacDonell was also a Battle of Britain fighter ace. He went in 1931 as a cadet to the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell. After gaining his wings he was appointed to No 54 Fighter Squadron in 1934, flying Bristol Bulldog biplane fighters. Between 1935 and 1937 he was on secondment to the Fleet Air Arm flying shipborne fighters from the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious. He next had a year as a flying instructor and another period at the Directorate of Flying Training in the Air Ministry. But in May 1940 he was given a squadron command,that of 64 Squadron, flying sorties against the Luftwaffe high over the Dunkirk beaches. Throughout the Battle of Britain he led No 64 Squadron in the thick of the air fighting over the South of England, notching up 11½ kills, before being shot down in the spring of the following year while on one of the fighter sweeps over occupied France which proved so costly to Fighter Command and claimed so many of its best pilots. He spent the remainder of the war in captivity, much of it at Stalag Luft III where he helped to organise many escapes,notably the famous "wooden horse" breakout. While a PoW he heard that his father had died and he succeeded him as 22nd Chief of Glengarry. He went on to a distinguished postwar career, notably as air attaché in Moscow, a post for which his excellent Russian eminently equipped him.

Glengarry's obituary as published in the London "Times"



Lt Commander James Leslie MACLEAN RCN

76, died in the early hours of January 9, 1999. Born August 21, 1922.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, he served in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, receiving pilot flying training from the RCAF in St. Eugene, Ontario, St. Jean, Quebec and Kingston, Ontario. In 1946, he returned to Dalhousie University  to finish his studies before embarking on a career in the Royal Canadian Navy which spanned more than 20 years and took him and his young family across Canada and back. He was very active in community life as a member of the Naval Officers' Association of Canada, Royal United Services Institute, Navy League of Canada, and Crow's Nest Sea Going Officers' Club of St. John's, Nfld.

Source: Halifax Herald - Mail Star



Duncan MENZIES

Test pilot who survived break-up of plane braved the perils of RAF and civil test flying in the rush to re-arm during the months before and after the outbreak of the Second World War.
Since 1933 Menzies had been testing aircraft for the RAF at the Air Ministry's Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE). In 1937, Flt-Lt Menzies was placed on the Reserve to accept the post of deputy to Chris Staniland, the chief test pilot with Fairey Aviation. Following his near-fatal Fulmar accident in 1941, Menzies continued to test Fairey aircraft and to liaise with the Navy. Calling on the Admiralty, Menzies convinced its air warfare and air-training directors that the Fairey Firefly was the machine they needed.  In 1946, Menzies flew the Firefly to Fairey aerodrome at Heston, London, and demonstrated it to the Admiralty. When Menzies made his last flight in February 1952 he selected his beloved prototype Fulmar before it was presented to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton in Somerset.

Daily Telegraph, 9 June 1997



Reverend Eric MILNER MA, RN.

 

Eric’s pastoral work as a priest in the Church of England and as a Chaplain in the Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm for which he served for 21 years was always his primary concern and that in which he took most pride, and his experiences in his chosen profession were of much greater interest to his many relatives and friends. In October 1930, Eric was admitted to Merton College, Oxford, as a Commoner. His contribution to beekeeping and bee breeding was renowned in Great Britain and Ireland. He was cremated at the Dewsbury Crematorium with full Naval Honours, a guard of honour being provided by his comrades in the Royal Naval Association and the Yorkshire Fleet Air Arm, a fitting tribute from the officers and men of the Royal Navy.

Source: BIBBA4 November 2000



Captain John William  MOTT

He went to Dartmouth as a cadet in 1930 and then to the training cruiser Frobisher. He qualified as a marine engineer officer at the RN Engineering College, Keyham, in 1938. He was damage control officer of the cruiser Exeter in the Battle of the River Plate in December 1939, and subsequently helped to save the cruiser Exeter and the battleship Malaya . Mott volunteered for the Fleet Air Arm and qualified as a pilot at Goderich, Ontario, in 1943. He returned to this country to join the air engineering instructional staff at the RN Engineering College, Manadon, Plymouth. Promoted commander in 1949, he went to the Department of Air Maintenance and Repair in charge of spares provisioning.

