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

892 Squadron to HMS Victorious 1960 to 1962


892 Sqn under the command of Lt. Cdr (F) D M A H Hamilton RN transfered from their previous mother ship HMS Ark Royal 1960 to 1961

HMS Victorious 1960 to 1962

August to October 1960. "D" Dock Portsmouth for refit

The crew form the ships crest (an angel) on deck. Sea Vixens ranged on deck.

18th August. Moved to Middle Slip Jetty for storing and flight deck machinery trials

14th September 1960. Commissioning Ceremony to coincide with the Ships Launch Date of 14th September 1949 at Newca

23rd September sailed for 2 days steaming trials Portland Areas. All machinery trialled and tested

25th September at Spithead embark flying trials teams for 5 days flying trials in Lyme Bay

892 Sqn leave RNAS Yeovilton to embark on HMS Ark Royal. CO Lt Cdr (Shorty) Hamilton leads.

1st to 10th October 1960. Alongside Portsmouth. 2 days sea trials for Radio and Radar. Full Power trials. 29.5 knots achieved.

Final Weekend in Portsmouth 15 to 18 October 1960. Embarked Squadron ground parties


HMS Victorious sails from her home base of Portsmouth

  • 18th October 1960 sailed from Portsmouth and embarked squadrons 825/803/849B and 892 Sqn Mk 1 Sea Vixens under the command of Lt. Cdr. (F) D.M.A.H. (Shorty) Hamilton RN.
    Three days flyex in the English Channel. 892 Squadron embarked 21st October 1960. Set Sail for Gibraltar
  • Heavy weather in the Bay of Biscay caused some damage and ship slowed to 8 kts to keep aircraft dry. Gibraltar 24th to 26th October 1960


HMS Victorious in Gibraltar and during here first workup

  • Sail Malta for First Work Up. One day flyex off Gibraltar
  • 4th November 1960 enter Grand Harbour Malta after 6 day flyex. 892 Sqn fly from RNAS Hal Far for recency


HMS Victorious enter Grand Harbour. Valetta. Malta

  • HMS Ark Royal also in Grand Harbour
  • 15th November 1960 after 10 days SMP sail for South Malta areas and Tripoli weapons ranges. Second Work Up
  • Gannet of 849 Squadron lost with Crew
  • 24th November 1960 passage Messina Straits for Naples visit


HMS Victorious visits Naples

  • 29th November 1960 sail from Naples Bay for 3rd Work Up which consisted of 3 major exercises.
    Ex Royal Flush in western basin of the Mediterranean with USS Saratoga, Independence and Intrepid, then fast passage to Malta.
  •  3rd November 1960 HMS Victorious. HMS Hermes and HMS Ark Royal conduct combined exercises
    HMS Hermes sails to the Far East station to relieve HMS Albion
    HMS Victorious and HMS Ark Royal remain in company for Army Support exercise Pink Gin 111 off Tobruk for 2 days
  • HMS Albion joins company from the Suez Canal for Ex DECEX. Ships operate westward past Malta and Cape Bon
  • Scimitar of 803 Sqn lost from Catapult shot. Pilot Safe
  • Ex DECEX complete 10th December 1960. Ship heads for Gibraltar
  • Ship hove- to in bad weather with gusts reaching 51 kts. Some damage to catwalks and rudder. Ship proceeds to lee of Majorca and ships divers repair the rudder
  • 15th December 1960  0700 arrive Gibraltar and Air Defence Exercise with HMS Ark Royal in Gibraltar Bay completed before berthing at noon 
  • 4 hours leave and sail for Portsmouth disembarking squadrons and arriving 19th December 1960 for 7 days ships company leave
  • 21st December 1960 change of command to Captain J. M. D. Gray OBE. RN
  • Up to 31st December 1960 HMS Victorious steamed 19,268 miles and had been at sea for 62 days
  • 892 Sqn receive six new aircraft and extensively modify the remaining aircraft at RNAS Yeovilton
  • 20th January 1961 sail Portsmouth. 892 Sqn embark 21st January 1961 in Lyme Bay for Firesteak Missile firings in Cardigan Bay. One 892 Squadron Sea Vixen shoots down two targets (Meteors and Jindiviks) and damages not only his own aircraft but also 2 parked Scimitars on deck recovery
  • Sail to Plymouth for disembarking damaged aircraft 27th January 1961. Heavy weather in Bay of Biscay and arrive Gibraltar 31st January 1061
  • Sail Gibraltar 1st February 1960 in company with RFA Tidereach and RFA Blackpool for Cape Town. Flyexs conducted by day and fast passage at night time.


