Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 2, 2021 11:43:43 GMT 12
ALL-WEATHER NAVY UNIT
N.Z. Officer To Lead Fighter Squadron
A New Zealander. Commander M. H. J. Petrie, R.N.. is in command of the first squadron of the Royal Navy’s latest all-weather fighter, the Sea Vixen, which came into operational service in July.
Commander Petrie who was born in Greymouth and educated at St Andrew’s College, Christchurch, entered the Fleet Air Arm in 1941. He has flown Mosquito night fighters and Hornets with the Royal Air Force and spent 18 months with the United States Marine Corps. He flew Sea Venoms during the Suez operation.
The Sea Vixen which weighs about 14 tons has a wing span of 50 feet, more than seven feet wider than the Sea Venom, and can reach its operational ceiling in less than half the time taken by its predecessor. Armed with four de Havilland Firestreak infra-red homing missiles and 28 two-inch air-to-air rockets carried internally, it provides a powerful addition to the Navy’s air strength.
The new squadron will fly at the Farnborough display this year and early next year will embark in H.M.S. Ark Royal, according to the Royal New Zealand Navy News Summary.
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 2, 2021 11:45:36 GMT 12
Fleet Air Arm Ace “A hell of a chap, really one of our aces,” was the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Charles Lambe’s description of Commander M. H. J. Petrie, a New Zealander who commands the Fleet Air Arm’s first Sea Vixen squadron on the carrier H.M.S. Ark Royal. Sir Charles Lambe said in Wellington yesterday that these carrier-based planes, together with the new N.A.39 transonic aircraft, made a fine fighting combination equal to anything in the world. Commander Petrie was educated at St. Andrew’s College.—(P.A.).
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 2, 2021 11:50:11 GMT 12
Sea Vixens first equipped 700 Squadron 'Y' Flight at Yeovilton with eight aircraft. 700Y, under the command of Cdr. MHJ Petrie, proceeded to carry out trials on HMS Victorious and HMS Centaur during 1958. The first operational unit was 892 Squadron which, with Cdr. Petrie in command, commissioned on 2 July 1958 and embarked on HMS Ark Royal in March 1960. Later in 1960, 892 Squadron moved to HMS Victorious, moving again to HMS Hermes before finally operating from HMS Centaur from December 1963.
Not exactly the handsomest bloke in the room from that angle, more like HIDEOUS! It conjures up the appearance of a very serious aircraft versus catamaran accident. However, we cannot deny it was a fairly useful and modestly successful aircraft, so guess we have to give him his due!
Yes, Dave, I think the universal opinion is that the Vixen was no beauty! The awkward looking Javelin emphasising the tendency of British manufacturers to lose the fighter race in the looks department, with the exception of Hawker designs, of course...