Palembang and Beyond

This is a second book about the Fleet Air Arm squadrons flying from the aircraft carriers of British Pacific Fleet in the Second World War. This time the book has focused on the contribution of Naval Air Squadron 849 flying from the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious, and the stories of three veterans, Dr. Arthur Page and John ‘Buster’ Brown who were Avenger pilots and Norman ‘Dickie’ Richardson who was aTAG (Telegraphist Air Gunner).

 

Palembang and Beyond pcd front 200ppi RGBFor the pilots and crews going into battle in the South Pacific there was always the danger of being shot down and having to ditch in the sea, but fortunately rescue destroyers were on hand to pick up the downed crews. Sub. Lt. Arthur Page while attacking Habu Docks was shot down and had to ditch in the sea and was rescued by HMS Undine. After he was transferred to HMS Victorious by breeches buoy he was immediately told to get ready for the next operation.

Sub. Lt. ‘Gus’ Halliday, Sub. Lt. Austin Webster and PO ‘Dickie’ Richardson took part in the second Palembang raid, but were shot down, and ditched in the sea. They were rescued by HMS Whelp whose captain was Commander Norfolk and the first officer was Prince Philip of Greece. HRH Prince Philip has met ‘Dickie’ Richardson on a number of occasions, and remembers ‘fishing him out of the drink’.