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Hi all,

This is a huge long shot but here goes.

My grandfather was a commanding officer in the British Navy Fleet Air Arm between 1945-1954.

Lt Cdr J.M Glaser had been at the for-front of trying to land and take off planes from carriers.

On HMS Eagle he was the first to take off a supermarine attacker from its deck.

He also was the first pilot to get in a plane attached to the first ever catapult for launching planes.

He became the Commanding officer of Ford Airbase in Sussex England but died in a plane crash testing planes after colliding with another pilot.

Over the years we have managed to find bits of information like squadrons he flew in and some of the ships he was on but without his flight logbooks it is very hard.

I have been trying to help my mother find information about my grandfather for a few years now as we learn that a family member sold all his flight logbooks, photos, medals and his dress sword at an auction held by Bosleys auctioneers about 5 years ago.

To say this upset my mother would be putting it nicely.

If anyone knows any information about my grandfather I would love to hear it, so I can pass it onto my mother.

Thank you all for your time.


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War Hero
PS Have you been in touch with Bosley's about the sale? I wonder whether, if you wrote personal letters to the buyers and gave them to Bosley's, you could ask the purchasers in the letters to give you first option should they ever consider selling what they had bought.
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War Hero
"766 Royal Navy Officer’s Sword of Lt Cdr J.M. Glaser DSC Fleet Air Arm Pilot.

A very good attributed example of a George VI example. The blade with etched decoration and retailers name of Gieves to the forte. Solid gilt metal folding guard, this with engraved name “J.M. Glaser.” The white shagreen grip with twist wire binding and lion’s head pommel. Housed in leather scabbard with gilt metal mounts. Also bullion and blue silk line sword knot. Bullion See Illustration (£300 - £500)

The Recommendation of the award of the Distinguished Service Cross 12th May 1945 Acting Lieutenant Commander HMS Queen. “Lieutenant Commander Glaser led 853 Squadron during the attack on U-boat depot ships at Kilbotn with skill and resolution, although his aircraft was hit by flak he continued to direct operations coolly and efficiency. I consider the success of the attacks carried out by the Squadron was in great measure due to his leadership and to the confidence which his Squadron has in him”.

Extra Comments from the Rear Admiral Commanding First Cruiser Squadron: “Fully concur. This was 853 Squadron’s first real strike and verdict is due to Lt Cdr Glaser that it was so successful”

Recommendation for the MID 7th May 1944 HMS Fencer. “As Air Staff Officer he was unfailing in his devotion to duty and unsparing of himself during the operations involved in the passage of a recent North Russia Convoy and it’s attack by a U-boat pack. At one time for 72 hours he was continuously briefing the crews of aircraft and controlling the operations of those aircraft, when airborne, from the Air Operations Room, during which time he had no sleep or rest. Owing to the position of the bridge and its poor communication, I had to rely on him completely, giving him only the broadest outline upon which to base his decisions. At no time had I any worry as to the aircraft being used but to their best ability. In addition he is the Ship’s signal Officer. He is of outstanding ability for one of his age and seniority, is well able to accept responsibility and in possesses of sound powers of judgement.”

This sword and DSC medal group sold Bosleys 3rd July 2013

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Hi all,
Thank you for the info so far.

II believe my mother has or is currently trying to optain his service records.

We asked the auctioneers to pass on our details but they seem reluctant to help.

WWe have also spent time at the museum at Yeovilton trying to trace his records but it is very difficult to pinpoint without his flight records.

The squadron he was best known for being in was 703.
We know he was also in squadrons

700, 839, 842, 853, 736,807,703 & 803.

From my mother.
The Attacker Dad crashed into the Arun was WA526. The one that killed him was
WK339, north of Manhood Range (Selsey Bill), the debris all landing in the village of Siddlesham.
Thank all for your help.


War Hero
We have also spent time at the museum at Yeovilton trying to trace his records but it is very difficult to pinpoint without his flight records.

As far as I know, the only access to his records in the sense of his Service Record would be via the RN Disclosure Cell at Whale Island in Portsmouth, because Service Records for this period are still held by the Ministry of Defence. These are the forms which you would fill in to obtain them:



War Hero
Something which has also occurred to me is that the Fleet Air Arm Officers Association might be able to be of assistance. They do take an interest in their heritage.

They have a Facebook page and might be able to add a post to it saying that Lt Cdr Glaser's family would like to know more about his time with the FAA; someone might come forward with some information.



War Hero
The Attacker Dad crashed into the Arun was WA526. The one that killed him was
WK339, north of Manhood Range (Selsey Bill), the debris all landing in the village of Siddlesham.
Thank all for your help.


I have found a selection of pages which refer to the accident. One of them is the page at Kew which shows the listing for the report on the accident. There is another page which goes into the accident in some detail and I wasn't sure whether this was something you wanted to see. If you wish, I can provide the link to the page I saw.


A link to that information would be great thank you.

We go to the grave every year and my grandmother was also buried with him.


I managed to find a list of ships he served on.

The main ships he served on were:-

HMS Hermes.

HMS Enterprise
HMS Warspite
HMS Formidable ( promoted to Lt)
HMS Fencer
HMS Queen

HMS implacable ( crashed a plane on the deck and into the sea, servived un-injured)

HMS Theseus (flying sea fury's)

Appointed lecturer in Naval Aviation at the Royal Naval College,
Greenwich. Promoted to Lt. Cdr. (Apparently the youngest Lt. Cdr. in the
Navy at the time).

HMS Perseus ( This ship was fitted with the first steam catapult to which he was the first pilot to launch a firefly and later an Attacker)

HMS Eagle. ( After winkle Brown landed the supermarine Attacker on the deck the first pilots to take off the supermarine Attacker was my grandfather)

Any information on these ships or my grandfather would be much appreciated.
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Lantern Swinger
Try Imperial War Museum, found this:



Hi everyone,

As upsetting as this is to write we finally managed to find my grandfathers item going up at auction.
But as this cruel world is we couldn't get them back.
We are still looking for his dress sword and the possibility that we could get the photos of him and his flight logs back.

Very very sad day for my mother and I.


Kevin, that’s a real shame. I wish you luck with continuing to build the picture of your grandfathers time in the service. I’ve got a recent copy of Theo Ballance’s “The Squadrons and Units of the Fleet Air Arm” which obviously confirms the dates of him being CO, but doesn’t shed much more light. If you haven’t got a copy, I’d recommend buying one as it’s amazing for FAA research. Also join Tim Brown’s Facebook group called My Unofficial FAA History Page
you could dig up some gold there by way of photos, documents, advice etc.
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