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HMS Eagle colour pictures Gannets Sea Hawks etc

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This is a superb, and rare, set of colour shots taken onboard HMS Eagle and at RNAS Hal Far of Skyraiders, Gannets, Sea Hawks, Wyverns and a Whirlwind during 1955/57 era. 
Published by Martin Grant on Flickr whos Uncle in law was a FAA pilot and took the pictures.

Quite interesting in that some of the shots seem to straddle the pre Suez and early Suez era.


I can only imagine what a deck full of running Skyraiders, Wyverns and Sea Hawks sounded like!  enjoy


HMS Eagle, 1955


Album link here,

https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=142978726%40N08&view_all=1&text=HMS Eagle


Edited by 71chally
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Hello 71,

Thanks for sharing these memorable pictures with us.

Regards, Orion / The Netherlands.

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This takes me back !. In late `53 and54 I was with 203  signals RAF , atop the Dingli cliffs . RNAS Hal Far was a few miles down the coast

on a daily basis we would be overflown at low level by their Sea Furys Guppy Skyraiders and the only helicopter on the island

at that time , a Westland Dragonfly ,( Sikorski S 51 ) . The pilot usually had the doors slid back and would give a wave as he passed

overhead , sometimes with a broad hand , other times with just two fingers , we replied , respectfully likewise .

Sometime in early `54 a group of us were standing on the cifftop looking down on a large carrier with Sea Hawks landing-on,

the only time I ever saw that , the weather was bad so he must have used the lee of the cliffs to recover the aircraft .

A few times we would get a Neptune dropping live depthcharges between our camp and Filfla , a small island , used as a

bombing range , obsolete stock to be disposed of . After the big waterspout had gone up , all our doors and windows rattled .

As I said , those pics take me back . Happy times , thanks ! .

                                                                                               Don .

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On 19/08/2018 at 12:05, 72modeler said:

Truly a golden age! Thanks for posting these! Loved the Seahawk cartridge start!



Is that what it was.  I thought it was an early attempt at the FAA formation vaping team.


Superb photos and thoroughly enjoyed.  Whenever I see pictures like the ones of the Wyverns, Sea Hawks and AEW Skyraiders at times a thought flits through my brain - if I had these in the garage now in good flyable condition how much would they be worth today?

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Thoroughly enjoyed those. I've long been an Eagle fan after tramping her decks when she visited Wellington in 1970. An Eagle air group of that era us in my future plans. Pity I made a total hash of driving my Mum's camera then, I might have had some scans to share.


Edited by stevehnz
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That is a link and a half if ever I saw one, thanks for sharing it with us.


Martian 👽

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The photo of Skyraider AEW1 WT987 is brilliant; the yellow Suez stripes only applied, with the dark blue taking the place of black and underwing serials still visible on the blue sections. I have not seen that before, though I am sure other BMers will have. 


Richard in NZ

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  • 5 weeks later...

I see the Skyraiders are carrying the (relatively) new AN/APS-20 Hard to think that it wasn't particularly good in the first place yet it lasted for 40 years in UK service. Where did we get this talent for taking the mediocre and wringing the nuts off it to great effect?

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