Daily Telegraph, 3 October 1998



Commander Daniel Patrick Danny NORMAN

One of the Navy's outstanding test pilots, involved in many of the postwar developments in Fleet Air Arm aircraft. He joined the Navy as a naval airman in October 1943, served during the Korean War with the Naval Air-Sea Warfare Development Unit; with 827 Squadron in the carrier Triumph; and later in Implacable, Illustrious and Centaur. He completed the Empire Test Pilots course in 1955, and went to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscombe Down, where he spent two years in 'C' Squadron, carrying out evaluation trials of the Blackburn Buccaneer for Navy service.

Daily Telegraph, 17 January 1997



HED "Ted" O'NEILL

After leaving school in 1940 he joined the Fleet Air Arm and did his flying training in Canada in 1941-41 where he acquired a love of the country. On his return to civilian life he trained as a teacher at the Wyndham Teachers Training College in Norfolk and spent the whole of his working life in teaching, some of which was in Canada.

Source: SJN Briggensians Page. Newsletter Spring 1997



Lieutenant-Commander George Myles Thomas  'Woozle' OSBORN DSO OBE DSC RN

Naval pilot who played crucial part in the Battle of Cape Matapan: Swordfish pilot who braved searchlights and tracer barrage to sink Axis ships in the Mediterranean. He went to Dartmouth in 1927, and got his pilot's wings at Leuchars in 1937 and served in the carriers Furious and Ark Royal. Twice decorated for his service in the Mediterranean in 1941, he subsequently ended his wartime career in a PoW camp. Osborn joined 829 naval air squadron when it was first formed in June 1940, joined the aircraft carrier Formidable in November for passage to the Mediterranean, arriving in March 1941.For his part at Matapan, Osborn was awarded the DSC and subsequently served ashore to Hal Far, Malta, to join 830 naval air squadron in strikes against Axis ships supplying Rommel's Afrika Korps in Libya. From June to November 1941, Osborn flew on 17 operations, during which 830 squadron was credited with sinking or damaging more than 50,000 tons of shipping. On 11 Nov 1941, as senior piliot of 830 he was on target to attack an Axis convoy reported south of Sicily. But had flown hopelessly off course, ditching out of fuel on the north coast of Sicily. Osborn's DSO for his Malta operations was gazetted in January 1942. But by then he was a PoW in Mont Albo, Padusa and Bologna in Italy. After the Italian armistice, he was taken to Germany, to a camp near Luneburg, where he was on the escape committee. Osborn was released in 1945 after which for two years he was CO of 771 squadron, a Fleet Requirements Unit flying Seafires from Lee-on-Solent.

Daily Telegraph, 22 May 1997
The Times, 12 May 1997



Air Vice Marshal Leonard  "PANK" PANKHURST RAF

Pilot who began his career on North West Frontier patrol and in 1939 thought up a plan to save lives, which was ignored: He first gained his flying experience with Bristol fighters on the North West Frontier in the 1920s, where he policed and, as required, punished dissident tribesmen in conflict with the Raj as a pilot in No 5 Squadron. Before he was granted his short service commission in 1925 he had served an apprenticeship with Sopwith Aviation and worked as a design draughtsman at Westland and Glosters. From 1930 to 1933 he was an engineer with Air Defence of Great Britain, the forerunner of Fighter Command. Pankhurst was adjutant to Nos 17 and 3 Squadrons of Bulldog fighters station at Upavon from 1933 to 1935, when he took a flying boat course at Calshot. Then, as a flight commander with the Fleet Air Arm 825 Squadron, Pankhurst flew Fairey IIIFs and Swordfish torpedo bombers from the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious in the Mediterranean. An appointment to the engineering staff at Fighter Command's No 12 Group and a Staff College course at Andover completed his preparation for war.

