British officer served as pilot with 808 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm aboard HMS Battler in Mediterranean, 1943; served with 807 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm aboard HMS Hunter in Mediterranean, 1943-1944; served with 800 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm in the Far East, 1945; served with 800 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm aboard HMS Triumph off Malaya and Korea, 1949-1950; commanded 810 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm aboard HMS Bulwark at Suez, Egypt, 10/1956
REEL 1 Background in GB, 1923-1941: family; education; reaction to declaration of war 3/9/1939; German Air Force attacks in Arkley and Radlett areas of Hertfordshire, GB, 1940-1941. Recollections of training with Fleet Air Arm in GB and US, 1942-1943: nature of training in GB; pilot training at Grosse Isle, Detroit and Pensacola, US; opinion of Brewster Buffaloes; discipline of US Navy; relations with US civilians; conversion onto Supermarine Seafires and Hawker Sea Hurricanes at Royal Naval Air Station, Yeovilton, GB, 1943 including nature of training and problems of getting used to flying in blackout. Recollections of operations with 808 Squadron, flying from HMS Battler in Mediterranean, 1943: escort duties on Gibraltar convoy; problems posed for Supermarine Seafires of low wind speed during Salerno landings, 9/1943; flying combat air patrols over Salerno beachhead; establishment of landing strips ashore at Salerno; nature of targets and lack of German air opposition. Recollections of operations with 807 Squadron flying from HMS Hunter in GB and Mediterranean, 1943-1944: conversion to Seafires armed with cannon and rockets in Northern Ireland; attitude to being armed with rockets and cannons; Fleet Air Arm strength during invasion of south of France, 8/1944; why Operation Dragoon was easier for Fleet Air Arm than Salerno landings.
REEL 2 Continues: attack on Avignon bridges, France, 8/1944; shooting down of Tony Shaw; flak over Avignon; ashore in Nice, 8/1944; attacks against German forces evacuating from Aegean, 10/1944; sinking of Siebel ferry off Kos, Greece, 10/1944. Recollections of period with 800 Squadron flying from HMS Emperor in Far East, 1945: appointment as deck landing officer; persuading commanding officer to let him fly operations; VE Day in Trincomalee harbour, Ceylon; swimming ashore under influence of alcohol; operations against Japanese targets, 1945; VJ Day in Trincomalee; arriving on first ship into Singapore; Japanese POW's work; reception of British in Singapore, 8/1945; question of VJ Day being an anti-climax for Royal Navy officers. Operations with 800 Squadron flying Supermarine Seafires during Malayan Emergency, 1949: strikes against insurgents in jungle flying from Sembawang; carrying coils of rope in aircraft for jungle emergencies; move to Japan, 6/1950.
REEL 3 Continues: Recollections of operations with 800 Squadron flying from HMS Triumph off Korea, 1950: receiving news of outbreak of war, 6/1950; strikes against ground targets; incident when deck crew received burns from Lamb's damaged aircraft during emergency landing; degree of success Supermarine Seafires had against North Korean armour; cover given during Inchon landings, 9/1950; question of Admiralty's complacency about capabilities of Hawker Sea Fury after one shot down a MiG 15. Recollections of operations as commanding officer of 810 Squadron flying from HMS Bulwark during Suez landings, 10/1956: strikes against Egyptian Air Force parked on Cairo West airfield; opinion of flying De Havilland Seahawks in contrast to Supermarine Seafires; operating from HMS Bulwark; US aircraft attempts to disrupt Suez operations; attitude to calling off of Suez operations; nature of other combat sorties; incident of 'Smokey' Cowling being shot down over Sinai. Story of how US Air Force Boeing B29 Superfortress shot down a Fleet Air Arm aircraft during Korean War.
Submarines played a key role in operations throughout the Cold War. Commodore Frederic Thompson, kept himself and his crewmates entertained, by creating ‘radio’ programmes, which were then broadcast over the submarine’s internal speakers.