Air Enthusiast 1998-03
J.Smith - Wrath of a Mystical Monster
Carrying out the same sort of work as the Wyverns for the French during the Suez campaign was the Vought F4U-7 Corsair. Operating from the carriers ‘La Fayette’ and ‘Arromanches’ aircraft from 14F and 15F proved effective in the air-secure theatre. The seemingly out-moded piston fighter had a high speed and superior rate of climb to the Wyvern.
An 813 Squadron Wyvern, on take-off from HSm ‘Eagle’ in 1957, Gannet ready to go behind. The Wyvern coded ‘276’ with fin-code ‘J’ (denoting ‘Eagle’) with the unit’s white spinner
HMS ‘Eagle’ with ‘Bulwark’ and ‘Albion’ behind. On the deck, bow to stern, are Sea Venoms, Sea Hawks, Wyverns, a Dragonfly helicopter and an Avenger
A Sea Hawk from 899 Squadron takes-off from ‘Eagle’ - note the air-to-ground rocket armament and the ‘Suez stripes’. Faster than the Wyvern, the Hawk could carry nearly the same ordnance load.
Westland Wyvern S.4 WN328 of 830 Squadron, HMS ‘Eagle’ (hence fin-code ‘J’). Abandoned following damage from light anti-aircraft fire during a raid on the Coast Guard Station near Gamil airfield, November 5, 1956. Pilot, Lt Cdr Bill Cowling ejected successfully and was rescued by helicopter. Aircraft was coded ‘371’ but this was obliterated by the application of ‘Suez stripes’ to the rear fuselage. Spinner and finlets were painted maroon. Note that the finlet does not appear to carry the diagonal yellow stripe (or stripes) usually carried. (This maroon and yellow was called ‘custard and prunes (or plums)’ by squadron personnel.
Flight of four Wyverns from 830 Squadron, with codes on the rear fuselage - they moved to the nose following the Suez campaign. Spinners and finlets were maroon with yellow striping, fin-code 'J' denoting HMS ‘Eagle’.
Deck operations on the ‘Eagle’ during ‘Musketeer’. In the foreground is WP337 ‘378’ with WL888 ‘374’ to the left.
A view of the rear of ‘Eagle’s’ flight deck, 1957, showing escorts in rough weather. The Wyvern in the foreground is almost certainly VZ765, which served with 813 Squadron from November 1956, until written off in a landing accident on ‘Eagle’ on March 25,1958 and ‘sent over the side’ after spares recovery
Hood jettisoned, the props stopped, Lt Cdr Bill Cowling gets ready to pull the blind and eject from WN328 following a flak hit while bombing the Coast Guard Barracks near Gamil airfield on November 5, 1956. He was eventually picked up by a 'Whirlwind' from the ‘Eagle’.
Westland Wyvern S.4.