Daily Telegraph, 5 April 1997



Rear Admiral Douglas Granger  PARKER

Leader of first British air attack on Japan, skipping 500 lb bombs into targets at roof-top height: When war broke out he joined the Navy at HMS St Vincent, Gosport, as a naval airman in 1940. After gaining his wings and being commissioned as a Sub Lt RNVR, he joined 772 naval air squadron, flying Blackburn Skuas from HMS Landrail, Machrihanish, Argyll. In March 1942, he joined his first front-line squadron, 884, flying Fairey Fulmar fighters. The squadron embarked in the carrier Victorious and sailed for the Mediterranean in August as part of the escort for the Pedestal convoy to Malta. During Pedestal, one of the most spectacular naval operations of the war, Parker shot down one Italian aircraft off Sardinia. He provided fighter cover for the Torch landings in North Africa in November 1942.  In June 1943, Parker joined 833, in the escort carrier Stalker in August as part of Force V to provide fighter cover for the landings at Salerno in September. In December 1943, he went to Boscombe Down and test-flew Corsairs to evaluate them for Fleet Air Arm service. In April 1944, he had his first squadron command, 1845, equipped with Corsairs. His ship HMS Slinger joined the BPF at Leyte Gulf in April 1945, where 1845 disbanded, Parker taking command of 1842 squadron for operations against the Japanese on the Sakishima Gunto, a chain of islands between Formosa and Okinawa. He led the first British aircraft to attack targets on the Japanese mainland, in the summer of 1945. Parker was then CO of 1842 naval air squadron, flying Corsair from the carrier Formidable, serving in the British Pacific Fleet. The BPF was then operating on the right of the line of the US 3rd Fleet under Admiral "Bull" Halsey. For his leadership of 1842 from April to August 1945, Parker was awarded an immediate DSC, followed by a DSO.

Daily Telegraph: 8 April 2000



Arthur Henry PHEBEY

Renowned batsman cricketer who opened for Kent and once scored a century between thunderstorms. He served Kent Cricket Club with style and distinction as an opening batsman from 1948 to 1961, and afterwards, from 1979 to 1986, as chairman of the club's cricket sub-committee. During the Second World War he served as a sub-lieutenant in the Navy, he flew fighters in the Fleet Air Arm.

Daily Telegraph, 18 July 1998



Lieutenant-Commander Dennis Walter PHILLIPS RN

Naval pilot who cheated death eight times in crashes and ditches in the sea, surviving to help bomb the German battleship Tirpitz: In a seven-year flying career which included the Second World War, he used up eight of the proverbial cat's nine lives, surviving three ditchings and five crashes. He joining the Navy as a Midshipman (A) in 1939, and gaining his wings in April 1940. Early in 1941, he joined 829 naval air squadron, on HMS Formidable, saw action off Cape Matapan, when three Italian heavy cruisers and two destroyers were sunk by the Mediterranean Fleet. In August he was with 815 squadron, flying over the desert in support of the 8th Army. Phillips spent the next year as an instructor in the torpedo school at RNAS Dekheila, near Alexandria, and then as a maintenance test pilot at HMS Phoenix, the aircraft repair yard at Fayid in Egypt. In 1942 he joined RNAS Crail torpedo school, as an instructor. In March 1944 he was appointed CO of 829 naval air squadron, flying Fairey Barracudas, with which he embarked in the carrier Victorious for Operation Tungsten, the Fleet Air Arm strikes against the German battleship Tirpitz, lying in Kaafjord in Norway. In June 1944, Phillips led 829 squadron in Operation Lombard, an attack on enemy shipping in the Norwegian leads south of Aalesund. Phillips himself obtained one direct hit and two near-misses on the 6,500-ton merchant ship Florida, which later sank. He went out to the Far East in Victorious and took command of 834 squadron flying anti-submarine patrols in the Indian Ocean from the escort carrier Battler.  In 1945 Phillips commanded 744 squadron at Maydown and Eglinton in Northern Ireland, and then went as Lieutenant-Commander (Flying) at HMS Raven, Eastleigh, now Southampton airport, where he often gave air experience to ATC cadets.

Daily Telegraph, 10 January 1998



Jeffrey QUILL

He was renowned as a test-pilot, involved with development of, among others, the Spitfire and Seafire.

The Guardian 24 February 1996,
The Times 29 February 1996



Malcolm RAE

An electronic engineer and dowser who later took a great interest in the development of radionic instruments. However, he joined the Fleet Air Arm in 1940 serving with Captain Atkinson in WW2, who was married to Jean Atkinson the homeopath. Malcolm and the Captain talked about homeopathy, and subsequently studied and practised homeopathy from Dr. Farley Spink and Dr. Donald Foubister.

