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Goshawk 1943 - Do you know anyone in this picture? My 92 year old Dad is one of them!


I was looking up HMS Goshawk in Trinidad where my father, who is still alive, served in 1943 and came across this photo
My father is John Sampson, the elegant young man in the top right corner!
He was the engineer for 750 squadron.
As I write he is looking over my shoulder enjoying this trip down memory lane.
I wonder if anyone has any other photos from Goshawk from that period 1943-1945.
Or stories about the period.
Dad does remember a fatal air crash from his squadron 750 (not the same crash as happened to 752)
Also that he used to play a lot of bridge and that he was co-owner of a car which he and his friends travelled around the island in.
You can email me directly might be easier!
[email protected]
RNAS (Royal Naval Air Station) GOSHAWK was commissioned at Piarco, Trinidad (now the site of Trinidad's international airport) on 6 Nov 1940 after being occupied by an advance FAA party on 10 Oct 1940. The site had been known as HMS MALABAR II since 1 Aug 1940 but was renamed HMS GOSHAWK on 26 Sep 1940. It was used as the main RN base until HMS BENBOW was commissioned separately on 22 Jan 1941.

RNAS GOSHAWK was put into C&M (Care & Maintenance) in 1945 and paid off (closed down) on 28 Feb 1946.

I have attached relevant sections from the Navy List of 18 July 1943 but the senior officers of RNAS GOSHAWK were:

Capt (A) R de H Burton RN (In Command)
Cdr (O) A St J Edwards RN
T/Cdr (A) H R Farmer RN (For Air Engineering Duties)

The aircrew of 750 NAS comprised:

T/Lt Cdr (A)(P) E K Lee RNVR (In Command)
T/A/Lt Cdr (A)(P) F E Darlow RNVR
Lt (A)(P) D J Gudgeon RN
T/Lt (A)(P) F C Booth RNVR
T/Lt (A)(P) H Whitaker RNVR
T/Lt (A)(P) E F C Burchell RNVR
T/Lt (A)(P) D G Stewart RNVR
T/Lt (A)(P) R E Stewart RNVR
T/Lt (A)(P) C E Turner RNVR


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I have found an entry for RNAS GOSHAWK in the Navy List of 30 Dec 1944 which includes your father and am attaching the relevant sections.


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  • RNAS GOSHAWK 1943 d.jpg
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Thanks everyone so much!
You have made an old man's day! I mean it!
He instantly recognised two names on the list and is now sitting down with the photo putting names to it - if he can.
As someone who doesn't really understand the power of the internet he is completely amazed that this all exists online.
He has often talked about his time in Trinidad - but is a little embarrassed as well because he never saw any 'action' and of course many of his old friends had.
At the same time he has said that it felt good to be out of harms way.
He was born in Glasgow and moved to Sheffield and of course stories of the terrible air-raids in Sheffield filtered back.
Out of interests sake
He was one of the first people to leave Goshawk after the war ended and was flown to Australia (co-incidentally his mother was Australian), In Australia he worked for a team whose job was to dump fighter-planes in the sea off the coast there.

Best wishes to all

Andrew Sampson
Hi Andrew,

This is a years late reply to your thoughtful email but I've only just discovered this site and signed up. My father was a navigator in the Fleet Air Arm and was shot down in 1942 flying against submarines off Trinidad, I think in a Swordfish. I can't remember him but was named after him, John Llanwarne Cribb. It's a fairly unusual name so I wonder if it rang a bell with your father?

With many thanks for putting this information on the site. I was amazed to come across it.

John Cribb


War Hero
Click the pic and make it big.



War Hero
Officers & S/R's HMS GOSHAWK 1945. Apparently one of these people went on to become
the producer for a rather well known scouse pop group.

Interesting to have a group photo WITH names. Thanks for that. Can you say whether the names were added at the time? Not so sure whether the one I am interested in (possibly my father) is actually him ... but then again I have no photos from that time to compare it with.
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