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Preparation & departure for the Mediterranean: July - August 1943.


 

Unidentified Wildcat being prepared for take off - possibly a test flight for the carriers catapult and arrestor systems.

 

 

Unidentified Wildcat takes off

 

Pilots with a Seafire on the bow as the ship prepares to depart harbour with the ships' company ling lining the deck.

 

Pilots and other crew members with a Seafire and a Swordfish from 886 squadron behind, as the ship prepares to depart harbour with the ships' company ling lining the deck.

 

♦ This photo is taken from low to the deck  looking across the front of the flight deck and shows Seafires parked on the bow as the ship leaves harbour with the ships' company ling lining the deck.

 

♦ An unidentified Swordfish of 886 squadron after suffering serious damage - it is not known whether this was a crash on deck or damage done during the serious storm encountered 3-4 August during passage to Gibraltar.

 

♦ Flight deck personnel removing one of the wing sections from the 886 squadron Swordfish pictured above.

 

♦ The wreckage of the unidentified Swordfish of 886 squadron pictured above - one of he pilots thinks this piece of a wing would make a great surf board!

 

 

 


Operation ‘AVALANCHE’ the invasion of Slaerno, September 1943.


 

♦ Next four images: The Deck Landing Control Officer "Bats" gives signal to an approaching aircraft as it lines up on approach to landing. Note the arrestor wire raised ready to be snagged by the aircrafts tail hook.

Wings steady - Keep it coming...

Over the deck - Cut power

 

The next 6  photos show an unidentified Seafire which landed on after an op, missed all the arrestor wires and was stopped by the safety barrier; caught by its undercarriage it nosed into the deck and broke its engine mounts. The aircraft was write-off and after stripping salvageable parts it was jettisoned overboard.   (images 1, 3,4,4,& 6 †)  (Image 2 ♣)

 

 Another unidentified Seafire precariously perched on the starboard bow Oerlikon mount - this is possibly NM94I of 879 Squadron which was pushed off the flight deck by NM965 which crashed into the deck park September 9th 1943. NM94I is reported as being lost overboard.

 

♦ This Seafire L.IIc belongs to 880 squadron embarked in HMS STALKER - she probably landed on ATTACKER due to a fouled deck on STALKER during AVALANCHE operations.

 

Seafire L.IIc NM944 of 879 squadron on HMS ATTACKER: An officer removes her previous marking 'Q' from her her fuselage worn during her time with 814 squadron. On September 10th 1943  the aircraft suffered a jammed u/c lever and Lt. R.J. Sturges made a forced landing on Salerno beach, where she was abandoned.

 

The landing beaches and objectives for Operation AVALANCHE. Click for larger image

 

 

The CVEs of of Force 'V' leaving the Naples area after the Salerno landings. ATTACKER leading STALKER seen trailing BATTLER; the group is lead by HUNTER. From Royal Navy Research Archive collection.

 

 

View from ATTACKER of the CVEs BATTLER, HUNTER and STALKER, as they approach Palermo after Operation ‘AVALANCHE’

 

 

Above & Below: The burial at sea of D/JX 399986 Ordinary Seaman, Edwin Kershaw, off Palermo, Sicily. He died on board on September 10th 1943

 

Ship's Christmas Card  for 1944. From Royal Navy Research Archive collection.

 

 

 

HMS ATTACKER at anchor in Bangor bay, Northern Ireland, March 1944 © IWM (FL 1185)

 

 

Spares are taken on board from a Motor Torpedo boat. Date an place unknown.

 

 

 

 


Operations in the Mediterranean  June - October 1944.


 

View across the flight deck of HMS ATTACKER anchored in the Bay of Naples, July 1944.

 

Right hand smoke plume marks the spot where Sub lt. Clarke's bombs landed on August 19th 1944 attacking a suspected Tank during the invasion of Southern France.

 

Ω The four images below  show views of a landing that resulted in a nasty crash on deck on August 21st 1944 - Sub Lt. Clarke flying LR710, bounced over all the arrestor wires and cleared the barriers to crash into the forward deck park, damaging LR643, NN128 & LR740. Sub Lt A.A. Gowan RNZNVR was critically injured in the crash, he was still in the cockpit of his aircraft (NN128) having taxied forward into the aircraft park, his thigh was broken by LR740's airscrew which ripped through the cockpit door.

 

 

Above & below: August 21st 1944, caught on camera by his wingman, Sub Lt A.I.R. Shaw parachutes to safety over Southern France after his aircraft took heavy flak. He was soon captured but subsequently escaped and was helped by locals until the advancing allied forces reached his location.

 

Sub Lt. Clarke flying in Seafire MB270 'A ' overhead HMS ATTACKER, near Crete, on September 16th 1944 .

 

♦ Maintainers manually rotating the engine cylinders on a Seafire L.IIC

 

Lt. Cdr Baldwin leads begin his take off run to lead an attack on shipping in Rhodes Harbour, September 19th 1944.

 

 


Operations in the Indian Ocean June - October 1945.


 

HMS ATTACKER at Trincomalee.

 

Personnel of 879 squadron ashore at RNAS Trincomalee 1945.

 

September 1945 - HMS ATTACKER enters Singapore harbour, the ship is 'dressed' for entering harbour, a Seafire of 879 squadron stands p on the flight deck wearing invasion marking.

 


 

Photographs marked  Ω are courtesy of George Clarke, his father Sub Lt. (A) William Anthony Clarke, RNVR (P) served with 879 squadron March - October 1944. He flew missions during Operation DRAGOON, the invasion of Southern France, Operation OUTING I & OUTING II in the Dodecanese Islands, and Operation MANNA, the reoccupation of Piraeus.

 

Photographs marked  ♣ are courtesy of Courtesy of Peter Small, his father was Surg. Lt William Small RNVR who served aboard ATTACKER.

 

Photographs marked  are courtesy of Courtesy of Christopher Pegler, his father, Major Richard Pegler, Royal Artillery, was the Army Liaison Officer on board during the ships operations in the Mediterranean, in particular Operations AVALANCHE and DRAGOON.

 

Photographs marked † are courtesy of David Hamilton, his uncle, SSX28439 Leading  Seaman William Massey,  served on ATTACKER as a member of the 4" Gun crew.  He joined her at San Francisco and left after the Salerno landings.

 

Page last edited: 02 December 2018
 

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