 [1913-1978/9]



Commander Dickie REYNOLDS

Fleet Air Arm pilot who shot down three Japanese aircraft during the invasion of Okinawa in 1945

TheDaily Telegraph


Lieutenant Commander William Alastair ROBERTSON

He went to Dartmouth as a cadet in 1928. He served in the battleship Nelson in the Home Fleet, the cruiser Exeter in the South Atlantic, and in the destroyer Antelope, protecting British interests during the Spanish Civil War. Robertson was one of the first pilots to land a Blackburn Skua fighter-divebomber on a flight deck. The Skua was the Navy's first monoplane aircraft, and Robertson was one of the naval pilots who started flying training at RAF Leuchars, May 1937. Robertson won his wings in December and joined 801 naval air squadron in 1938, flying Hawker Osprey biplanes from the carrier Furious. He then joined 803, flying from Ark Royal. War broke out, and on 26 September 1939 he flew one of three Skuas which shot down a Dornier Do.18 flying boat over the North Sea - the first German aircraft of the war to be shot down by British pilots.  When 803 flew ashore to Wick to join the air defences of Scapa Flow in October, Robertson heard there was a temporary shortage of sea-going officers and a glut of pilots. He volunteered to give up flying and return to sea service. In March 1940 Robertson was appointed First Lieutenant of the destroyer Ambuscade, whose guns fought a brisk action with German tanks on the cliffs of Fecamp in June, before joining the 3rd Escort Group, escorting Atlantic convoys, in September. Robertson left Ambuscade in April 1941 to take a navigating officer's course. In December 1943 Robertson was appointed "N" of the cruiser Scylla, Admiral Vian's flagship for the Normandy landings in June 1944. Robertson ended the war as "N" of the light fleet carrier HMS Ocean.

Daily Telegraph, 14 November 1998



Commander Robert Hedley Selbourne "Robin" RODGER RN

Early bird' of the Fleet Air Arm whose musicianship impressed Noël Coward: He joined the Navy in 1914, going to Osborne and Dartmouth. He served in the First World War as a midshipman, joining the battleship Agamemnon in the Mediterranean in 1917. He was one of the earliest of the Fleet Air Arm's "early birds", gaining his wings on the second naval pilot's training course at RAF Netheravon in 1925. The next year he joined 460 Flight, flying Blackburn Dart biplane torpedo-bombers from the carrier Eagle. He took part in Eagle's trail-blazing Mediterranean commission, when her aircraft first demonstrated the full potential of air power at sea to an astonished, gunnery-dominated Fleet. Rodger continued in the Mediterranean from 1927, flying Darts with 460 Flight from the carrier Courageous, until 1930, when he joined the cruiser Norfolk in the Atlantic Fleet. He returned to the Mediterranean in 1932, to fly Blackburn Ripon IIcs, from the carrier Glorious in 461 Flight, which became 812 Squadron in 1933.  " It took me all my flying career to qualify for the Perch Club" [after 100 deck landings]". Pilots had dual naval and RAF ranks, and it was possible for the two ranks to get badly out of step. By 1933, Rodger was a Lieutenant-Commander in the Navy, but only a Flight-Lieutenant in the RAF. He was one of a dozen pilots who were advised to leave the Fleet Air Arm. As compensation, they were allowed to choose their next appointments. Rodger chose command of the 625-ton river gunboat Aphis, and had two blissful years on the China Station.
 He was appointed to the Air Material Department in the Admiralty in 1938, and was promoted to Commander the next year. Rodger spent the Second World War in the Ministry of Aircraft Production, organising the trials of new airborne weapons, such as "Highball", a smaller anti-shipping version of the Dambusters' "bouncing bomb", which reached the Far East in January 1945, but was never used operationally. He was appointed OBE in 1944, and retired in 1946.

He was also a gifted pianist and joined with Anthony Kimmins, a fellow pilot in Eagle, in the production of the brilliant musical show Suffering Wildcats, which was staged in Malta in 1926. The male cast of the show was drawn entirely from the Fleet Air Arm. Rodger also composed the music for While Parents Sleep, the West End smash hit of 1932, which Kimmins wrote while convalescing after a skiing accident. was friends with Noël Coward. They met when Coward paid a visit to Glorious in 1932; he heard Rodger playing and singing "Mad About the Boy" in the wardroom.

