HMS EAGLE 1942 - 1978
I had the great good fortune of spending the latter half of the final commission on HMS Eagle. Reading this book as a whole, is for me a trip in pure nostalgia and allows one to revel in some unique history of the Royal Navy, not forgetting Her Majesty's Royal Marines of course.
I was a bandsman during this time under the direction of the then Bandmaster Jack Tomlin. Those of you with either an interest in ships of the Royal Navy, or those who have served on-board HMS Eagle, will do well to read this work. One can smell the Av-Gas, FFO, and the unforgettable smell of the flight deck and the diesel tractors that manipulated those superb aircraft into their positions. I wish to pay tribute to Neil McCart and his work by including the following text directly from the book:-
"Thirteen chapters of highly readable text tell the story of the Royal Navy's biggest post-war warship from the date that the Admiralty ordered the ship in the spring of 1942 to the first week of 1979, when she lay at the shipbreaker's yard in Scotland.
The in-depth research has allowed the author to cover the Eagle's career in great detail through each commission, and the story is enlivened by memories from ex-members of her ship's company. There are over 170 photographs covering the Eagle's career from her launch up to her arrival at the breaker's yard".
The "Foreword" is by the then Captain I.G.W. Robertson who commanded the ship during my time. I recall very fondly a Jazz/Rock band that we Royal Marine Bandsmen got together which included a Leading Airman and at least one CPO Electrician besides members of the RM Band. We were appropriately known as the "Strawberry Jam Factory". Captain Robertson took the humorous assimilation of his name in great stride I'm happy to say.
Published by FAN PUBLICATIONS
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On the front cover is a magnificent watercolour painting of the Eagle by artist Brian Conroy, Whitehill, Hampshire.