HMS Victorious transits to Cape Town

  • Sea Vixen of 892 Sqn had an undercarriage collapse after land on, burst into flames and was written off. Crew Safe.
  • Equator crossed 9th February 1961
  • 16th February 1961 anchor Table Bay
  • 17th February 1961 Shopwindow viewed by many prominent South African Citizens and Service Personnel. A great success followed by 10 days of entertainment. Ship hosted 25,000 visitors.
    Sunday 19th February 1961, a new Queens Colour was presented to the South American and South Atlantic Station by His Excellency the United Kingdom Ambassador Sir John Maud on the Flight Deck of HMS Victorious. This was the first time that the Queen's Colour had been presented on board a ship and special dispensation had been obtained from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to do so. Normally a Colour is presented on Sovereign Territory


HMS Victorious in Cape Town. Queens Colour presented

  • 28th  February 1961 sail Cape Town for Singapore. A huge crowd had gathered
  • Ships Air Group conducts fly pasts en route off Hermanus, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban
  • 5th March 1961 ORI  by FOAC carried out in Mozambique Channel
  • Arrive Aden 7th March 1961


HMS Victorious in Aden

  • 14th March 1961 sail for 3 day exercise SEA SHEIKH with HMS Hermes returning from the Far East Station. ADEX in support of Army in the Aden protectorate
  • 17th March 1961 sail Singapore
  • 29th March 1961 arrive Singapore Naval base for Easter. 892 Squadron disembarks to RAF Tengah for recency. 892 Sqn has 50% change over of personnel and has a change of command to Lt Cdr. A. Gray RN


HMS Victorious in Singapore

  • HMS Victorious had been at sea for 27 days out of 30. Since leaving UK the ship had steamed 21,375 miles in 117 days at sea
  • SMP at Singapore.  The SEATO fleet assembles and prepares for a major exercise PONY EXPRESS
    Squadrons partake in Singapore Airshow
  • Sail 12th April 1961 to embark Squadrons
  • 15th to 17th April 1961 at anchor in Singapore Roads
  • 18th April 1961 work Up followed by RNR at Pulau Tioman, East Coast Malaya


RNR at Pulau Tiomin

  • 25th April 1961. Ex PONY EXPRESS. Amphibious landings/Air Defence and Ground Support on the North Coast of Borneo. 42 Commando HMS Bulwark. US Marines USS Thetis Bay opposed by USS Coral Sea and HMAS Melbourne. Many other destroyers and ships in company along with USS 7th Fleet
  • 803 Sqn Scimitar lost. Lt (P) Edwards RN ejected after fire warning, picked up by helo and died of injuries Singapore 5th May 1961
  • 8th May 1961, 892 Sqn disembark to RAF Tengah
  • 9th May 1961 interim docking at Singapore required. HMS Victorious pulls out of Far East Fleet cruise to Japan
  • 16th May 1961 enter King George V1 Dry Dock. Rudder Repairs
  • 8th June 1961 ship undocked. Sail 15th June 1961, embark squadrons for flyex. Weekend at Pulau Tioman and a futher week of flyex
  • 20th June 1961 Sea Vixen Lost at night. Both Crew Lost. ID 3.
    Night DLP after CCA waved off, crashed into sea. In spite of an all night search by ships and aircraft no trace of the crew was found
  • 26th June 1961 sailed for Hong Kong with exercises en route (planned). The C in C informs HMS Victorious to proceed to the Persian Gulf. General Kassem threatened to annex Kuwait which had only just been granted independence by Britain
  • Ship proceeds at 26 knots and passes Penang 1st July 1961, transits Nay of Bengal but unable to fly due SW Monsoon weather. Reached the Gulf of Oman on the 8th July 1961 with slow passage across the Arabian Sea due Monsoon weather reaching Bahrain on the 9th July 1961 and then to the Kuwait areas. Kuwait had 5000 British Troops with the carrier HMS Bulwark, three RN Frigates and the carrier HMS Centaur was passaging the Suez Canal
  • 14th July 1961 ship closed up to Action Stations. No move by General Kassam and so the ship conducted a normal day’s flying
  • Temperatures experienced were 92F and daily flying continued until 31st July 1961 when HMS Centaur hove in sight. 75 % ships company suffered from prickly heat and many from heat exhaustion


HMS Victorious diverts to Kuwait

  • 31st July 1961 departed Persian Gulf for Mombasa. Victorious had to remain on the Middle East Station and to be within 6 days steaming of Kuwait. 48 hours leave. Ship repainted
  • 21st August 1961 sailed Mombasa for flyex in local areas. Jets overflew Zanzibar in response to local police requests. 2 helos assisted police in quelling local disturbances. Ship is released from Middle East Station standby commitment. Weekend in Mombasa and sail Singapore for essential maintenance


