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Top bombing,
top bombs
NAVAL fast jet pilots have a
new weapon in their arsenal: an
improved 500lb bomb.
The Paveway IV will be
carried by GR9/GR9A versions
of the Harrier as flown by
the Naval Strike Wing at RAF
The upgraded bomb,
● HMAS Sydney’s forlorn
provided by Raytheon, can
X Turret, 8,000ft below the
penetrate targets better;
surface Picture: London Legacy
detonate in the air, on the
Sad Sydney
ground or on a delayed timer
depending on the pilot’s
setting; has improved GPS and
laser guidance to direct it to
its target; and is resistant to
jamming by the enemy.
After being extensively tested
EIGHT Royal Navy sailors along
by aircrews at the US Naval Air
with hundreds of Australian
Warfare Centre at China Lake
shipmates – and four score of
in California, the Paveway IV
their foe killed in the same battle
was declared fit for front-line
– were honoured at a memorial
use by Whitehall at the end of
service in London.
● Catch me if you can... Lt Cdr Mike Lynch on a Pusser’s Red tries to peddle away from PTI ‘Paddy’ Dowling on a new Pusser’s Green (yes
last year.
All 645 men aboard HMAS
we know it looks black...) Picture: LA(Phot) Carl Osmond, RNAS Culdrose
Capt Howard Holdsworth,
Sydney were killed when the
the RN officer in charge of the
cruiser was sunk by a German
Retyrements and replacements
MOD Freefall Integrated Project
surface raider off the west coast
Team, said a “tremendous
of Australia in November 1941.
amount of hard work” had gone
But in an ironic twist of fate,
into providing the improved
Sydney dealt a mortal blow to her GREEN is the new red. rest of the RN), used by all ranks names of squadrons and various in reducing the base’s carbon
bomb. The result was “a
killer, the Kormoran; fires raged No, we’ve not gone all Vogue on to scurry around the 1,000- departments (just in case anyone footprint.”
very capable weapon system
out of control on the Nazi ship you, we’re talking bikes and the acre establishment – rather than pondered riding them home…). That’s something Lt Cdr
and she too sank.
end of an era at Culdrose. clambering into their cars. The aim is the same: to Michael Lynch has been doing Aside from RN and RAF
The Sydney’s loss remains the
Pusser’s Reds, the handy, no- The bikes are heavy, have very encourage Culdrose personnel for some time, now at Culdrose, Harriers, the Paveway IV is
worst tragedy in Australian naval
frills red bikes used by personnel basic brakes, rock-hard seats and to ride rather than drive between previously at Devonport. now the bomb of choice for
history – but mystery surrounded
to get around the Cornish air no gears and are built by some of the numerous buildings on the “Like most people I drive a car, the Air Force’s Typhoons and
her fate until as recently as last
station are no more. the great names in British cycling: sprawling air station. but I cycle every day in my job,” Tornadoes.
Pusser’s Greens are handy, Raleigh, Pashley and even BSA “I’m keen to encourage the use he said. The weapon will also
It took several days in 1941
slightly-more-frills green bikes… (which haven’t been around for of pedal power wherever possible “I’ll be sorry to see my red bike be carried by the Harrier’s
for the Australian government
used by personnel to get around half a century…). and reduce the use of cars,” said go.” replacement, the Joint Strike
to realise that the warship had
the Cornish air station. In their place are 60 modern Culdrose’s Executive Offi cer Cdr The unwanted cycles have been Fighter, when it enters service
been lost, and only one body
Culdrose is one of the last lightweight mountain bikes, Martin Roper. handed to the MOD for disposal. next decade.
was ever recovered – washed up
bastions of the reds (which seem green in colour and by their “I hope the scheme will be
on Christmas Island, but never
to have disappeared from the nature – marked with the another important initiative
The cruiser’s wreck was
discovered last spring by explorer
David Mearns, who also found
HMS Hood’s last resting place.
Not only did Mearns find
the remains of Sydney (she
most likely sank after her bow ‘...A long and
broke off) but he also found the
Eighty-three Germans were
also killed in the battle; their
shipmates abandoned ship and
were eventually picked up.
All were remembered by
more than 100 people, including
relatives of the Sydney’s sailors,
proud history’
plus representatives from the
British, Australian and German
naval forces, at St Clement
FOR more than six
tops, backbone of both the 21st-
Danes Church in London on the
decades, Britons have
Century Fleet and 21st-Century
67th anniversary of the cruiser’s
commemorated VE Day.
Fleet Air Arm.
The two vessels – HM Ships
Before the service the bells
This year, we will commemorate
Queen Elizabeth and Prince
of St Clement’s played the
the previous date in the calendar
of Wales – will be the largest
Australian National Anthem and
as well: FN – Fly Navy – Day.
warships built for the RN, a £4bn
following the service they played
Thursday May 7 2009 will
investment in the Senior Service.
