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RNAS FORD (HMS Peregrine)

rumflyer

Newbie
Hello all. Does anyone have any detailed info on the crash and loss of Seahawk FGA6 XE381 on 26 August 1957 at RNAS Ford? I recall that it was practising for a forthcoming display at Farnborough and that the pilot was killed but know nothing of the circumstances nor the name of the unfortunate pilot. I was flying then and I'm still flying now (58 years a pilot) and the aircraft records are held by me in my personal museum. The a/c was SOC'd (struck off charge) and scrapped whilst I was serving in Malaya and very little info remains other than it served in HMS Eagle in Suez together with HMS OCEAN (I was serving in). These were magnificent little aeroplanes and revered as being the last 'pilot's' aeroplane in that it had no flying surfaces servo systems or navigation refinements - a transitional a/c design by Camm's team that was a joy to fly. Youtube has a few clips of them operating in display formation with 800 sqdn RNAS and with, I think, 786 training sqdn.
I'd be really grateful for any leads to greater detail.
all the best and 'yours aye'
Rumflyer
 

scouse

War Hero
26/08/1957 XE381 Sea Hawk FGA6 897 NAS Struck the ground and exploded at Ford, West Sussex during display practice for the Farnborough air show. The pilot was killed KELLY, Dennis P W, Lieutenant Commander. Ps a good book for you to read about your time on the Eagle and Ocean at that time is "Bit of a Tiff" by Bill Drake AEO 897 squadron Seahawks. pps I always have a pint in the King of Prussia ,when down in your neck of the woods Kingsbridge lol
 
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scouse

War Hero
Maybe some kind soul might be able to do some research for you. The daily paper article from that day???? 26/8/57
 

rumflyer

Newbie
Thanks a million scouse. I was pretty young and wet behind the ears at that time (76 now) and don't remember the face but I certainly remember the name. Next time heading this way email me at [email protected] and maybe we could meet up - I still like a jug or two! Do you know if this was impact off a loop and whether formation was being flown at the time? I am a life member of SOFFAAM so if you're ever there maybe would could catch up? I'll check the west Sussex post and see what they have. I never cease to be amazed at the number of a/c we used to have nor the attrition rate. I think there were 456 or so Seahawks built and a lot were lost in accidents - the Nene didn't spool up quickly which caught a lot of pilots.
I am guessing that I may have served at just the right moment in Britain's history - sad that we have no fixed wing fighters any more.
yours aye
Rum
 

scouse

War Hero
Sorry I know no more about the accident....but if you email , below on this site. I think you might get the answer to your question, as I note a few replys in the comments are from people who were based at Ford, you might know of them??? Best of luck David.Thunder & Lightnings - Hawker Sea Hawk - History ps list of Seahawk ejections..SeaHawk
 
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rumflyer

Newbie
Thanks. Have managed to glean a few more details from SOFFAAM at Yeovilton. Lt Cdr Tom Leece was in this display team which was being led by Lt Cdr 'Spiv' Leahy - names seem to be easy to come by but the AAI team reports are few on the ground. I think 'Spiv' might have taken over from Dennis since Dennis was Senior and had already commanded 809 sqdrn and would probably have been team leader until his loss. Thanks again for your help.
Rum
 

scouse

War Hero
image.jpg The great man himself.. Commander Spiv Leahy My old C/O from 809 squadron MK 1 buccaneers at Lossiemouth, also in frame another Bucc pilot Lt CDR Anson
 
The airfield is still mostly there and outside the main entrance of what is now an industrial estate, they do have one of the aircraft type outside and modelled as if taking off. It's also worth having a look on google maps as you can still make out the layout of the original airfield.

On top of that, the original control tower of Tangmere Airfield is still standing, although a derelict ruin. It stands near the Tangmere aviation museum - it was also the home of Douglas Bader.
 

