Telegraphist Air Gunner – The Last Line of Defiance by artist CPO(A) Horace William ‘Nat’ Gold FAASFX412
This image, the brave TAG prepared to defend his aircraft and crew from, usually better equipped, all comers, is an embodiment of the 'Can do, will do' spirit that defines the Fleet Air Arm.
Stationed in Malta between January 1941 and January 1942, Telegraphist Air Gunner ‘Nat’ Gold survived nearly 1000 air raids, some of which were taking place as his Fairey Swordfish Mk1 was landing or taking off.
Of his 35 flights from Hal-Far, 24 included torpedo attacks, dive bombing or mine laying while others were for reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrol.
Between May and November 1941, 830 Naval Air Squadron sank 110,000 tons of enemy shipping and damaged 130,000 more – a record unequalled by any other squadron. By the end of 1942, 830 and 828 Naval Air Squadrons had a combined tally of nearly 400,000 tons sunk or damaged.
Many torpedo attacks were carried out at night despite a lack of night flying instruments or even a torpedo sight.
‘Nat’ Gold was mentioned in despatches in 1942.
He subsequently became a gunnery instructor and served with 750 NAS in Trinidad until the end of the war