HMS Eagle R-05
Message Board
Messages 1 to 24

Nov. 22, 2011

Just spotted a message from Dave Gunter (message 2). Wondered what happened to them all after so long. Bogey Knight, Fish Bradford, Gibbo, Drodger, Jasper Coller and many more. I joined diesel boats after the last commission on Eagle and left the mob in 79 as a killick stoker. Anyone know what happened to my old mate George Mellett from Y Unit. Think he might have transferred to the gunnery branch God forbid. 

Best wishes,
Jesse James
HME X Unit the big E

Oct. 25, 2011

I'm trying to find Stephen Malcolm Platts who was in HMS Eagle R-05 when she docked in Sydney, Australia in 1971. I was in his company during his shore leave. He would have known me as Debbie Elliott. If anyone has any information of his whereabouts it would be greatly appreciated. On behalf of my son James Scott.

Debbie Scott

Reply 1
Mar. 15, 2014

I left the Navy in 1972 and presently living in the UK. It's been a long time since we first met but I remember you very well, we had a good time together although it was cut short due to my Naval commitment.

Steve Platts

June 26, 2011

What a great site and a credit to your hard work. I am interested in HMS Eagle the first ship I served in the RN. I got a draft chit to her from RNB Devonport in 1950 (possibly October) and with four other EMs travelled to Belfast. Our first sight of her in the Harland and Wolff yard was a tad off putting as she was still in the hands of the dockyard but we soon found our way around her.

We lived in digs in Belfast until the ship was handed over officially possibly late 1950s or early 1951. At this point I broke my leg playing football and spent around 3 months in Waringfield Military Hospital. The Eagle had meanwhile gone down to Devonport and I rejoined her there and served a further year on her before I was drafted back to RNB Devonport (Reserve Fleet).

I often wonder what became of the other 4 EMs who had been drafted to Eagle with me in late 1950. Their names were Garbutt, Fleming and Breeze but I don't remember the other name. I am also interested in HMS Comet, destroyer, in which I served from 1954 through to 1955. The draft to her was an irony as I had worked on her whilst in Reserve Fleet (HMS Orion). I was astounded when I was given the news that I had been drafted to her. It was all a very long time ago.

Nigel Kendall
DMX 864328  E.M.1

June 3, 2011

I wonder if you might be able to help me, I have been looking all over the web to try and find a Lapel Pin Badge for H.M.S. Eagle with no luck at all; every other ship the navy ever put to sea, except Eagle, is out there. I served on her as part of the Royal Marine detachment during the 1956 Suez war. So if any of your members who might have an idea as to where I might hold of one I would be very glad to hear from them.

John Fleet
Higher Heath, North Shropshire, UK

Mar. 31, 2011

I was on the Eagle's last commission from Dec. 70 til Jan 72 as an OEM1 and then A/LOEM. People I remember were George Tonge, OEM1, REM Fitzsimmons, Sammy Ashe, chef in the bakery, Frank Mc Connell, a stoker from N.I. ( he was also on the Maidstone with me before Eagle). I have a commission book some where if I could find it!!  I worked mainly in the fan workshop with Ziggy Newman and a couple of Chief mechs. I was Chiefs mess man when I first joined in Guzz.  

I saw on the message board that a Roger Mills, who was on board a few years previous, mentioned the ships folk group as the Guiness Grenadiers'  Well when I was on board the folk group that was formed were called 'Sounds Fayre' and they played in Perth in Aus and In Wellington in NZ. One of the principle members of the group was Paddy Dobbin, a steward. I also also remember 'Nipper Ellis the pti. He had everyone jogging and circuit training on the flight deck. Great times on board the old E.

Paddy Graham
A/Loem 70-72

Mar. 6, 2011

It must have been 1953 I was in the sea cadets in Dover HMS Eagle visited Dover she anchored three miles off as she was to big to come in, we were taken out to visit on one of the ships launches. I will never forget the size of the ship it was enormous  we went all over including taken below decks on the aircraft lifts there where aircraft on deck and below deck . I am sixty seven now and have never forgotten that day.

Derek Boustead

Sept. 4, 2010

I'm looking for information and photos about my father, Raymond 'Matt' Matthews who served in the fleet air arm, flying Sea Vixens. He was killed in Sept. 1965 when the Sea Vixen he was in crashed off HMS Eagle. Recently (August 20th 2010) a close family member saw a BBC2 programme which showed photos of the Eagle and the presenter mentioned an incident that we think is the crash in which my father died. We did not get the name of the presenter, but it could be a man from Halifax. I was 2 months old at the time and my mother was married for just over a year, so we have very few photos or mementos. Any contact would be greatly appreciated.

