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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Obituaries
    Posted: 30 April 2007 at 11:43am

 

These pages are dedicated to the memory of all ‘Coastal Forces’ combatants and support personnel.

If you wish to add a name here please contact the BMPT, or ‘Pioneer’ through the sites ‘PM’ facility with details.

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One of our hero's, Lt David Wickins, will be remembered at a Service of Thanksgiving for his life at St Brides Chapel, London. on the 3rd May at 11.30 am. Mrs Wickins extends an invitation to attend to any members of the CFVA or any other persons who knew him.

David Wickins was one of those rare persons who joined as an A/B, became Ldg Seaman - progressed up to Cox'n PO -then Sub/Lt on "D" type  MTB's 752 and 604. He finally settled down with his wife in Santa Ponsa. Mallorca where he died at the end of January 2007.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2007 at 11:02am

An appreciation for the life of another hero

Lt Cdr DEREK HANCOCK 1923 – 2006

Derek Hancock was born in 1923 in Chelsea.  He was educated in London at St Juliana’s and then the Salesian College, Battersea.  After leaving school he worked for a short time at Semtex, Caversham where he met Irene, his future wife. He joined the Navy in December ’41 as an Ordinary Seaman with a potential commission ( Y Scheme).  After training  he was drafted to HMS Kale on ocean escort duties.  In mid ’43 he underwent officer training and was commissioned as a Midshipman.  He requested to go into Coastal Forces and went on to serve as Lt Cdr on several motor gunboats during the remainder of the war, taking part in escort duties on D Day.

On leaving the Navy after the war, he studied for, and was awarded a Degree in Engineering through the University of London in 1949.  In 1952 he married Irene and became a father to Tim in 1958 and Jan in 1960.  During this time he lived first in Tonbridge, and then for many years in Crowborough.  His working career in management spanned 30 years during which time he was employed by Tubewrights, Charrington Gardner Locket and Concorde Lighting.

It was in his so called “retirement” that he perhaps blossomed most, moving to Fulking and being very involved with the community there, through the Parish Council, the Parochial Church Council, as well as involvement with his own Catholic church in Shoreham.  He worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau in Lancing as an advisor for over 20 years, and for SSAFA in a similar capacity for many years.

A few years after Irene’s death in 1996, he moved to Newick to be close to his family and was equally involved in serving the community during the 7 years that he lived there, as well as being a loving grandfather to his four grandchildren.

He was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in June 2006 and after a short illness, died peacefully with his family, at home on 10 September 2006.  He is greatly missed by family and friends.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2007 at 4:47pm

An appreciation for the life of

Lt Cdr Tom Ladner RCN. 1916 – 2006.

 

Tom Ladner was born on the 8th December 1916 in Vancouver – the son of Lawyer, MP, Diplomat – Mr Leon Ladner, and Grandson of a Cornish miner who had sought his fortune in the Californian and Fraser River gold rushes before turning his hand at farming.

Educated at the Shawnigan Lake School on Vancouver Island – then Leys School Cambridge. He went on to the University of British Columbia - then into Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. During a debate in the University he had proposed that Canada should withdraw from the Union of the British Empire if GB should declare War. However, once War was declared he volunteered alongside his closest friends –‘ Corney’ Burke and ‘Wimpy’ Maitland and they generally became known as ‘The Three Musketeers’ during their War time careers.

By Wartimes end – Maitland had earned a DSC and Bar, a Croix-de-Guerre and two mentions in dispatches. Burke had earned a DSC and two Bars with four mentions in dispatches while Tom Ladner earned the DSC and Bar with four mentions in dispatches.

After his initial training at HMCS York, Toronto he transferred to HMS King Alfred Sussex UK for his commission – arriving in the UK during the first day light bombing raid on London.

His first posting was onto a former Canadian Pacific Liner – by then the Armed Merchant Cruiser ‘Forfar’. She was torpedoed by the famous U-Boat ace Kapitan Lt Otto Kretschmer in U99.

Tom Ladner was one of the 27 survivors

He joined Coastal Forces with the 8th MGB Flotilla and became the CO of MGB 75.

