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Time flies at
The bounty
of the land
THE Commando Helicopter
Force welcomed local farmers
and landowners to a Landowner
Day at Merryfi eld Airfi eld, near
Ilminster – all as a big thank you
for allowing the CHF helicopters
to use their land for training
The nature of the CHF role
requires their helicopters to
land in all sorts of conditions, at
all times of the day and night,
and not usually onto a well-
TIME flew backwards at maintained airfield.
RNAS Yeovilton when So the help of local farmers
two veterans visited the
and landowners is essential for
Somerset air base to revisit
aircrews to practise manoeuvres
some past memories and
and tactical landings.
● PO(Phot) Tam McDonald at the Michaelhouse art gallery
Picture: PO(Phot) Mez Merrill
see how life had changed in
A Sea King and Chinook
Tam is top at
the Fleet Air Arm.
helicopter fly their guests over the
Somerset countryside, giving the
Swordfish legend ‘Jock’ Moffat
landowners a real idea of what
was guest of honour at the annual
the helicopters have to contend
Taranto dinner, commemorating
with in the air.
the great Swordfish action when
And back on the ground the
the aircraft took off from HMS
public were shown around the
Illustrious to attack the Italian
vehicles, weapons and other
Fleet in 1940.
military hardware which are the
AN EXHIBITION by Royal because there are some circum-
Jock, a Swordfish pilot himself,
day-to-day fare of life in CHF.
Naval photographer PO(Phot) stances where civilians simply
is a veteran of another memorable
If you are a landowner in the
Tam McDonald at the respected couldn’t go. As a military photog-
Fleet Air Arm attack from Ark
Yeovilton area who would be
Michaelhouse art gallery at rapher we are trained to soldier as
Royal against the Bismarck, and is
prepared to help, contact
Cambridge University has proven well as capture intelligence, tech-
himself credited with the torpedo
Cdr Richard Seymour on
a particular success. nical, public relations and aerial
hit which crippled Hitler’s
01935 455 226.
Curator Sue Binns said: “I have photography in extremely arduous
seen many exhibitions in my time conditions.
Jock stopped off at the RN
as curator of the university gallery. “I hope that my images give
Historic Flight to see the only
Wooden king
However I have never experienced a small insight into the physical
remaining airworthy Swordfish in
one that has generated so much and mental demands placed on
the world (see right).
THE numbers of helicopters at
positive feedback and discussion today’s serviceman.”
But it wasn’t just history for
RNAS Culdrose have taken a
throughout the campus.” He added: “But a talented pho-
Jock as he also met aircrews from
boost, but the latest addition is
Tam’s images captured in war tographer should always have an
the current Fleet Air Arm – a
made of wood...
zones, out with the Fleet and in eye for a good picture – the shot
service he left 62 years ago.
This unusual addition – a
home waters, will be on display anyone can look at and appreci-
Cdr Mark Walker, Commander
hand-built mahogany 1:7 scale
once more at the gallery at the end ate.”
Air, said: “It was an enormous
model of a Sea King, similar to
of term as a highlight of the year’s Tam is now in his 17th year
privilege for the officers of RNAS
those used by the Navy’s SAR
exhibitions. of service with the Royal Navy,
Yeovilton to meet and hear
units – was actually made for
Tam, one of the senior phots although he spent the first five
from one of their illustrious
trials in wind-tunnels for Agusta
at Clyde Naval Base, said: “The years of his Naval career in mine
forebears talking about the great
Westland and Thales.
RN has its own photographers warfare.
actions of the Fleet Air Arm of
Members of 849, 854, 857
days past.”
and 771 Naval Air Squadrons
A fortnight later Neville Pinsent,
gathered at the presentation
the oldest surviving member of
the RN Fighter Control Branch,
Capt Philip Thicknesse, the
returned to Yeovilton some 64
air station’s commanding officer,
years after leaving it as a newly-
said: “We here are the Sea King
qualified Fighter Direction
generation and we are delighted
that this fine model is now with
One important stop-off for
us for safekeeping.
Neville was the Fleet Air Arm
“It is an ideal memento for
Museum where he saw (and rode)
the legendary ‘Walls’ ice-cream’
tricycle that was used effectively
Feeling peaky
(and memorably) for training
FDOs from 1941. A TEAM from the Military
Neville also got a chance to Provost Guard Service and the
meet current Fighter Control MOD Guard Service at RNAS
students and take a look at the Culdrose tackled the Three Peaks
modern equipment in use today Challenge, hauling themselves up
On your screens
(pictured right). the three highest peaks of Eng-
Lt Cdr Jo Logan, the officer land, Scotland and Wales. With
in change of the RN School of ages ranging from 30 to nearly 60
Fighter Control, said: “He saw at the team achieved a time of just
first hand that with the advance of over 24 hours – scuppered by traf-
A NEW set of TV adverts technology, the fighter direction
fi c hold-ups on the roads as they
have been filmed on board techniques had not changed that
raced (but within the speed limit
Type 45s HMS Daring and much in 64 years.”
naturally) from peak to peak.
Dauntless up in Scotland
Picture: LA(Phot) Paul A’Barrow
by Captain Naval Recruiting
and Bravo TV.
The new adverts will
be appearing on digital
channels Bravo, Setanta,
Virgin and Dave throughout
Jack’s jolly day
January as part of the
Royal Navy’s Career Month.
WHEN AB Jack ‘Ben’ Cartwright
PO Penny Taylor, from
(right) got home from his ship’s
Captain Naval Recruiting,
four month deployment with
said: “These new ads
the NATO minehunting force
are designed to create
SNMCMG1 he was able to
a deeper awareness of
tell his mum about an unusual
careers within the Royal
Jack’s 18th birthday fell whilst
away in the Mediterranean on
● Members of Daring and
Dauntless’ crew being
his first sea-draft on board HMS
fi lmed on board the new
Type 45s
In order to ensure that his
Pictures: PO(Phot) Penny Taylor
18th birthday was memorable in
ways out of the norm, his CO Lt
Cdr Chris Nelson had a surprise
planned for the youngster.
To his amazement, Jack
swapped his AB tags for his CO’s
two-and-a-half stripes at the start
of the day.
He said: “It was a bit of a shock,
but it was nice. The captain took
me around and showed me all the
different responsibilities.
“I didn’t think that there would
be as much to deal with as there
was. You need to know about
absolutely everything on board.”
He added: “This is my first
ship. I joined it the day before we
sailed, straight out of Raleigh. It
wasn’t what I was expecting at
all – more friendly, but still hard
And his birthday? “Not a day
I’m going to forget.”
Picture: LA(Phot) Dave Jenkins
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