Liz Bates

Reply 1
Oct. 28, 2010

I have just read a msg from Liz Bates seeking info re her father (observer) who was killed in a Sea Vixen crash on 8th Sept 1965. I regret that I do not have any photos of him but I was there on the flight deck when he crashed and saw the aircraft invert into the sea. I was also on 899 Sqdn. (Sea Vixens) and was looking after my own aircraft which had just landed in front of the Sea Vixen that crashed. I also attended his burial at sea (the following day I believe).

Terry Savage
Southampton, England

May 4, 2010

My husband Barry Dunn served on the Eagle in the late 60's/ early 70's. he has recently suffered a brain hemorrhage following cardiac surgery and struggles with the internet, so I am doing some research for him. When the Eagle was in Durban, a gangway collapsed and the ships divers were summoned urgently to help survivors. Barry was one of these divers and had his photo in the newspaper, showing someone helping him on with his diving gear. He would like to obtain a copy of this photo. I have searched the SA newspaper sites and their online archives don't yet go back that far. Can you help?

Kind regards,
Marian Dunn

Apr. 7, 2010

I served on HMS Eagle on her last but one commission. We had just come home from the States after a strenuous exercise with the US Naval Forces exercising in their firing ranges off the East Coast. I was the Air Operations Chief (CAAH1(ATC) doing aircrew briefings and navigation. It was a very demanding job but thoroughly satisfying. On return to UK, Jumper Collins was my relief, (WOAH1ATC) before Eagle set off on her last commission to the Far East. If anybody remembers me from those days, please get in touch.

Don (Mac) MacGregor

Dec. 17, 2009

My dad, Ray Cope, served as a Surgeon Lieutenant on HMS Eagle, I believe in the middle 1950s. If anyone knows him from this era, I'm putting together some memorabilia, letters, etc. for his 80th birthday (next year) in a scrapbook. His greatest hobby is reconnecting with old friends - please email me if anyone would like to be included in his scrapbook gift. Thanks! I'm also trying some other ways to reach out, so if you know of any Eagle "old boys" clubs, I could really use the help!  I have been searching the internet, but not finding a lot of resources.

Thank you,
Helen Porter

Nov. 29, 2009

Would you know if there are any commission books still in existence for HMS Eagle 1952? I am trying to find some details on my late father in law who served during that time. His name was Robert Luke serving with the fleet air arm.

Thank you in advance,
Lorraine Luke (Mrs.)

Aug. 3, 2009

Roger Mills here, ex-REM(A), ships company 1966-69, 3E2 mess, Air Engineering Department. Great photos, especially the one showing both hangar levels (from 1964-66 commission). The photo taken from directly overhead saying "date unknown" seems to have a lot of crew members spelling out "1969" on the flight-deck amidships-----well, it's just a thought !!!  The bow-shot saying "Eagle in 1970" was actually taken some time in 1967-68, believe me !! (It's in the 1967/68 commission book !!). The photo of the ship in procedure Alpha, with aircraft ranged on deck, so not disembarked to a local airfield, and with crew in whites------Not from the 1966-69 period, and wrong a/c for 1964--66, so I would suggest between 1969--72, possibly Villefranche ?? Malta ?? Wellington ??

Cheers !! Roger Mills,
(banjo-player in "Guiness Grenadiers", ship's Folk-group !)

July 10, 2009

In 1972, the HMS EAGLE was docked in Durban Harbour. My Grandfather, knew one of the sailors aboard the HMS EAGLE, and my family was privileged enough to get a tour of her while she was docked in Durban. Each of my family was given a photo of the HMS EAGLE, which was signed by three of her sailors, namely DOUGLAS MACKENZIE; DERECK SCOTT and  JOHN C BUCK. Dated 3 January 1972. I have previewed your website and as I see the photo I have does not appear. Any information on whereabouts of the sailors or of the HMS EAGLE, would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,
Bev Snyman

Mar. 26, 2009

I have in my possession a photo album of a Chef who was on the Eagle in 1970 and then on the Achilles in 1974. I do not have a surname but his first name was Robert. I would like to return the album. I live in Fishguard, West Wales. Last year one of the local hotel's changed hands being bought by a brewery who appointed a local lady to manage it. When she was having a clean-out, she found the album and knowing that I was ex RN (for info 1957 Ganges boy) asked me what should she do, so I said that I would try and return it to the holder. The Chef called Robert was also on the Achilles and I managed to contact a member of her crew, but he was onboard at a later date.

Yours aye,
Mike Starkey

Thanks for your help with regard to the photo album I hold. The owner, chef Robert, phoned me the other day and only lives 30 miles away so we are arranging for him to pick it up.