Waltzing Matilda.
be the centrepiece of a year of
“We cannot not be complacent.
Attending the ceremony was
celebrations and commemorations
We cannot be ignorant. Nor
retired medical researcher Ruan
of Fly Navy 100, remembering a
McWilliam whose uncle, Lt Cdr
century of deeds by naval aviators.
should we be apologetic about
Michael Singer, was one of the
Organisers plan a global tribute
the future carriers,” stresses Cdre
Royal Naval personnel killed on
on May 7 itself, plus a series of
Tom Cunningham, a former Sea
the Sydney and is one of 15 crew
events, public displays, services,
King and Lynx observer, and now
members whom experts believed
concerts and shows studding
Commander UK Carrier Strike
could have been the mystery
the year from February until
He hopes the entire RN will
Mr McWilliam provided
May 7 has been chosen as it will
embrace the Fly Navy 100 message
be 100 years to the day that the
– and will bang the drum. For as
DNA samples when efforts were
following day there will be a
Admiralty took the bold step to
he succinctly points out: “There is
underway to identify the sailor.
service of thanksgiving for more
invest in aviation.
only one 100-year anniversary.”
However, the result was a
than 6,000 naval aviators who
That very day in 1909, it
negative match and the sailor’s
have died in the service of their
committed £35,000 (around
identity remains unknown.
£2.6m today) to HM Airship
Mr McWilliam said despite
Other events planned include: BLACK SWAN CLASS 1943
No.1, nicknamed the Mayfl y.
the result he was amazed and
a garden party at Buckingham
One hundred years on, HMS
Replica representative model, measuring 10.5”, hand cast in metal and hand painted,
thrilled by the recent discovery of
Palace, a fl ypast over Easthchurch
Illustrious will be moored in the
presented on a wooden plinth 12” x 3” with brass nameplate and hand made gift box.
Sydney’s wreckage 8,000ft below
on the Isle of Sheppey (home
Thames at Greenwich, hosting
the ocean’s surface:
VIPs and Fleet Air Arm personnel
“All of a sudden the whole
memorial dedicated to the men
past and present.
thing has come together. The
of the Channel Dash, a fl ypast
They will witness a centennial
and reception involving HMS
whole story has been quite
‘Balbo’ fl ypast (an amorphous
Illustrious again, this time in
extraordinary,” he added.
mass of aircraft from the annals of
“This time a year ago it was
Liverpool, and a gala dinner in
naval aviation to the present day).
just past history. We thought the
Meanwhile, half way around
whole thing had been laid to rest.”
Above all, organisers hope by the
the world, aviators with the RN’s
end of this year, the British people £85.00
Sydney was built in Britain
Taurus 09 amphibious task force
will have a better understanding of
– she was laid down by Swan
+ £8.00 p&p
will stage their own fl y past –
naval aviation – and the Navy as
Hunter as HMS Phaeton but was
hopefully against the backdrop of
a whole.
UK Only
bought by the Australians before
the Singaporean skyline.
“We have a long and proud
she was launched.
There will also be celebrations
history and a lot of people do not
Her wreck lies 128 miles
in the Gulf, the Caribbean and
understand it,” said Rear Admiral
north-west of the town of
Afghanistan; FAA units in the
Simon Charlier, Rear Admiral
Geraldton (where a memorial to
latter will mark the anniversary, Fleet Air Arm.
the Sydney was erected).
said Lt Cdr Graeme Spence of the “Our aim is to promote a proper
The cruiser’s foe had been the
Commando Helicopter Force, “in understanding of naval aviation in
scourge of merchant shipping in
a sea of sand”. defence – and remind people what
the South Atlantic and Indian In fact, upwards of 70 per
defence gives them in an island
Oceans, sinking ten vessels during cent of naval aviation assets and
a year-long ‘cruise’. personnel are expected to be
“This is an ambitious
To order your model send your name, address and daytime telephone number,
Kormoran’s wreck was found deployed on operations on the programme to embrace as many
along with your cheque or credit card details (visa/mastercard) to:
about a dozen miles from branch’s birthday. people outside the defence
Sydney’s remains. And just so skimmers, deeps world as possible and spread our
Skytrex Ltd, Unit 1 Charnwood Business Park, North Road, Loughborough,
The resting places of both and Royals don’t feel left out, message.”
Leicestershire LE11 1LE Tel: 01509 213789 Fax: 01509 230874
vessels have been given formal the day will close with ‘splice the 2009 should also be the year email:
protection by the Australian mainbrace’. of the carrier: the fi rst steel is
government. On a more solemn note, the due to be cut for the future fl at-
0013_NN_Jan.indd 113_NN_Jan.indd 1 111/12/08 09:24:161/12/08 09:24:16
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