During one raid off the Dutch Coast his boat became so damaged that he could not make the ‘open sea’, so he hid his craft behind a large Buoy ..”until things quietened down”.. He then made his way back to Felixstowe on two Engines only with a large hole in the Bow - taking a short cut through a minefield.

After a two month leave – which he managed to take in Canada – he returned to join a ‘Dog Boat’ Flotilla and headed for the Mediterranean Theatre. It was in this area that he earned his first DSC There are many of his exploits that could be recorded here but luckily they can be found in the many books written about the Mediterranean War – he was a real hero and we owe so much to the likes of Lt Cdr Ladner – his Crew’s - and of course his contemporaries from all the former Dominions

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 May 2007 at 7:53pm

Mike Munns.  

 

The passing of Mike Munns on the 13th April 2007 was received with great sadness. I had been in touch with Mike up until very recently having written – by land mail – to his home in Lauriton Australia regarding his wartime experiences on MTB 671.

Very generous by nature, this gentleman hero was able to assist a relative of one of his former shipmates who had lost his life when 671 was destroyed in action off the Channel Island of Alderney in April 1944. Mike, fatefully, was not on board that night – having been ‘drafted’ out to the Mediterranean just weeks before – but he remembered and honoured that particular crew and Flotilla (55th) until his last days.

 

Mike had signed on – quite illegally by altering his age – when just 16. He recalled that the PO Cox of 671, ”Dixie” Dean, had some suspicion of his age and called down the For’d Hatchway one day - “Munns! The CO wants to see you in the Wardroom at mid-day!” Suspecting that his age had been tumbled – or worse still - that a bottle of rum that he had managed to smuggle off the boat to post home (gained by swapping his tobacco ration for the daily rum issue not available to him) had been discovered, he became very nervous as the time approached. A laughing “Dixie” Dean eventually arrived and said that he was pulling his leg but to “be careful in the future” as he had seen him tying the bottle to his leg before the last Shore Leave. He remembered with deep affection all his shipmates – he met up with the two survivors of that fateful night - Sub Lt Colin Morley – Navigating Officer and A/B Alfred Day DSM – Twin Oerlikon Gunner – after the War. He was the very last member of the crew of 671. During the latter part of his life Mike managed to obtain a commemorative car number plate (in Australia) and it is fitting that it is repeated here “LEST WE FORGET”

 

Mike Munns

1926 – April 13 2007.

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2007 at 8:44pm

Captain Alasdair Macdonald Watson, D.S.C., V.R.D., R.N.R.

Captain Alasdair Watson, who has died aged 87, fought, as commanding officer of Motor Torpedo Boat 5001, in one of the last naval actions of the Second World War in the North Sea.

On 6th April 1945, with neither moon nor phosphorescence, conditions ideal for attack operations, six German E-boats sped from the Hook of Holland to make a final gesture of defiance in the Second World War. They were far across the North Sea before they were picked-up by a Wellington bomber equipped with radar and VHF communications.    As the E-boats closed the line of buoys through which convoys passed, the frigate, HMS Cubitt, closed from the north and opened fire causing them to turn north into a trap.

MTBs 781 and 5001 were waiting further north and were ordered to steer west and were almost on top of the enemy when they sighted them heading at right angles across their bows.   MTB 781 passing close astern and raking the enemy with gunfire just missed ramming the nearest E-boat.    MTB 5001 broke through the enemy’s line, exchanging fire with the boats port and starboard.    Turning to starboard in a classical Nelsonian manoeuvre both MTBs continued to engage the enemy at close range and the E-boats swung round to escape to the south-east.    Although badly damaged the E-boats returned fire hitting 5001, which, unlike diesel-engined German boats, was driven by highly flammable petrol stored aft.  MTB 781 turned to the rescue meeting 5001 bow-on to avoid the impending petrol explosion astern, enabling the crew to escape by jumping from one vessel to the other. 

Alasdair Macdonald Watson was born in Edinburgh on 24th February 1920, the eldest of five children.    His father, Alexander Pirie Watson was a surgeon in the Great War and his mother, Ann (née) Macdonald, a nursing sister, served in Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service in Salonika.      His first interest in the Navy was sparked, aged five, watching destroyers in the Firth of Forth.     