Daily Telegraph, 7 June 1997



Rear Admiral Henry Cuthbert Norris ROLFE, RN

Naval pilot involved in early aerial photography who flew Fairey Swordfish from Ark Royal in the 1930s and who who commanded aircraft carriers in the 1950s: He went to Pangbourne Nautical College before joining the Navy as a cadet in 1925. His first ships as a midshipman were the battleships Iron Duke and Emperor of India. He trained as a pilot at RAF Leuchars and gained his wings in 1931, joining 460 and 462 Flights, flying biplanes such as the Blackburn Ripon torpedo-bomber and the Fairey IIIF spotter-reconnaissance aircraft from the carrier Glorious in the Mediterranean. Later, in 1933, when the two Flights amalgamated to form 812 naval air squadron, Rolfe flew the Blackburn Baffin. In 1934 Rolfe qualified as an observer and joined 820 squadron, flying Blackburn Shark torpedo bombers from the carrier Courageous in the Home Fleet. After two years at the School of Naval Co-operation at RAF Ford, in Sussex, Rolfe went to sea again in 1939 as senior observer of 814 squadron, flying Fairey Swordfish from the new carrier Ark Royal. At the outbreak of war, 814 transferred to the carrier Hermes and served off the coast of West Africa and in the Indian Ocean.Late in 1941 Rolfe came home to join the Ministry of Aircraft Production. In 1944 Rolfe joined the staff of the Deputy Naval Commander, South-East Asia Command, at Kandy, in Ceylon. On VJ Day he was executive officer of the cruiser Black Prince in the British Pacific Fleet. He commanded several ships, including the light fleet carriers, Vengeance, flagship of the Third Carrier Squadron in the Mediterranean in 1952, and Centaur during her first commission, from 1954 to 1956.

Daily Telegraph, 10 May 1997



Captain Richard Cyril Vesey ROSS

Naval officer who witnessed the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow in 1919 and won a DSO at Dunkirk: He won the DSO in command of the 5th Minesweeping Flotilla which took part in the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in 1940.
He went to Osborne as a cadet in 1915 and to Dartmouth the next year, winning the King's Medal for the highest marks of any cadet in his term on passing out. In 1935, he joined the aircraft carrier Glorious as First Lieutenant and served in her in the Mediterranean until 1937, when he was promoted to Commander. From 1937 to 1941, he served in minesweepers operating off the East coast, off Northern Ireland and the Belgian coast. Late in 1942, Ross was appointed Executive Officer of the aircraft carrier Victorious which, in response to an urgent request from the US Navy, went through the Panama Canal to operate with the US carrier Saratoga in the Pacific for some months of 1943. Victorious then came home to take part in Operation Tungsten, the Fleet Air Arm attack on the German battleship Tirpitz in northern Norway in April 1944. Promoted Captain in June 1944, Ross was appointed Captain (Minesweeping) in the Mediterranean, in charge of clearing ports in the South of France, for which he was made an Officer of the Légion d'honneur.

Daily Telegraph, 12 February 2000



Frederick RUTLAND

Royal Navy hero officer 'was spy for Japanese': A British officer who won the DSO for gallantry at Jutland, spied on the US Navy for the Japanese from 1934 until shortly before the outbreak of the Pacific War, according to the MI5 files. Frederick Rutland joined the Royal Navy as a boy and received a commission in the First World War during which he served "with great distinction", he later transferred to the RAF and became a pioneer in naval air warfare and aircraft carriers. While Rutland was still serving as a squadron leader in the RAF in 1922 he was approached by the Japanese for advice on aircraft carriers. A few months later, he resigned his commission. In 1933, his name came up in messages intercepted by Britain's codebreakers. Oka Arata, who was the Japanese Naval Attache in London, had recruited him as a spy. Codenamed Shinkawa (New River) he was given £100,000, the equivalent of £3 million today, to start up a business and £3,750 (£150,000) a year salary. The British codebreakers also intercepted a message from Arata to Tokyo in which he said Rutland was setting up a branch of his import-export business in Regent Street as a "post box" through which he could pass his intelligence reports to the Japanese naval attache in London. Rutland was followed by MI6 to America where he was watched by the FBI. Over the next eight years until 1941 his intelligence reports were monitored by the British. He appears to have spent much of his time living a high life in Beverly Hills. But this came to an end in 1941 when the FBI apprehended a Japanese spy. Fearing he would be compromised, Rutland approached the Americans offering to obtain intelligence from the Japanese. His offer was declined and the FBI offered him back to MI5. Rutland was induced to return to Britain and spent the months until the war living in his expensive home, Spinfield, near Marlow, bombarding MI5 with offers to spy on the Japanese. He was interned when war broke out. Because the only evidence the British had against him came from the top secret codebreaking operations, they were unable to hold him and in 1944 he was released.