HMS Victorious in Mombasa

  • 29th August 1961 off Aden for flyex and to pick up 2 Sea Vixens that HMS Centaur had previously left behind
  • 2nd September 1961 sail for Singapore in company with Reliant, Olna and HMS Yarmouth as planeguard. Full power trial across the bay of Bengal for flyex off Penang until 14th September 1961. Disembark Squadrons for recency . 892 based at RAF Tengah. Enter Singapore 15th September 1961
  • Since last visit to Singapore (almost exactly 3 months) Victorious had been at sea for 75 out of 92 and had covered 29,975 miles at an average of 16.5 knots
  • Record to date after one year. 79,247 miles in 201 days (227 including part days) under way
  • 5th October 1961 sail Singapore after essential maintenance for ship and aircraft for Ex FOTEX with Commonwealth Far East Ships and sail Hong Kong 13th October
  • Arrive Hong Kong 0930 17th October 1961 at Number 1 Buoy


HMS Victorious In Hong Kong

  • Sail 25th October with HMS Cavalier as planeguard and RFA’s to join USS Ticonderoga and escorts for Ex CROSSTIE off the Philippines
  • 27th October 1961 Sea Vixen of 892 Squadron broke out of catapult and went over the side. Crew Safe. S/LT (P) R. O. Sutton RN and Lt (O) J.S.D. Robertson RN


HMS Belfast rescues the downed Sea Vixen Crew

  • HMS Belfast rescues the downed Sea Vixen Crew. S/Lt Sutton was picked up by helo and Lt Robertson was picked up by the ships sea boat of HMS Belfast. He remembers to salute as he comes on board after his rescue!
  • 28th October 1961 all ships anchor Subic Bay


HMS Victorious in the Phillipines. Subic Bay

  • 30th October 1961 continue Ex CROSSTIE. Sea Vixen damaged on Deck Landing USS Ticoconderoga’s deck. Nose oleo collapsed. Aircraft lightered off at Subic Bay from Carrier to Carrier
  • Exercise completed on 31st October 1961. Sail for Singapore arrive 4th November 1961
  • SMP Singapore and sail for Aden 14th November 1961. Flyex off Penang 15th November 1961
  • 16th November 1961 divert Mombasa for flood relief operations arrived 22nd November 1961. 825 Sqn helos and support crew disembark and are left behind. Ship sails for Aden


HMS Victorious Humanitarian Support . Kenya Flood Relief

  • 1300 23rd November 1961. 4 days flying on passage and in the Aden areas. 26th November 1961 HMS Plymouth assumes planeguard duty. Lay off Aden 3 hours and proceed to Suez Canal. Flyex 30th November 1961. RV HMS Centaur Gulf of Suez after dark 1st December 1961. Victorious embarks Helos of Centaurs 824 Sqn to replace those left behind in Mombasa, Centaur will take the 825 Sqn helos of Victorious on arrival in Mombasa.
  • Enter Suez Canal 2nd December 1961. HMS Diana greets on exit of Canal as planeguard.


HMS Victorious Northbound and Homeward Bound through the Suez Canal

  • Night flyex 3rd December and CAS ex off Tobruk with 40 Commando on 4th December 1961. 5th Dec 1961 off Malta for night flying
  • Ex Royal Flush with USS 6th Fleet curtailed due weather and 8 Sea Vixens of 892 Squadron disembarked off Sardinia and returned to RNAS Yeovilton 8th December 1961


  • HMS Victorious enters Malta. Squadrons Disembark

    • Enter Malta 10th December 1961 for Heavy Transfer programme with HMS Ark Royal
    • Sail Malta passing Gibraltar 14th December 1961 anchoring in Spithead 18th December 1961 clearing Customs and berthed at South Railway Jetty 19th December 1961


    HMS arrives home in Porstsmouth on a foggy morning

    • For the Record Victorious had been away from Portsmouth 333 days and been at sea 220 days, covered 82,000 miles at an average of 17.5 knots
    • Leave to ships company. Childrens Party Saturday 13th January 1962
    • 27th January 1962 Families day
    • 5th February 1962 Sail Portsmouth. Embark Squadrons 7th February 1962. Private Flyex’s
    • 15th to 19th February 1962 visit Brest
    • 1st to 13th March 1962 SMP at Gibraltar. Sea Trials with 1st Destroyer Squadron. 4 day visit to Vigo in NW Spain starting 19th March 1962
    • 23rd March 1962 sail Vigo. NATO exercise DAWN BREEZE
    • Disembark Squadrons and enter Portsmouth 2nd April 1962
    • For the Record. Days in Commission 594. Days away from Portsmouth 460. Days with sea time 323. Miles steamed 114,000




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