Educated at the Edinburgh Academy and Fort Augustus Abbey School, Alasdair excelled at rugger and won his school colours in 1938.  The headmaster, Commander Fairie R.N. encouraged his interest in the sea by purchasing an old fishing boat for use by the boys on Loch Ness.

He enrolled as a medical student at Edinburgh University in 1939; but the war intervened. Enlisting on 2nd August 1940 as an Ordinary Seaman in the Royal Navy at Rosyth, he was posted to Lancing College and, after six weeks living in garages in Hove, he started 21st August 1941 as a naval rating and ended the day as Lieutenant, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.

Alasdair was posted to HMS St. Christopher, Fort William to learn Fast Motor Boats.      In January 1942 he was 1st Lieutenant of MGB 326 and on the night of 27th/28th February 1942 took part in Operation Biting.    That night bombers dropped an airborne assault group on the Bruneval German radar station. They attacked the site, photographed equipment, took components and retreated to the beach rendezvous; but the navy was delayed waiting silently in the dark while a German convoy passed across their bows before repatriating the raiding party.

In August 1942, as 1st Lieutenant of MGB 326, Alasdair served in the main landing at Dieppe, and was mentioned in despatches. 

He served in 12th and 14th MGB flotillas earmarked for clandestine operations, ferrying frogmen for beach samples and SOE agents to the French coast, he was again mentioned in despatches.

On D-Day 6th June 1944 he commanded MGB 330 leading the assault wave from Portsmouth, and escorting Landing Ship HMS Prince Henry, carrying his cousin, Lieutenant Ian Macdonald, Canadian Scottish Regiment, to the beaches of Normandy, where four days later he was killed.

Ironically in 1945, Alasdair was appointed Senior Officer German E-Boats based for evaluation at HMS Hornet, Portsmouth.  He was awarded the DSC in December 1945 for his war service.

From 1946 he spent many happy years teaching maths, science, coaching rugby and athletics at Dalhousie Castle, Melville House, Ladybank and Clifton Hall Schools.

In 1951 he joined the Royal Naval Reserve at HMS Claverhouse and from 1958 to 1966 he commanded HMS Scotia, a training establishment in Pitreavie.   In 1963 he was promoted Captain and served as ADC to the Queen, retiring from the navy in 1971.

Alasdair was president of the Combined Operations Association based near Furnace on the shores of Loch Fyne, where he lived, the scene of many exercises for the Normandy invasion.

In 1960 he married Isobel Elizabeth “Elsie” Crawford of Comrie, a keen golfer, with whom he spent many happy years until her death in 1994.   Related through his mother to the Macdonalds of Keppoch, Alasdair wore Keppoch tartan and is buried in the family plot at Cille Choirill, Roy Bridge.

 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 June 2007 at 10:23pm

Dennis Fisher 1926 – 2007.

Dennis enjoyed a long and full life. Born to Frederick and Alice Fisher on 14th April 1926 in Friern Barnet, he mainly grew up in Carshalton and attended Homefield School in Sutton and then Epsom College. He joined the Navy towards the end of the Second World War and served on HMS Diadem which took him to both the Caribbean and Norway - cementing his lifelong love of the sea.

   Once out of the Navy Dennis continued his studies with his father's firm and qualified as a solicitor. He pursued a long and distinguished career in the City of London, becoming Senior Partner of Stafford Young Jones and serving for 27 years as a member of the Common Council of the City of London. He took a particular interest in the business of the Irish Society, becoming its Deputy Governor, and he also served a term as the Master of the Solicitors' Livery Company.

    Away from work Dennis was also a committed family man and father to six children; David, Carol, Jean, John, Andrew and Keith. Relaxation came in the form of sailing and Dennis' other "children" included Popeye, Jacanda, Diadem and Moody Lady, all of which were moored near Chichester and provided many happy hours for all the family. Dennis was also a keen model railway hobbyist and his home in Banstead could easily rival his daily commute to London Bridge station for rolling stock.

