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Rear-Admiral Linley Middleton RIP

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Falklands commander who cheated death three times
[h=2]...last captain of the strike carrier Hermes, flagship of the Task Force which won the Falklands conflict 30 years ago... [/h]
...when, flying Sea Hawk jet fighter-bombers in 897 Naval Air Squadron from Eagle, he almost drowned on three occasions.

On July 7 his Sea Hawk suffered an engine failure while in inverted flight over the Mediterranean; he bailed out and was rescued by helicopter.

On August 4 his Sea Hawk caught fire as he was being launched from the deck of Eagle, and, too low to eject, he had to ditch .

Then, on October 12, his Sea Hawk fell into the sea after the catapult had failed as he was taking off. On the last two occasions the aircraft quickly sank, but Middleton had the presence of mind to stay in the cockpit until the ship had run over him, releasing the cockpit hood only when he could see that he was in the ship’s wake. As he bobbed to the surface on the first occasion, however, he looked certain to be run down by the rescue destroyer — but its bow wave pushed him aside. After the second ditching, he was unconscious by the time the rescue helicopter landed him on to the flightdeck and he was resuscitated him by the ship’s doctor....


Rear-Admiral Linley Middleton - Telegraph
 
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