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NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2009 29
LETTERS to the editor should always be Given the volume of letters, we cannot
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FURTHER to the letters about the fi nest offi cers and gentlemen ends well” despite the efforts of
4VO mess in HMS Ark Royal,
that I had the privilege to have the deck crew of Bergal!
the photograph (above) may
served with during my 35 years. – S R Street
be of interest.
That night I had the middle (Lt Cdr (SD) (G) Retd)
12 Issues posted directly to your home every month
I lived in the mess for the last
watch and early in the watch Ark
...I WAS the senior steward in the
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06/09
two commissions, and became the
became aware of Bergal’s problem
and request for assistance.
Bridge Mess when one of the ops
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very last Mess President, literally
The weather was extremely
offi cers came in with the signal
switching the lights off as I left
poor with high winds and heavy
which started the procedure to
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the ship.
seas, typical for the North Atlantic
bring the submariner back.
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During our final months, a
in February.
The first option was to operate
competition was held to design
Capt Graham discussed the
on him in the ship, but she was
Navy News, HMS Nelson,
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a teeshirt logo. I was entrant
problem with his senior officers
not near enough to start a launch Queen Street, Portsmouth
UK Three £54.00
number 13.
and it was decided that Ark would
of Sea Kings so the ship turned
Hampshire PO1 3HH, England
The judges can be seen sitting
make best possible speed towards
from present course and steamed Overseas* One £22.00
in the background. The writing
Bergal and launch two Sea Kings
at 29 knots, which made the old
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at maximum range to rendezvous
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Overseas* Two £44.00
“The Last Farewell”. A fun
with Bergal in the lee of the
Other signals came from the
Overseas* Three £66.00
evening, one of many.
Azores. Conditions were such that
boat saying the submariner was 1. COMPLETE YOUR DETAILS
Happy Days!
any attempt at medevac would be
in pain so time was of the utmost
– Steve Chinnock, WO
hazardous even there.
urgency.
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(ret’d) Honiton, Devon
Doc Jones (Surg Lt Cdr)
Commander Air, with the ops
Name I enclose
...I REMEMBER the incident of
prepared his kit, the Sea Kings
officers and Lt Cdr Akin from 824
the sick sailor being transferred
were prepped for their long flight
NAS made plans to rescue the
Cheque Postal Order IMO
to the Ark Royal from a US
and the crews briefed.
submariner, with safety in mind
in £ Sterling made payable to ‘Navy News’
for the aircraft and fuel states they
submarine (Letters, May).
Ark launched her Sea Kings at I wish to pay by
decided three aircraft were to be in
It happened in 1976. I was a
maximum range and continued
the operation, two with personnel
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LMEM(M) on board at the time
steaming towards the rendezvous
including the Lt Cdr doctor, and Address
and the BBC were filming Sailor.
where the medevac was
the third as a fuel tanker.
Payment Amount £
The camera crew got some
successfully carried out, thanks
The operation was shown on
really good footage of the event.
to the expertise and skill of the Card Number
Sailor, which I eventually saw
You can buy the whole series of
pilots and crewmen of Sea King
myself, having been part of this
Sailor and see it for yourself.
50, who undoubtedly saved the
operation even if it was in a minor
Every time I came across the
patient from drowning. Start Date Expiry Date Issue No. CSC No.
capacity.
film crew I did an about-turn
After refuelling at the American
because my mother-in-law said
Base in the Azores (and Doc Jones
There are also photos of that
she’d be “watching out for me!”
having a cigarette) Ark recovered incident in the Commissioning Signature Date
– John Meharg, Aslockton,
her helos and continued on Book Ark 74-76. Postcode Country
Nottingham
passage to the USA. Vice Admiral Joe Williams,
The episode of Sailor that ComSubLant in Norfolk, Virginia,
...AT THE time of the incident
Phone Number
This is a
records the incident is highly signalled the Ark to express his
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in February 1976, I was a bridge recommended viewing (as is the thanks.
watchkeeper under the command rest of the series), the patient – E Shrimpton,
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of Capt ‘WID’ Graham – one of recovered, and “all’s well that ex-RN steward, Northampton
028-029_NN_jun09.indd 2 19/5/09 17:46:31
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