Yours aye,
Mike Starkey

Robert seen on HMS Achilles.


Robert (first on left) seen on HMS Achilles.


Robert (left) and unknown.


Robert, location unknown.


Mar. 26, 2009

I heard the Eagle mentioned on a radio programme recently, and wondered if she was the same ship that had an open day for servicemen and their families in Gibraltar during the sixties? There was also a submarine there (the Tiger?) and we had an absolutely fantastic day (my Mum and Dad were given a tour of the mess, so they were well looked after!!). I've just turned fifty, but I remember that day with affection. Good luck to all who sailed on her, she was a lovely ship.

Frances Pritchard

Mar. 4, 2009

I am looking for my step dad Frank Bunn who was a 3 badger LME on HMS Eagle. I would like a photo of him. He was born in Norfolk and lived with us in Plymouth. Does anyone know where he is? He was living with a lady called Winifred Downing in Plymouth.

Sally Ann Bunn

Jan. 9, 2009

I joined the EAGLE on her last commission around the far east it was the best time of my life. I still have the commissioning book. Any old mates who remember me please get in touch.

Stewart Edis (OEM1)

Sept. 17, 2008

I served on board from 1969 to the end of 1970 and have commission book and tugs cartoon book. Had some
good time on her and good memories. Web site brought all these back well done.


July 22, 2008

My Name is Bill Melvin I was a LPTI on the Mighty "E" during her last commission - 1970 to 1972. Many of you will have been to my circuit training sessions on the Foxc'l and flight deck during the cruise. I was also a Ships Diver and Captain of the Ships Football Team.

Well we are having an "Eagle Reunion" (which will be our third now) in Aberdeen on May 2009. Preparations are well under way, and it looks to our best yet. Organizing it along with me is "Nipper Ellis (POPTI) and Danny De Fue" (Killick Boats Party). All EX Eaglets who wishes to join us would be very welcome indeed. Please find my contact details below for further details.

Bill Melvin
OSD HSE Coordinator
Aberdeen, Scotland

June 26, 2008

Does anyone remember Tony Ridgway, my father who served on the Eagle around 1964?  He was a ships diver and stoker.

Gary Ridgway

June 18, 2008

I served on board the EAGLE, 1954, with other naval airman we were put with the stokers, an experiment to see if we could adapt in an emergency. I was in 75 mess on 5 deck, I was lucky, and worked in the machine shop.  At that time it was a very unhappy ship, one of the fresh water tanks had been converted to hold aviation fuel, and the bathrooms were open just one hour in the morning, and one hour in the dog watches. It was 6 months which I did not enjoy. One of the highlights of that time, we had to steam at full speed to a comet airliner that had crashed near Stromboli, Naples, I will never forget all those bodies in the water. The name of the airliner was YOKE PETER.


Sept. 7, 2007

Found your site when feeling a bit nostalgic after a few beers following a Royal Naval Association meeting. Eagle was a topic of conversation. I joined her in 1966 as a J(ME) and stayed till 1972. Left as a L(MEM) to do the "killicks" course at Sultan.  First job was bridle number on port catapult with Flight Deck Stokers (Badgers). Worked most parts of ship except "DB's". It,s the first time I have seen a photo of her going to the breakers yard. She looks quite sad. Keep up this good site.

Yours Aye,
Evan Jessiman

Mar. 21, 2007

Thanks for this site, it's just brought back loads of happy (and a couple of not so happy) memories of my time on The Big "E". I served on her last commission joining her as my first ship in the May of 1970 as a J(ME) and was part of the de-commissioning and towing crew when she went to her end.

Cheers again,
Dave Gunter

November 19, 2006

Hi, my uncle joined the navy just after the war he served on the HMS Eagle until the early 50's, and I think the Ark Royal, after leaving the Navy he went into the Merchant Navy until 1977 he was lost at sea never found, is there anybody out there who served on the HMS Eagle who has photo's of the ratings, or anybody who knew him, his name was Gordon Miles from Leeds UK, I am not sure what trade he was on ship, he went to Gibraltar on the Eagle, any information would be gladly received.

Many thanks.
Mick Miles

Reply 1
Mar. 18, 2008

I was aboard Eagle from Sept 1952 to August 1954. I do happen to have a lot of old photo's of the ships crews from those years. I never knew a Gordon Miles, but then there was over 2000 ratings aboard. If you like I can
send you any group photo's that I have and put you in touch to other sites on the web which have lots of
Eagle pic's.

Terry Heaps

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Class Overview
Page published Jan. 29, 2007