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The Royal Navy Wasp (Hardback)

An Operational and Retirement History

Maritime Aviation Falklands Royal Navy Photo Books Colour Books Cold War

By Larry Jeram-Croft, Terry Martin
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9781526721143
Published: 31st January 2019

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This book tells the story of the first helicopter in the world designed from the outset to be deployed at sea, in Destroyers and Frigates. It is primarily based on the words of those who operated it. Designed from the outset to cope with the restricted space of a warship both for stowage and flight operations it proved an immediate success. Its original role was to act as a weapon carrier to launch torpedoes and depth charges on submarine contacts out of range of the parent ship’s weapons range. Soon, it also took on a second primary role of air to surface attack using wire guided missiles. The flexibility of the machine was such that it was able to conduct a plethora of secondary roles from visual search to collecting the all-important ship’s mail. Wherever the Royal Navy was deployed on operations a Wasp was there. The book has accounts of operations around the world particularly during the Cold War of the Seventies and the Falklands War where amongst other things it had the honour of being the first RN platform ever, to fire a guided missile at a surface target.

However the story doesn’t end there. Although the aircraft went out of service in the Royal Navy in 1988, it continued to operate with other navies around the world. To this day there are still several airworthy examples flying. The second part of the book gives accounts of these machines and brings the story of the Wasp completely up to date.

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About Larry Jeram-Croft

Larry Jeram-Croft spent thirty years in the Royal Navy. He trained as an Aircraft Engineer and then as a helicopter pilot. He was awarded a Queens Commendation for Search and Rescue duties and flew the Lynx of HMS Andromeda during the Falklands War. Retiring from the RN in 2000 as a Commander, he worked in industry before retiring for a second time. He then bought a yacht and lived in the Caribbean with Fiona, his wife, before returning to the UK to write. He now lives in Somerset where, apart from writing, he continues to fail to hit a golf ball with any skill whatsoever.


About Terry Martin

Terry Martin, despite growing up in Portsmouth and in a navy family, learned to fly with the University Air Squadron at RAF Abingdon whilst at Medical school in London. His original ambition of being a Medical Officer Pilot in the RAF would make it possible to fly and be a doctor at the same time and he qualified as a pilot and in medicine within two months of each other in 1981. Terry spent the next ten years on active RAF duty followed by a further 17 years as a reservist in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force seeing action in both Gulf wars. Terry became a Flight Medical Officer and received training in the De Havilland Chipmunk, Scottish Aviation Bulldog and the British Aircraft Corporation Jet Provost. After later dalliances with the British Aersopace Hawk and then an eye-opening flight at the controls of a two seater Harrier T4A, it was the latter that convinced Terry that VSTOL and hovering were much more fun than flying fast! Realising that he was past his sell-by date for Harrier training, he learned to fly the Westland Aerospatiale Gazelle at RAF Shawbury, followed by later experience on the Westland Aerospatiale Puma with 230 Squadron at RAF Gütersloh in Germany and 1563 Flight (33 Squadron) in Belize. During his twenty nine years in the Royal Air Force, Terry reached the rank of Wing Commander and, in addition to aerospace medicine, he specialised in emergency medicine, intensive care medicine and aeromedical evacuation. He now works as a consultant in anaesthesia and critical care as well as being the Medical Director of an international air ambulance company based in the heart of ‘Wasp country’, the southwest of England. Terry has privately owned and flown several Wasps since 2000 and still flies as a display pilot in the UK.

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