    In retirement, although increasingly limited by the lung disease he rarely complained about, Dennis supported the RNLI by raising funds and becoming treasurer of the Banstead branch. He joined Probus and also took an active interest in the Old Epsomian society, thereby catching up with a number of old school friends. He enjoyed photography and the advent of digital cameras and computers gave a new impetus to his interest. Through this he recorded his and Jenny's cruises, particularly his recent visits to Norway and the Arctic Circle which allowed him to meet up again with his great friend Lilil, who he first met as a result of Oslo's black market in nylons and cigarettes back in 1946!

    Indeed many of Dennis' friendships stood the test of many years. His intense loyalty to his family and friends is evident from many of his relationships: with Jennifer, his loving wife of 40 very happy years; with special friends such as Pat and Gordon and Norah and Dick; and with work colleagues such as Bruce Christer who has been such a help in so many ways. The esteem in which Dennis was held has been reflected in the many generous tributes paid by friends, neighbours and colleagues in the kind letters of condolence received by Jenny and the family. A common theme soon emerges from reading these letters: that Dennis was a quiet and caring man whose kindness, decency and cheerfulness made a lasting impression on many people, who all felt he was a truly gentle gentleman.

    He is survived by his wife Jennifer, his six children and twelve grandchildren and he will be sadly missed by us all.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 August 2007 at 2:13pm

As a long time and well respected member of the British Military Powerboat Trust.

– An exceptional gentleman who became fully engrossed with the aims of the Trust –

It is felt to be fitting that an appreciation for his life should be made on these pages.

 

Squadron Leader Bevis Denton (`Bob’) Davies AFC RAF

`Bob’ Davies was born on 11th July 1920 at Gravesend where his father was a Trinity House river pilot.  His father had served in the Royal Navy commanding a destroyer during World War One and a flotilla of mine sweepers in World War 2.

He was awarded the DSC.

Bob was actually christened `Bevis Denton’ However, from a very young age Bevis Denton Davies knew his own mind and assumed the Christian name of Bob, which stuck.

He was educated at Gravesend Grammar School, `matriculated’ and gained a place at the College of Aero and Auto Engineering in Sidney Street, Chelsea.

His flying training started in September 1941, on the ubiquitous ‘Tiger Moth’. Being selected to complete his training in the United States, Bob was awarded his wings and commissioned on 5th September 1942.  It was at this stage of his flying career that his exceptional flying skills were first recognized and he became a Qualified Flying Instructor: After collecting his officer’s uniform, he moved to California, and then to South Carolina, where he spent the next 8 months honing his QFI flying skills. Returning to the UK in summer 1943, but having to go through the whole British retraining process – Bob did not join a Bomber Squadron until July 1944.

Bob and his crew then completed 18 day and night operations with the Squadron, during a period of very heavy losses for all of RAF’s bomber fleet.  Bob was a great believer in `luck’, and over this period he had his fair share: In September 1944, a bomb dropped by a Lancaster flying above them fell through his aircraft just aft of the top gunner’s position. Apart from the tail gunner losing his oxygen supply, the aircraft continued to behave normally. They set course for home but due to the weather, in the end had to make a forced landing at Old Buckenham south of Norwich.

A man of independent spirit he not have too much respect for `rules’, demonstrated in an earlier episode when an unauthorized long weekend led to some days of reflection in the `bad boys’ detention centre at Shedfield.  He was also admonished for inadvertently wrecking his COs nearly new `runabout’ aircraft.

None of this though was considered particularly important as Bob was promoted to acting Squadron Leader and posted as a flight Commander to 214 Squadron, flying from Oulton. Bob’s luck continued to hold. Returning on three engines from one countermeasure operation, he was given priority to land and the aircraft ahead was instructed to `go round again’. Unfortunately, this aircraft was shot down by a German night fighter intruder. A short time later, the intruder returned and shot up the de-briefing room just as Bob and one of his crew were leaving. Bob remained with 214 Squadron until the end of the war, completing some 12 operations, including the Dresden raid. He was recommended for a DFC by his Squadron and Station Cdr, but it was refused at Group level for reasons unknown.

