Fighter All Weather (FAW) of the Fleet Air Arm.

Lt. Cdr. (P) John E. Kelly. RN.

  • Lt. Cdr. John Edward Kelly RN is listed as having safely ejected from a Sea Vixen of 899 Sqn on the 29/7/1961. (Accident ID 8).
  • Having completed Flying Training with the USN, John Kelly went on to be a Sea Hawk (Senior Pilot 800 Sqn)/Sea Venom and Sea Vixen Pilot.
  • He joined the 3rd Sea Vixen Squadron to be formed, 893 Squadron, commissioned on 27th August 1960 under Sqn Commanding Officer Lt. Cdr. Dave Stanley. RN.
  • From his Log Book entry 25/11/1960: Embarked HMS Ark Royal off Malta direct from RNAS Yeovilton. 4 pairs at 10 minute intervals. Poor Weather at RNAS Yeovilton. Arrived Malta. Ship not ready. Diverted to RNAS Halfar. Refuelled and embarked HMS Ark Royal.
  • Two months later on 6/1/1961 he witnessed Accident ID 4. From his Interview: The C.O. Dave Stanley and myself as No2, followed by a second pair Lt. Cdr. Jeff Varley and Lt Dudgeon set off for night touch and go DLP. On completion of my 4 night DLP's and Hook On, I went to Flyco to witness the second pair. On the final (4th) night approach Lt Dudgeon was authorised for "Hook Down". There was no LSO in those days. The approached seemed a little unsettled and Lt Dudgeon self waved off. His port wing tip struck an engine box parked in Fly 4. A six foot section of his port wing separated and the aircraft continued inverted down the flight deck and crashed into the sea. His previous approaches had been perfect. Lt Dugeon was a highly skilled and experienced night deck lander from the Sea Venom days. Jeff Varley who had just landed on and was walking back to the Island also witnessed this sad occassion.
  • Kelly served as Senior Pilot 893 and 899 Sea Vixen Squadrons.
  • Following his Sea Vixen Ejection, Lt. Cdr John Kelly had to leave fixed wing aviation because of back injuries caused by this accident.
  • John Kelly then continued as a Helicoptor Pilot and became SP. 815 Sqn and 781 Sqn. He was Commanding Officer 706 Sqn (Wessex Mk1/5, and Wasps at RNAS Culdrose), and 815 Sqn.
  • From his Log Book entry 29/8/1963: Wessex Mk 1, Side Number 306. Duty -Aircrew Rescue, Flight Time 35 minutes, Crew: Self, Lt. Ryan, Sub/Lt Zwozny. Aircrewman Davies. Lt. Cdr. Kelly conducted a rescue of downed Sea Vixen Aircrew Lt Dunbar-Dempsey and Lt Bill Hart (Accident ID 20) on East Coast Malaysia from HMS Ark Royal.
  • Witnessed Accident ID34: I saw a parachute drift accross the ship from the port bow to the starboard quarter. It become apparent that there was no crew member in the parachute.
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