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Royal Navy post-World War 2

Lieutenant Commander JAMES HENRY SUMMERLEE, MID, RN (Rtd)
Part 1 of 2

Made available by Mrs Val Summerlee

Jim Summerlee (click photographs to enlarge)

on to Part 2 of 2
or return to post-war, 1945 on

 

 

Introduction
 

Val Summerlee is my father's sister, herself an ex-Wren, and it gives me great pleasure to add her husband's naval career and photographs to the site.

Quite coincidentally, in working on post-war casualty lists, I was horrified to realise how many Fleet Air Arm crew were killed in the decades following the end of World War 2. I was not joking when I  suggested to Jim that we were lucky he was still around. It is therefore with his agreement that these pages are:

 

DEDICATED TO


The men and now women who have flown with the Fleet Air Arm since 1945

Those who waited  - wives and girlfriends, mothers and partners, who no doubt often wondered if they would see them again

And those who did not return

 


I have added Jim's comment directly from his albums

Gordon Smith

 


     

 

Lieutenant Commander Jim Summerlee passed away peacefully on 28 May 2012.

 

 

JIM SUMMERLEE

 

Born July 2nd 1925,  in Huntingdon, Hunts.

Joined the Royal Navy at HMS St. Vincent, Gosport, near Portsmouth, as a Naval Airman 2nd class, in 1943. Did flying training in Canada at St. Eugene then Kingston, both in Ontario, where he qualified for his 'wings' the day he was 19 .
 

 


 


1 9 4 5 ? 1 9 4 6

FURTHER TRAINING


Returned to Britain on the liner Louis Pasteur, landing at Liverpool on New Years Eve, 1944/45, then on to HMS Macaw at RNAS Carlisle. Commissioned as a Sub-Lieutenant, back-dated to the day he received his wings. Training continued in 1945 with postings to:


RAF Errol, Perthshire for advanced flying

HMS Godwit, RNAS Hinstock & Peplow, Shropshire, for instrument training on Oxfords (March)

RN College Greenwich for a short course

HMS Humming Bird, RNAS Zeals, Somerset for conversion to Corsairs (May)

HMS Heron, RNAS Yeovilton, No.1. Fighter School for Corsair flying training

HMS Vulture, RNAS St. Merryn, Cornwall for air gunnery target practice (July)

Returned to Yeovilton

HMS Corncrake, RNAS Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland for decklanding on escort carrier HMS Premier (converted cargo ship) in Belfast Lough (14 September)

HMS Dipper, RNAS Henstridge, Somerset for advanced course on Corsair low level flying.
 


With the war now over, granted indefinite leave from 21 Sep 1945 to 10 May 1946 while the Navy decided what to do with him and his fellow pilots.
 

 
1 9 4 6 ? 1 9 4 9

S E R V I C E   F L Y I N G
     

In May 1946 posted to HMS Nuthatch, RNAS Anthorn near Carlisle, Cumberland, as a Ferry Pilot, ferrying various types of aircraft around Britain. In 1946, after a temporary posting to HMS Siskin, RNAS Gosport to learn to fly Hoverfly R4B's one of the first helicopters, back to Anthorne and then on to HMS Peregrine, RNAS Ford, Sussex on 27 Aug 1947 for a twin engine course. Following this, transferred to HMS Goldcrest, RNAS Dale, West Wales on 24 Nov 1947 flying Mosquitoes of 790 Squadron. On 13 Dec 1947, the Squadron moved to HMS Seahawk, RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall.

During this time, it is noted that he flew in a Mosquito with a Wren V.B. Smith on the 21 Sep & 16 Dec 1948 and the 6 May 1949.  (They married on 8 Aug 1949!)

     
     
Dale 1947 - 790 Squadron
Pembrokeshire, south west Wales

Mainly Mosquitoes

     
     

Standing by for Kete programme
 

Gun Observer Harry Cole - by the sea at Dale
     

Wee George Sells & Drunken Duncan, talking of beer no doubt (3 before breakfast)
 
Refuelling at Dispersal
     
     
TYPES
     

Harry Hunt - S.P. (Senior Pilot)
 
'Bush'
     

Line shooting - Kerry Toms
 
Wee Robbie
     

Bill Croft & Harry Hunt
     

Jim Maddocks & T C Evans foreground (killed Feb '49)
 
Big Jim Maddocks - Mavis on the left
Supermarine Seafires?
     