The Daily Telegraph, 10 November 2000



William Charles Bill SARRA

Fleet Air Arm pilot who took part in the raid on Taranto: One of the Fleet Air Arm aircrew which made the historic night strike on the Italian battle fleet in the harbour of Taranto on 11 November 1940 from HMS Illustrious  He joined the Navy as a Midshipman (A) in 1938, gaining his wings in 1939. In May 1940 he joined 815 Naval Air Squadron, operating under Coastal Command from Bircham Newton in support of the Dunkirk evacuation. In June, 815 squadron embarked in Illustrious for service in the Mediterranean Fleet,  On 15 April, Sarra and Bowker attacked Valona harbour. Their aircraft was shot down and they were both taken prisoner. After the Italian armistice in September 1943, the Germans took over their PoW camps; Sarra and Bowker were moved to Marlag und Milag Nord near Bremerhaven. Sarra reverted to the Emergency List in 1946 and became a chartered surveyor in Taunton, Somerset.

Daily Telegraph, 23 May 1998



Admiral Sir  Victor Alfred Trumper SMITH

Fleet Air Arm officer who saved his pilot's life after ditching in the Mediterranean. He was called the "Father of the Fleet Air Arm" in the Royal Australian Navy; his flying career began the 1930s and continued through the Second World War, when he was mentioned in despatches and won a DSC. He went to the Royal Australian Navy College at Jervis Bay as a cadet in 1927. In 1937 he went to Britain to qualify as an observer, and joined 825 naval air squadron, HMS Glorious 1938, in September 1939, he joined 821 squadron on HMS Ark Royal and took part in the Norwegian Campaign in 1940. On 21 June 1940, Smith, as 821's Senior Observer, led the strike against the Scharnhorst, then joined 807 squadron as Senior Observer in September 1940. After a period in the carrier Furious Smith returned to Ark Royal with 807 in April 1941. On 8 May 1941, Smith's pilot, "Buster" Hallett, shot down an Italian SM 79 bomber but their Fulmar was hit and had to ditch. Later in May, Ark Royal took part in the search and destruction of the Bismarck in the Atlantic. Smith was awarded the DSC. In September, Smith returned to Australia, to HMAS Assault, the RAN Combined Operations Base at Nelson's Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales. He served there until February 1943, when he joined the Australian cruiser Shropshire, operating in the South Pacific.  Smith went back to the air branch in August 1943 as Air Staff Officer in the escort carrier Tracker.  Smith then had appointments at HMS Copra, the Combined Operations Base at Largs, and, in April 1945, on the staff of Vice Admiral (Q) at HMAS Beaconsfield in Melbourne. After the war, Smith served in HMAS Cerberus II, on the staff of the RAN Naval Liaison Officer in London. Promoted Commander in 1949, he was appointed Executive Officer of the carrier HMAS Sydney in 1950, which took part in the Korean War the next year, the first Commonwealth aircraft carrier to go into action.

Daily Telegraph, 1 August 1998



Commander Edward Walker "Bill" SYKES

Joined the Fleet Air Arm from the RAF, 1937. Served in 720 Squadron Catapult Flight in the cruiser Achilles during the Battle of the River Plate against the German battleship Graf Spee, December 1939. 778 Service Trials Squadron, Arbroath, 1941. Flight desk officer, carrier Victorious in Operation Tungsten strikes against the German battleship Tirpitz, April 1944, and against kamikaze attacks off the Sakishima Gunto, May 1945. DSC 1945. Clerk of the Course, Devon and Exeter and Taunton racecourses. Hon Sec South Devon Hunt.

Daily Telegraph: 2 August 1997: Obituaries in brief



Vice-Admiral Sir Arthur Allison Fitzroy TALBOT, DSO and bar, CB, KBE RN

Entered Dartmouth in 1923, and opted for the Fleet Air Arm as a sub-lieutenant in theearly 1930s, but after an accident colliding with another aircraft which injured him out of his flying career. He then rejoined the Fleeteing appointed to Royal Oak.

Source: The Independent, 26 June 1998



Rear Admiral John Yelverton THOMPSON

Went to Dartmouth as a cadet in 1923. He served as a midshipman in the battle-cruiser Repulse, as a sub-lieutenant in the battleship Warsprite and as a lieutenant in the battleship Queen Elizabeth. He then qualified as a gunnery officer at HMS Excellent in Portsmouth in 1934. Commander in the Korean War of the only British aircraft carrier ever to undertake a shore bombardment with her own guns. Commanded the aircraft carrier Unicorn in the Korean War from November 1950 until May 1952;  He also received the American Legion of Merit.