After the war, Bob wanted to remain flying and joined No 102 Squadron engaged mainly in trooping flights to Karachi. Unsurprisingly it was Bob who flew the last operational Liberator sortie.

In 1946, Bob converted to the Avro `York’ and joined No. 242 Squadron at Oakington flying lengthy trooping flights to Singapore. It was on this route, in 1947, that he collected his Court Martial for indulging in a little unauthorized formation flying – which might have passed unnoticed had they not been involved in a slight collision. Both aircraft landed safely but disciplinary procedures were inevitable. Bob was fortunate to receive only a reprimand and loss of his B/VIP flying category from the Court Martial. He was grounded for a period working in squadron ops and then only allowed to fly freighting sorties. In the summer of 1948, the Berlin Airlift changed everything and during 10 months he flew 330 sorties, at an average of 1 a day.

After his outstanding efforts on the airlift, he was posted to White Waltham, as the personal pilot to the C in C Home Command – Air Marshall Sir Robert Foster, flying a De Havilland `Dove/Devon’.  Bob and his navigator were exceptional aviators – a necessity in the VIP role - their skills being highly regarded by the Air Marshal despite some unusual but successful bad weather approach techniques and when Sir Robert Foster was promoted to Air Chief Marshal and posted to RAF Germany, Bob and his Navigator went with him.

Bob was to fly many famous politicians/world leaders including the German leaders, Conrad Adenauer and Willi Brandt, who always rewarded him with a case of Rhine wine. During this period he was awarded his Air Force Cross, recommended by the ACM, but in his usual stubborn way, insisted that if he was to be decorated, then so should his Master Navigator who was duly awarded the Air Force Medal.

In early 1955, Bob returned to the UK to join the Transport Command Examining Unit, where he qualified to examine crews flying `Anson’, `Devon’, `Valetta’ and `Viking’ aircraft. This took him all over the RAF world and it was in this period that Bob’s first marriage ended in divorce. However during the divorce procedures, Bob met Eunice. This time Bob had met his match, they were married and were to share the rest of his life together.

In 1958, he was posted to the Officers Initial Training School. Despite his own rather checkered career, Bob was a hard task master. After this brush with the personnel world, Bob found himself at a desk job in the Personal Department of the Air Ministry in Theobalds Road, which he stuck until the summer of 1963, retiring at the age of 43

Apart from flying, Bob had two other great passions in his life: one was his beloved Bull Terriers, of which he had nine consecutively over 45 years; the other was cars, particularly owning and driving large American cars. The next few years all involved driving and chauffeuring, using his own and others cars until finally he became a chauffeur with the Bahrain Embassy, for whom he worked for 13 years until his final retirement in 1990 at age 70.

In retirement, Bob did a lot for RAF Squadron Associations, in particular that of No 214 Squadron, serving on the Committee from the beginning,

Bob’s final years were trying, even with Eunice at his side. His rapidly failing eyesight meant that he had to give up the pleasure of owning and driving his special cars and, as his eyesight continued to deteriorate, he could no longer read, relying on `talking books’. Bob bore all of this with stoicism and fortitude, his dry sense of humour always to the fore.

In an RAF career spanning some 23 years, of which nearly 20 had been in the cockpit, Bob flew 30 wartime operations and 330 flights on the Berlin Airlift; in a total of 23 different aircraft types and logged 7315 flying hours. He was an exceptional pilot – one of the top 10% -, a thinking but risk taking pilot – and more importantly - he never lost the twinkle in his blue eyes.  He had no respect for self important, self serving authority - but he nevertheless rose above some difficult times to become a highly respected senior officer in his Service.

He still felt however that he – a survivor – had a responsibility to those who didn’t finish the course and he completed a great act of pilgrimage, identifying and recording the graves of all those airmen who had died flying with 214 Sqn.  

Bob to the end was a truly lucky man.

 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2007 at 2:52pm

Vice-Admiral Sir Roy Halliday

Naval aviator who won the DSC in the Far East and rose to become the MoD head of intelligence

With conscription inescapable with a world war under way, Roy Halliday (universally known as “Gus”) volunteered for the Royal Navy from University College School, London, in 1941 rather than risk being called up into the Army. His previous seagoing experience had been the hardship of a deckhand's life in a Lowestoft fishing trawler.

