British NCO trained as pilot with RAF in GB and US, 1943-1944; officer trained with Fleet Arm Arm in GB, 1944-1945; served with 881 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm in GB and South Africa, 1945-1946; served with 807 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm aboard HMS Ocean, 1953
REEL 1 Background in Buckingham and Oxford in GB, 1924-1943: family; education; employment; early interest in aviation. Aspects of enlistment and training as pilot with RAF in GB and US, 1943-1944: background to enlistment; pattern of early training in Scarborough; start of flying training at RAF Desborough; opinion of De Havilland Tiger Moth; recovering from spin; soloing; in transit at Aircrew Reception Centre, Heaton Park; instructors in America; pattern of flying training in America.
REEL 2 Continues: return to GB aboard Queen Mary; background to volunteering for Fleet Air Arm, 1944. Aspects of training as pilot with Fleet Air Arm in GB, 1944-1945: appointment to Fleet Air Arm; winter flight in Airspeed Oxford. Aspects of period as pilot with 881 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm in GB and South Africa, 1945-1946: joining squadron, 3/1945; problems with brakes on Grumman Hellcat; opinion of Grumman Hellcat; attitude towards deck landings and rocket assisted take-offs; return to GB; duties prior to demobilisation, 9/1946. Aspects of period as pilot with Fleet Air Arm in GB, 1952-1953: re-joining Fleet Air Arm, 1951; induction and refresher course; character of Supermarine Seafire.
REEL 3 Continues: flying Hawker Sea Fury; dive-bombing. Aspects of operations as pilot with 807 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm aboard HMS Ocean, 1953: background to joining carrier off Korea, 5/1953; pre-dawn take off and use of catapult; losses during planning for Coronation Day; attitude towards attacks and abortive mission; character of daily operations and landing on; degree of air threat; close air support provided; flying cover for downed pilots.
REEL 4 Continues: in formation with American North American Sabre; prior recollection of record-breaking flight from GB to Malta. Aspects of period as pilot with Fleet Air Arm in GB, 1953-1959: conversion to jet aircraft; story of damage to airfield grass with De Havilland Mosquito; description of Short Sturgeon; flying last De Havilland Sea Hornet in service in Malta; air traffic control duties; story of flights to RAF Shawbury; landing using runway chain.
REEL 5 Continues: attempts to regain flying pay; leaving Fleet Air Arm for Air Traffic Control, 1959; flight in Hawker Fury trainer on retire, 1984.