scouse

War Hero
Originally Posted by rumflyer
Wonderful, what year was this? Was Jonathan Tod on squadron at that time?
all the best
Rum
photo was taken O9 Fly navy 100...Tod!!! Not a name i remember.....Names of a few I do remember Watson ,Hulme , Councill.RIP. De Winton Stanley White Mears Hornblower, Eatwell Gamley Ellis,Tristam Somerville Jones, Goodenough, Anson Middleton, Thompson. To name but a few
 

rumflyer

Newbie
I remember the airfield in its active days though I never landed or was based there, Tangmere was active too and I did get to fly a C130 from there whilst on exchange with the RAF in the late 50's. Really grateful for your interest and your input. I'm trying to piece together information from my days in the sun before its gets lost in the annals of newer generations - I want to leave them something more than an outline of where our airfields used to be if you know what I mean.
Thanks again and all the best
Rum
 

rumflyer

Newbie
Lots of names there I remember. Johnny Tod (Vice Admiral Ret'd) was voted 'top' Buccaneer pilot several times and was forced to eject at 'Lossie' from a Hunter in close company with Sahram Singh of the Imperial Indian Navy, his wingman, when bounced by John Middleton (from astern during staff weapons/tactics continuation training at lossie) The two formated Hunters colided during evasion tactics. Johnny (6'3" before ejection) lost almost one and a half inches to spinal compression. Singh never flew again. It's all available on the web! Jonny went on to command Illustrious and was airborne at the time he learned of his flag promotion. He lives very near me and is waiting for an opportunity to take second seat in my 1942 North American Defender and fly again after 20 years of abstinence. We met up earlier this year at an event I organised - still every bit an Admiral!!!!
 

scouse

War Hero
Remember the day that SKRODZKI, Zbigniew K, Lieutenant in 1969? ejected from his hunter over at Gordonstoun....too low RIP
 

slim

War Hero
Remember the day that SKRODZKI, Zbigniew K, Lieutenant in 1969? ejected from his hunter over at Gordonstoun....too low RIP

I was on watch that day, 764 sqdn trained A.W.I.s Skoders was a gent, just kept with the aircraft too long to aviding hitting Lossie school or village.
 

scouse

War Hero
I was on watch that day, 764 sqdn trained A.W.I.s Skoders was a gent, just kept with the aircraft too long to aviding hitting Lossie school or village.
Slim I believe he was the only FAA pilot to eject from a jet 3 times....as he had previously ejected from 2 Scimitars RIP
 

lawless

Newbie
Re LCDR Kellys crash. He was flying inverted at very low level (10-19 feet) after several passes along the runway he crshed. Not a pleasnt sight.

Incidenally I shared a 4 berth cabin with Tug Wilson the cartoonist
 

S43A

Midshipman
Re LCDR Kellys crash. He was flying inverted at very low level (10-19 feet) after several passes along the runway he crshed. Not a pleasnt sight.

Incidenally I shared a 4 berth cabin with Tug Wilson the cartoonist

Dennis Patrick Wolfe Kelly 1926-1957 is buried in St Mary's Churchyard Clymping. He was serving with 898 Squadron ex Centaur.The Squadron C.O. was
Lt Cmd DG Parker DSO DSC AFC a later Rear Admiral who died in 2000.
Dennis had served in the navy for 14 years.
 

Cabo

Newbie
Very unfortunate accident. The starboard aileron bracket broke with A/C at 90 degrees to the runway doing 8 point roll very low practicing at Daedalus a few days earlier. He used full top rudder and pulled about 9G to recover which severely over-stressed the A/C resulting in a ripple across each wing and rivets holding the fairing from wing to lower fuselage tearing away. Since no other A/C was available we repaired it as best we could. From memory, for whatever reason, it was his last airshow and he was very persuasive in getting us to sign off the A/C much against our better judgement.
A wonderful person and a brilliant pilot. Again from memory, the only pilot flying a Firefly to have shot down a MiG in Korea.
 

Wightsparker

War Hero
Lots of names there I remember. Johnny Tod (Vice Admiral Ret'd) was voted 'top' Buccaneer pilot several times ............. He lives very near me and is waiting for an opportunity to take second seat in my 1942 North American Defender and fly again after 20 years of abstinence. We met up earlier this year at an event I organised - still every bit an Admiral!!!!


Only a slight thread drift, honest, but there's a nice dit about Vice Admiral Tod. Whilst Flag Officer Portsmouth, as a rear admiral, he was visiting the survey launch HMS Gleaner in the Solent when a small local fishing vessel started to sink. Gleaner was only a short distance away and responded quickly to the Mayday call. Admiral Tod was able to haul the fisherman aboard Gleaner before the fishing boat sank. The fisherman apparently said he was very grateful for the assistance, but there hadn't really been a need to send an admiral......

You might like to ask him if it's true!
 

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