Entering as an ordinary seaman, RNVR, he was soon offered a commission and asked if he would like to train as a naval pilot. Flattered and excited, he did not make the connection that it was the casualty rate in this category that prompted his elevation.

Although not yet at war, the US was secretly providing training for British airmen. Halliday was shipped to Canada and then to the US naval air station at Grosse Ile, near Detroit, followed by highly intensive flying training at Pensacola, Florida, where he obtained his “wings” after 300 hours solo. The American award featured a smart parade and the issue of a diploma. Later the RN's liaison officer called and issued the Fleet Air Arm's coveted braid wings to each graduate from a large Oxo tin. “Typical British understatement,” he thought.

Pearl Harbor enabled the British at last to wear uniform. Halliday was appointed to a squadron of Grumman Avengers, a sturdy US-designed carrier-borne bomber, and joined the escort carrier Chaser in the Gulf of Mexico. At that time, Henry Kaiser's shipyards on the US Pacific Coast were launching one complete escort carrier a week.

Three months of anti-submarine patrols in the Atlantic were followed by deployment to the Royal Naval Air Station HMS Sparrowhawk at Hatston in Orkney, as a guard against the escape of German heavy warships from Norway into the convoy routes.

Halliday's squadron was then embarked in the large carrier Illustrious, which arrived in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in January 1944. It thereafter carried out bombing raids on Japanese installations in Java and Sumatra, as well as operations in support of General Slim's 14th Army in Burma.

Halliday had transferred to the Victorious by January 24, 1945, the day of the largest raid carried out by the Fleet Air Arm, on oil refineries at Palembang in Sumatra, which were bombed by aircraft from four large carriers. During the raid Halliday's Avenger was shot up by a Japanese Zero fighter, and after a hair-raising flight, on fire, over mountainous jungle he ditched in the Java Sea and was picked up in his dinghy by the destroyer Whelp. The destroyer's efficient second-in-command was Prince Philip, who lent him a dry uniform and accompanied him on a “run ashore” in Western Australia.

Returning to Victorious, Halliday found that his cabin mate had been shot down and was a PoW. He was one of nine British naval aircrew who were paraded in Changi Prison, Singapore, two days after VJ Day and beheaded, to Halliday's great distress.

In the meantime, Halliday had continued in Victorious, taking part in raids on Formosa (Taiwan), the Ryuku islands and finally the Japanese mainland. Soon after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombs ended the war, he was shipped home in the troopship Rangitiki, having been awarded two mentions in dispatches and the DSC for his gallantry and skill.

He took up the offer of a permanent RN commission and was appointed as a test pilot to the experimental establishment at Boscombe Down, where an exciting tour alongside such aviation heroes as Neville Duke (obituary, April 16, 2007) and Mike Lithgow meant that he flew the newest types of jet aircraft.

He next commanded 813 Squadron, flying the powerful but rather unsuccessful turboprop Westland Wyvern off the carrier Eagle. In 1958 he was selected for the army staff course at Camberley, “a very broadening experience”. In 1959, after a short tour as second in command of the minesweeper base in Southampton Water, he found himself again in the Far East in command of a squadron of minesweepers that swept a number of Japanese minefields but were principally engaged in anti-piracy patrols in the Celebes Sea. “If caught, they were trussed up and landed for trial at Sandakan in North Borneo. If found guilty, they were usually hanged.”

After two years in the Admiralty as the deputy to the chief of naval information, Halliday joined the commando carrier Albion as second in command and in charge of air operations, before which he had learnt to fly helicopters. Albion had an energetic commission. From 1963 President Sukarno of Indonesia's opposition to the new Federation of Malaysia resulted in a campaign of subversion and infiltration in Sarawak and Sabah, which required an extensive military response for several years, involving a third of the entire British fleet. Albion's helicopters were used to land and support British and Gurkha troops in the jungle. Afterwards, based at Aden, Albion also used her helicopters to fight dissident tribesmen opposing the British-backed rulers and provided mobility for South Arabian Federation forces.

