Golden Wings and Navy Blue. Author John Fay Fleet Air Arm Pilot Book Navy Wings Royal Navy Gift

Golden Wings and Navy Blue. Author John Fay

Regular price £8.95 Save Liquid error (product-template line 131): Computation results to '-Infinity'%
Tax included.

Only 2 items in stock!

Wartime experiences in fixed wing aircraft, involvement with early operational helicopters and ultimately a test pilot at Westland. Trials and tribulations, near misses all featured in a fascinating career. Written in a conversational style, this book packs in all sorts of facts and fascinating personal insights into the life of a Fleet Air Arm pilot both during and post WWII.

Review by Paul Shiels,  courtesy of Slipstream - The magazine of the FAAAA

Golden Wings & Navy Blue By John Fay Golden Wings and Navy Blue is the story of the author’s experiences as an RN Fleet Air Arm pilot during World War II. The book provides an intriguing insight into those days when Fleet Air Arm pilots were continually exposed to attack. Overall the book covers his time from flying fixed wing aircraft to his undertaking the first helicopter course. In an unusual beginning the book describes the exchange of RN 832 Squadron (Avengers) to USS Saratoga with a USN Fighter Squadron joining HMS Victorious in the Pacific in 1943. The author provides a brief description of his take-off in an Avenger which resulted in him crashing into the sea and his subsequent escape underwater from the up turned aircraft. The book then changes tact moving in a logical sequence through the author’s early years of applying for the Fleet Air Arm, his call up for basic training on 16 September 1940 followed by elementary, then advanced flying training . Fifty hours of elementary flying training was undertaken at Luton in the Miles Magister. Unlike the Tiger Moth, it was a monoplane. The next phase of his war time experience entailed travelling to Canada by ship where he was to undertake advanced flying training. Included in the ‘passenger’ list were almost 700 German POWs bound for internment in Canada. Following the POWs arrival the daring escape by one Oberleutenant Fritz Von Werra who escaped by train and eventually managed to get back to Germany, astonished many. Some may recall the book and film: The One That Got Away by Paul Brickhill which describes this event. On arrival at Kingston, Ontario the author commenced 31 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) on the Fairey Battle and the Yale (similar to a Harvard) for aerobatics from January to May 1941. This was followed by a posting to a ‘Torpedo Spotter Reconnaissance’ course first flying Swordfish and then the Fairey Albacore. Once complete it was off to Arbroath for Aerodrome Dummy Deck Landings (ADDNLs). Shortly after he was sent to the Orkney’s to join 832 squadron in HMS Victorious. However, as the ship was still at sea, a temporary appointment to 771 Squadron (Fleet Requirement Unit) at RNAS Hatston in the Orkney’s during which he flew the Blackburn Roc and Blackburn Skua. This flying primarily involved target towing. It is apparent from this very detailed book that meticulous records were kept including diary entries and flying log books which provided sufficient material for the basis of this book. At the time of joining Victorious at Scapa Flow the ship was equipped with two squadrons of Albacore aircraft (817 & 832) and one fighter squadron 809 flying Fairey Fulmars. The author provides a breakdown of the Victorious operations around Scapa Flow, Iceland and the Artic generally. It also describes its involvement on the notorious Russian Convoys and its part in hunting the Tirpitz. In late December 1942, Victorious made her way to the Pacific via Norfolk, Virginia in the US to pick up Avengers for 832 Sqn. With training complete Victorious sailed for the Pacific via the Panama Canal. The later chapters focus on the ship’s operations in the Pacific with US Forces. It returned to the UK in the latter half of 1943. This included 832 Sqn’s period on loan to USS Saratoga. After fulfilling his duties in Victorious in September 1943, the author was posted to 778 Sqn (Services Trials Unit) at Crail. The objective was to make landings on new aircraft carriers flying many and various aircraft. One of those attached to the Sqn was Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown referred to earlier in this Slipstream. February 1944 saw the author’s flying change when selected for No.1 Helicopter Course. The remainder of his Fleet Air Arm service was spent with helicopters until demobbed in January 1946. Overall a good read and a good insight into aircraft carrier operations in WWII Paul Shiels



Until such time as the issues arising from the COVID-19 virus cease to have an impact, we will be operating a part time despatch service. Please bear with us. We will process your order as soon as we can.

How much does delivery cost?

  • UK orders start from £1.25
  • European orders from £4.95
  • Other international orders from £4.95
We endeavour to keep your cost to a minimum without compromising delivery speed. We use different methods of shipment according to weight and value. These can be a national postal or courier service or independent commercial courier service. For your security, the majority of overseas orders are sent by a Tracked and Signed method.
    The shipping cost will be clearly indicated during the purchase process. The specific cost of your shipment will be added as you go through checkout. It’s only at that point that the system knows the total weight of your order and can calculate a shipping cost.
    Please note that recipients outside the EU may have to pay local import duty or other taxes prior to delivery. These are outside our control and will usually be mandatory. Any delays in paying these local levies may result in a delay in delivery. Please check these details before placing an order.

    If, for whatever reason, you need to return an item to us, it must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging.

    Our policy lasts 30 days. If 30 days have gone by since your purchase, unfortunately we can’t offer you a refund or exchange.

    Non-returnable items:

    • Gift cards

    To complete your return, we require a receipt or proof of purchase.

    There are certain situations where only partial refunds are granted (if applicable)

    • Book with obvious signs of use
    • CD or DVD, that has been opened
    • Any item not in its original condition, is damaged or missing parts for reasons not due to our error
    • Any item that is returned more than 30 days after delivery


    To return your product, you should mail your product to: Navy Wings Heritage Centre, South Dispersal, RNAS Yeovilton Ilchester GB BA22 8HT

    You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.

    Full details for returns policy can be found here