Home' Navy News : May 13th 2010 Contents "THEY RE KEEPING THEIR PROMISE TO MY DAD."
Since 1923 Legacy has kept its promise to look after the families of deceased veterans.
Today 115,000 families rely on their support. Just as we rely on yours.
• Volunteer for Legacy events
• Become a Legatee
• Be an advocate for Legacy among friends and family
• Create a fundraising project for Legacy
To donate, phone 1800 LEGACY (534 229) or visit www.legacy.com.au
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY
DMO MILITARY RESERVES
exciting opportunities Australia wide!
LEAD TWICE THE LIFE
Exciting opportunities are available for Military Reservists in the following trades/ specialisations:
» Project Managment » Logistics » Finance » Administration » Technical Trades » Engineering (mechanical & electrical) » Aircrew
DEFENCE MATERIEL ORGANISATION | www.dmojobs.gov.au or call 1800 DMO JOBS (1800 366 562)
Many ventured an opin-
ion on the aircraft carrier
published in the April 15
edition as Miss April and
most were correct.
Assistant Fleet Legal Officer LEUT
Kurt Ploszczyniec (don't know wheth-
er I'd rather spell that or pronounce it)
says: "At a guess I would say she is HMS
Joseph Blansjaar offers HMS Hermes.
Ex-POMUSN Jim Hawkins tosses up
between HM Ships Victorious and Ark
Royal, plumping finally for Victorious.
And A/PO Dave Rickard (reckons he's
been demoted because of recent trans-
gressions), who's normally spot on in
identifying mystery ships, says: "My best
guess for Miss April is ... HMS Hermes."
All of these entrants and a Pom him-
self, CPOA(AH) Peter Cassar RN, rec-
ognise one basic fact -- that Miss April
is a Royal Navy ship. I suspect he's
on exchange from the UK at HMAS
Albatross. He's from of the Nostris in
manibus tuti side of the RN (the motto,
which translates as 'Safe in our hands',
is the one adopted by the RN Aircraft
Handler Branch, members of which are
sometimes, impolitely, referred to as
'chockheads'). Welcome Pete - and you
reckon Miss April is HMS Victorious?
But CPO Cassar, LEUT Ploszczyniec,
Joe Blansjaar, Ex-PO Jim Hawkins and
A/PO Dave Rickard are all wrong.
First in with the correct answer, pre-
fixed with a somewhat monarchistic, jin-
goistic "Rule Brittania, Britannia rules the
waves ...', was David 'Guns' Manolas.
He says: "I believe the Royal Navy
carrier featured as Miss April is the HMS
"The excellent publication The Royal
Navy in Australia 1900 - 2000, by Ross
Gillett and Vic Jeffery, provides brilliant
photos of these ships and there we see
'the 20-year-old carrier Eagle sailing
through Sydney Heads in 1971on her
final visit to Australia'.
"We are also told she was paid-off in
1972 and eventually towed to the break-
ers in 1978. Arranged on her flight deck
we can see Sea Vixens, Hawker Siddeley
Buccaneers ('Where are your bucca-
neers - on me buccan-head' we cried as
they swooped very low overhead during
our FESR deployments), Gannets and I
believe the helos are Wessexs. The Eagle
had been identified to operate the US
Phantoms but on the assertion it would
cost too much to make the necessary
changes she was withdrawn from serv-
ice." Congratulations on a fine effort.
ILS Manager Mark Edmistone, in his
usual thorough manner, also correctly
identifies HMS Eagle and goes on to
say: "She was refitted at Devonport once
more to give her the more powerful cata-
pults and wires to operate the McDonnell
Douglas Phantom. She re-commissioned
in 1967. Eagle had more advanced elec-
tronics and 984-series radar then her sis-
ter ship Ark Royal.
"However, by the mid-1960s, the
British Government had decided that the
days of the large Royal Navy aircraft car-
rier were limited. The fleet was swiftly
run down, with Eagle being the penulti-
mate to decommission.
"Initially it had been intended that Ark
Royal be decommissioned before Eagle,
but when Eagle shed a propeller blade the
decision was taken to remove her from
service instead of Ark Royal, rather than
construct a new propeller.
"She was paid off in 1972, and towed
to Devonport where she was placed in
reserve. Up until 1976 she was officially
still in reserve but had been used as a
source of parts for Ark Royal until the
latter decommissioned as well in 1978.
Eagle was then swiftly scrapped."
Others correct, in the order their
entries were received, include: Tony
Woodland, LEUT Jonathan Corker,
The 83-year-old Salt (Mike Pollard),
LSCSO Carmen Macfarlane, Greg
Clifford, Mark Biega, MAJ John Vetuna,
CAPT (AAC) Lee Clarke, CPOUS Rob
Sweet, ex-RO Sandy McNab, CMDR
Stuart Kaye, Steven Atkinson, SBLT
Scott Derrington, LCDR Mark Taylor,
LCDR Peter Doré, CMDR James Tobin,
Ex-POETP SM Peter O'Donohue,
CPO Owie Maloney, John Cowlishaw,
Richard Jones, SQNLDR Jimbo Stewart,
CPL Chris Russell, Vic Jeffery, John
'Skinhead' Kelson, Alan Baddams and
Peter Hounslow. Well done all.
Regular Mark Biega offered some
additional background on Miss April's
service with: "Eagle flew off Sea Hawks,
Wyverns, and Sea Venoms during six
days of attacks on Egyptian forces during
the Anglo-French action to take control of
the Suez Canal.
"Fresh from an extensive refit between
1959 and 1964, she took part in the
Indonesian Confrontation providing air
cover over the Malacca Strait, provided
air defence for Zambia during an invasion
threat from Rhodesia, and spent 71 days
at sea blockading oil from Rhodesia."
I'd like to welcome a newcomer who
may become a regular ... if we're not
using photos from his extensive collec-
tion of naval ship pics.
The recently retired historian, WA
Defence Public Affairs Manager and
Naval Reservist Vic Jeffery has deigned
to identify Miss April (it's not a pic from
the Vic Jeffery emporium of obscure
naval ship images).
He says: "I believe Miss April is the
post-WW2 aircraft carrier HMS Eagle
which served with distinction, world-wide
between 1951 and 1972. She was laid-up
in the River Tamar until 1978 when she
was towed to Cairnryan in Scotland for
Finally, I like to thank ex-RO Sandy
McNab for his kind words and sentiments
which I agree with entirely but am not at
liberty to share with other mystery ship-
pers here. Suffice it to say that I'm not
allowed to call anyone "...a real Whiskey
Alfa November Kilo Echo Romeo" in
~ LCDR Antony Underwood
Can you put a name on Miss May? (main
image) with Miss April - HMS Eagle (inset).
May 13, 2010
Now, have a look at
Miss May and send your
best efforts at correct
identification to tony.
gov.au by May 24.
Eagle-y awaiting ID
Links Archive April 29th 2010 May 27th 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page