In 1966 Halliday was appointed Director of Naval Air Warfare in the Admiralty, where he was involved in the famous arguments about whether to build another large aircraft carrier, a decision that carried with it the future of naval fixed-wing aviation. He admired Defence Minister Denis Healey's “complete grasp of all the factors involved and his fairness of judgment”, and was not surprised at the unpalatable outcome — the carrier CVA01, as it was known, was just too expensive.

Two further tours at sea followed. He commanded the frigate Euryalus and a frigate squadron in the Far East and in the Home Fleet. His departure from Singapore in May 1971 was the end of a permanently based escort squadron in the Far East. As a commodore, Halliday was, with a Royal Marines brigadier, in command of all British naval amphibious shipping and forces, carrying out exercise landings in the Caribbean, northern Norway and Turkish Thrace. On occasions he would have up to 24 big Nato warships under his command.

From 1973 to 1981 Halliday was part of the defence intelligence network, initially as Director of Naval Intelligence in the Ministry of Defence. His tour in Washington as head of the British naval mission and naval attaché had a high intelligence content — unlike the other two services the naval staff was based in the Pentagon itself.

On return to the UK in 1978 he was promoted to vice-admiral and appointed Deputy Chief of Defence Staff

(Intelligence), in charge of the intelligence function of all three services. He was appointed KBE in 1980 and, as a mark of his undoubted acumen and his sound judgment about Cold War issues, was, unusually, continued in the quasi-civilian post of Director-General (Intelligence) as an under-secretary of state for a further three years, finally retiring in 1984. This period included the Falklands conflict.

Shrewd and noted for his humane leadership style, he was chairman of trustees of the Burma Star Association and chairman of the British Military Power Boat Trust, which restores and preserves boats of historical interest.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Meech, always known as Polly, whom he married in 1945.

Vice-Admiral Sir Roy Halliday, KBE, DSC, Director-General of Intelligence, Ministry of Defence, 1981-84, was born on June 27, 1923. He died on November 23, 2007, aged 84

courtesy;: Times-online

 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2008 at 11:29pm

Mr Ronald Arthur Henderson.

 

It was with great sadness that I heard of the ‘Crossing over the Bar’ of former A/B (Asdic) Ron Henderson, who passed away on Christmas Day 2007.

 

A member of the Coastal Forces Veterans Association (3291), this well loved gentleman was justly proud of serving his country during those dark days of the Mediterranean War and the memory of this honoured gentle person will be kept alive by his family and all those who really knew him.

 

He served in the Mediterranean during the years 1942 – 1945,

(one of his last ‘ships’ being ML 866 engaged in the dangerous employment of Mine sweeping).

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2008 at 4:44pm

 

Sir John Harvey-Jones

(16 April 19249 January 2008)

 

John Harvey-Jones joined Dartmouth Naval College as a cadet in 1937 In 1940, as a midshipman at the age of sixteen, he joined HMS Diomede.

His next two ships that he served on, HMS Ithuriel and HMS Quentin, were both sunk by enemy action. Harvey-Jones then went on to join the submarine service and received his first command at the age of 24.

At the end of World War II, John Harvey-Jones went to Cambridge University  to study Russian and within six months had joined Naval Intelligence as an interpreter. He went on to commanded the Russian intelligence section (under the guise of the "British Baltic Fishery Protection Service") which at one time used the two ex-German Schnellboot’s, S130 and S203, for gathering clandestine intelligence on the Soviet Baltic Fleet.

Rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander, Harvey-Jones was awarded the MBE in 1952 for his work in Naval Intelligence.

He became well known as an industrialist through his unique Chairmanship of ICI, and he then went on to ‘front’ the BBC's Troubleshooter series, first broadcast in 1990. This made Harvey-Jones, according to one newspaper, the most famous industrialist since Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

He married Mary Bignell in 1947

Having lived most of his post-retirement period in Hay-on-Wye, he died in his sleep after a long illness, aged 83, at the Hereford County Hospital.

 

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