Lieutenant Smith and other FAA officers at the Royal Naval Air Station at Ford, Sussex, in 1955
 
Back Row:
 
Far left is Stan Roddick (Observer / Squadron photographer).  2nd from the right could be Bob King.
 
Front Row centre (beaming with the jaunty cap) is our Dad.
 [via Phillip Smith]

". . . Jake joined 830 Wyvern Squadron late in its time at RNAS Ford, Nr Arundel, Sussex, and sadly I never really got to know him although we all shared the same common aircrew room. I remember him as a relatively tall blond hair Lieutenant who always had a smile for everybody, but sadly I never knew him personally. I believe that he, like me, had come up through the Upper-yardman (Air) scheme - i.e. we were serving on the lower deck and volunteered for aircrew duties/commissions. Jake may have been an ex-Artificer, he certainly gave me that impression, but I can't be sure, because he may have joined as a short service aviation officer. His family will know that history.

 Jake was a fine officer and everybody liked and was impressed by him. It always seems that the best are taken from us too soon in life!"
M.D.

Extract from FLIGHT 9th March 1956

EAGLE'S TALONS
Wyverns of Nos. 830 and 831 Squadrons, Fleet Air  Arm, Work-up at Ford

TWO squadrons of Wyvern strike aircraft arc now working up at Royal Naval Air Station Ford, in Sussex, preparatory to going aboard H.M.S. Eagle in April for a tour of duty in the Mediterranean. They are Nos. 830 and 831, both of which were reformed last November for the first time since World War 2.



HMS Eagle in 1956

Preparations for carrier flying are going well, and many and various types of operation have already been practised. The pilots, most of whom had not flown Wyverns before, and some of whom have never previously served with an operational squadron, have taken a liking to the Westland product, as well they might, for the Wyvern is something of an achievement. Certainly, it is unique in being the only turboprop strike aircraft to go into service with any navy and represents a tremendous development effort on the part of both airframe and engine manufacturers. It has now proved itself during three years of Naval service. The ground crews of the two new squadrons are now getting the feel of servicing the aircraft; and, for a recent Flight visit to Ford, the units put up a formation of twelve Wyverns for photography.

Not satisfied with this, they then each got a further division of four aircraft into the air for other pictures. One aircraft was also armed-up with 16 rockets and flown for the camera. That the pilots of the Wyverns and of the Vampire trainers which were used by the cameraman did their work well is shown by the pictures accompanying this article. No. 830 Sqn, incidentally, are wondering what their early history was, since they know only that they were first formed in Malta in 1942 and largely manned by New Zealand personnel. The squadron badge in fact commemorates the connection with the islan by the inclusion of the Maltese cross. The unit was disbanded at the end of World War 2, probably while still overseasórecords appear to have been lost. No. 831 Sqn. is more fortunate; a complete historical record of its war-time career is available.

No. 830's Commanding Officer and senior pilot are, respectively,

Lt-Cdr. C. V. Howard and Lt-Cdr. W. H. Cowling and the air engineer officer is Lt. J. H. Dunphy.
The CO. and the senior pilot each led a division in the large formation depicted [on page 266]

and were accompanied by Sub-Lt. P. A. McKern, Sub-Lt. J. Webster and Sub-Lt. R. King. One aircraft went u/s. and was replaced by a machine from No. 831, flown by Sub-Lt. R. E. Sandison. No. 830's second formation was flown by Lt. G. W. Barras, Sub-Lt. A. C. Parsons, Lt. J. P. Smith and Sub-Lt. B. Scott. No. 831 Squadron's contribution to the "Balbo" was led by the CO., Lt-Cdr. S. C. Farquhar, and the senior pilot, Lt-Cdr. W. A. Tofts. They were accompanied by Sub-Lt. M. J. Doust, Lt. A. Gray, Lt. R. C. Hunt and Lt. P. Wheatley. This squadron's second formation was led by the CO. and included Lt. Doust, Sub-Lt. A. M. Steers and Lt. J. T. Spafford. The rocket-armed aircraft was flown by Lt. Wheatley. No. 831's air engineer officer is Lt. A. J. Bastick.

 

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