     


So smooth

 
Baffles them all - Kerry, Bill Howley & Jim
     

So that's it eh?
 
Beech's best smile. What a set!
     
     
BRASS MONKEY WEATHER
     

Tommy tells how!
 
Harry makes the grade
     

Harry hauls in the "injured" Maisey
 

Flat out on both. Harry making the crossing in evens
     

Robbie & Harry Hunt
 
Wreford airborne
     

Seafire - Ginger Wade, AME Glyde lines up the tail wheel
     
     

Val & Jim ready to go
 
"We three" - Viv, Harry, Buck
     
     
790 Sqdn  -  1947 - 48
     
WORK OR PLAY
     

Lofty makes 4 Spades - Joe Hunt (barely visible), Lofty Rouse, P.O. Barker, Ken Wharmby & Maisey
 
Rogues Gallery - Tubby Read, Wreford, Buck & Jim
     

"Bill Howley Eric Manuel (R) Hill (J) Glyde
Taff Stone    Jim
Toms Willis -  -  -  (J) Crane"
     

Allan Burness - Ketch
 
4 No Trumps perhaps? - Joe, Thornton, Lofty, Paddy resting
     

Jim
 
Robbie
     
     
HELSTON FURRY DANCE 1949!
(just a couple of photographs)
     

P.C. Robbie (pickled) - Polly Parrott & his wife!
 


Outside the Angel - 1430 - All kali
left to right - Stan Waters, Feet Berry, Robbie-Mary, Bert Knight, Mike Bateman

     
     

VAL and JIM around this time

     
 

     

in uniform
 


Pip & "my passenger Valerie"

     
by now 790 Sqdn had transferred to Culdrose
     
     

790 Squadron and Mosquito, Culdrose 1947
(Names added to enlargement)
   

 

     
Preparing at Lee-on-Solent for Carrier Service with  813 Sqdn, flying Blackburn Firebrands
   

 


The Range - 813 Squadron
 


"Dapper" Berril

     

Water landing wheels down - aftermath
(seaplane - type not known)
     
     

 
 
 
1 9 4 9 ? 1 9 5 2

C A R R I E R   F L Y I N G
     

On 11 Jul 1949 posted to fleet carrier HMS Implacable flying Firebrands V's with 813 Squadron. Off Norway with the Home Fleet in September 1949, and later, after Christmas leave, she sailed to the Mediterranean. After further leave, posted to 767 Squadron at RNAS?s Henstridge and Yeovilton, Somerset where he did nothing but take-off and land on a dummy flight-deck at Henstridge while  'batsmen' learnt their trade. Known as 'clockwork mice', once the course was completed, they had to do the same thing for real - on any aircraft carrier that was available.
 

     
     
HMS Implacable - 813 Squadron
Home Fleet
     
     

Our ship - HMS Implacable
     

Lt Arthur Smith, "BATS" - Gaylord Arthur
 


S.P. (Senior Pilot) Johnny Barnes

     
     
     
OFF TO INVER "G" - Invergordon
     

Firebrand landing on
 


ROGER from BATS

     

"INVER G"
     

Passing mail and bread
 (HMS St Kitts, Battle-class destroyer)
 


Home Fleet cruisers at Inver "G"
  (Dido-types)

     
     
FLYING STATIONS
     

Vampire
 


Dog (or D for Duty) Destroyer coming into position

     

Sea Hornet
 


Vamp

     
     
HIGHLAND GAMES INVERNESS
   

 


Massed bands - a hundred pipers an a' and a'
 


Our Royals demonstrate "The Beating of the Retreat"

   

 

     

ON THE WAY HOME - November 1949

     

Lamlash
     

Off S Ireland in a gale
 


After the storm

     
     

Mount Bay, Cornwall, 1949
 
 

 on to Part 2 of 2
or return to post-war, 1945 on

revised 10/7/11