Daily Telegraph, 25 April 1998



John Mansfield THOMSON

New Zealand music historian. During 1944-45 he briefly saw war service in the Fleet Air Arm and on being demobilised encountered the cultural richness of life in London. This would prove to be a decisive experience. He returned to New Zealand in 1946 and completed a BA in history at Victoria University of Wellington. He received the CANZ Citation for Services to New Zealand Music in February 1988.

Source: This tribute appeared in Music in New Zealand no.36, (Summer 1999-2000) and is re-published on the University of Waikato Music Department web site


Charles Stewart VEINOTTE

Canadian who during the Second World War, served with the Civilian Fleet Air Arm, and after came to Lunenburg, Novia Scotia in Canada working as a salesman for Maritime Accessories.

Source: Lunenberg County Nova Scotia Geneology: Obituaries - November 1997



CAPTAIN Leigh Edward Delves EDWARD WALTHALL

Took part as a naval pilot in the ill-conceived operation, codenamed EF, in the Arctic in the summer of 1941: The DSC which Ed Walthall won with 812 naval air squadron was one of the very few bright aspects in an almost unmitigated disaster for the Fleet Air Arm. The strikes were carried out on 31 July - on Kirkenes by aircraft from the carrier Victorious, on Petsamo by those from Furious. He joined the Navy as a cadet at Dartmouth in 1927. Qualified as a pilot at RAF Leuchars in 1936. Summer in 1940 in 826 naval squadron, flying Swordfish under RAF Coastal Command control, support Dunkirk evacuation. Later in 1941, instructor in 785 squadron, RNAS Crail , 1942 Senior Naval Officer of the Naval Aircraft Centre at Roosevelt Field, Long Island, where newly-formed Fleet Air Arm squadrons trained to fly their US aircraft. He ended the war in the battleship King George V.

Daily Telegraph 30 October 1996



Commander Leslie 'Tug' WILSON RN

Fleet Air Arm officer involved with early use of Merchant Aircraft Carriers for convoy escort and survived three sinkings in 1941 to pioneer the use of merchant ships as aircraft carriers for convoy protection in the Battle of the Atlantic in 1943: Joining the Navy as a boy signalman at Ganges in 1929. In 1938, Wilson transferred to the FAA, No 34 Observer Course at RAF Ford. 825 squadron, HMS Glorious, in 1939, involved BEF Dunkirk.  In 1941 joined 804 squadron and 3 times survivor od sinking CAM ships: Patia, Michael E and Springbank. In 1942 CO of 834 Squadron,HMS Archer and later 19 Group RAF. Wilson, as senior observer of 836, played a major part in evolving MAC ship tactics and training the crews - particularly in the techniques of landing on decks only 400 ft long and 60 ft wide.The first MAC ship, the 7,950-ton "grainer" SS Empire MacAlpine, sailed in the outward-bound Atlantic convoy ONS 9 in May 1943, with Wilson on board as air staff officer. His final wartime appointment was HMS Monck, the shore base at Largs, on the staff of Flag Officer Carrier Training. In 1945 Wilson went out to the Far East in the carrier Venerable.

Daily Telegraph, 19 May 1997



Commander Peter WINTER

Fleet Air Arm observer 815 sqdn played a crucial part in the victory of the Mediterranean Fleet over the Italian Fleet off Cape Matapan on March 28 1941. froim HMS Formidable attacking heavy cruiser Pola: He joined HMS Hermes as a Midshipman in 1939, qualified as observer in 1940 thence to 823 naval air squadron, HMS Glorious. Then RNAS Dekheila, and 815 naval air squadron, at Maleme. In June 1941 he took part in a torpedo attack on the Vichy French flotilla leader Chevalier Paul and the destroyer Guépard. Chevalier Paul was sunk, but Winter's Swordfish was shot down. He and his pilot were picked up by Guépard, and became PoWs of Vichy French, thence Italians in Rhodes.Winter was one of 50 British PoWs who were exchanged for Dentz and his staff.  In 1942, Air Signal Officer at RNAS Arbroath, HMS Indomitable at Kilindini in East Africa, and at HMS Bherunda, on Colombo racecourse in Ceylon. In May 1944 he joined the carrier Illustrious for the air strikes against targets in Java. He finished the war in Formidable, flagship of the British Pacific Fleet's carrier squadron.

Daily Telegraph, 27 August 1996



Lt-Commander Bobby WOOLRYCH, OBE, RN

Expert in fighter direction

Daily Telegraph, 12 October 1999


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