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|Signatures on this item|
Captain Alan Leahy CBE DSC RN
|Joined the Royal Navy in 1943 as Naval Airman 2nd Class. he was trained by the US Navy as a fighter pilot flying Corsairs. Later he qualified as an Air Weapons Officer. He has served on the aircraft carriers Implacable, Illustrious, Theseus, Vengeance, Glory, Bulwark, Ark Royal, Victorious and Hermes. He commanded 738 (Seahawks), 803 (Scimitars) 700 Z and 809 (Buccaneers) and has flown 35 different types of aircraft. In 1953 he was awarded the DSC for operations over Korea flying Sea Furies in 801 Squadron from HMS Glory. He was the leader of the all red Royal Navy Seahawk aerobatic team of five aircraft at the 1957 Farnborough Air Show. He was made MBE in 1958. Amongst a variety of appointments he was Director of the Naval Air Warfare Division of the Naval Staff when the Royal Navy got approval for the Sea Harrier. His final appointment was as Commodore Clyde in command of HMS Neptune and the Faslane Submarine Base. He was appointed ADC in 1977 and promoted to CBE in 1978.|
Cdr. Lionel G Hooke VRD* RNR
|Joined the Navy at HMS Ganges in August 1940. On completion of the fighter course at Yeovilton he became a fighter pilot in the Eastern Fleet Fighter Pool as well as on the Staff of S.E.A.C. and 26th Indian Division for the capture of Akyab. Post war he served in the Reserve and on disbandment of the Northern Air Division in 1957 he transferred to M.0.D. (Navy) in the logistics department, with the non-substantive rank of Commander, being awarded a Bar to the V.R.D. in 1972.|
Commander Tommy Handley
|Commander Tommy Handley joined the Royal Navy as a Cadet in 1940. During his first two years he served in many ships varying from destroyer to battleships, mainly on escort and convoy duties in the South Atlantic, but including two Russian convoys. After promotion to Sub Lieutenant he was in Combined Operations in landing craft and served in MV Durban Castle for Operation Torch, landing US Troops in North Africa. He started flying in 1943 and after training in Canada joined 885 Squadron flying Hellcats in the Woolworth carrier HMS Ruler. In early 1945 he was transferred to 1844 Squadron in HMS Indomitable and took part in Operation Iceberg against Japanese offshore islands. After the war he was a flying instructor with the Royal Air Force before becoming an Air Weapons Officer and joining 800 Squadron as senior Pilot, later commanding officer, flying Seafire 47s in HMS Triumph. She was the first British carrier to be involved in the Korean War and Tommy was the last pilot to fly an operational mission in a Seafire/Spitfire. He was therefore the "Last of the Few". On promotion to Commander he was appointed to command HMS Bramble on fishery protection duties and employed in and around Norway and Iceland, as well as home water. Then he was off to flying duties again as Commander (Air) of HMS Centaur. Later he was appointed the Commander of the Naval Air Station Hal Far in Malta, before taking up further duties abroad as Naval Attache Istanbul, Naval Attache Tehran and finally Resident Naval Officer in Mombassa and Adviser to the Kenya Navy. He retired from the Navy in 1976.|
|The Aircraft :|
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