This page is dedicated to his memory and produced with the kind permission of his family. His cousin, Peter Dudgeon has treasured these documents handed down through his family. (submitted to seavixen October 2007)
Lt. Norman Leslie Dudgeon was affectionately known amonst his friends as "Dudge". His family called him by his middle name. A very experienced pilot and an Air Warfare Instructor (AWI). A graduate of NAS Pensacola. Tall and impressive, he stood at 6ft 3"inches.
He lost his life in an accident flying a Sea Vixen Mk 1 of 893 Sqn at night from HMS Ark Royal on 6th January 1961. Born 12.6.1930. He was 30 years old.
An ex National Serviceman, he joined as a career Naval Officer. He flew Sea Hawks during the Suez Crisis and conducted then Top Secret "Firestreak" missile firing trials, recieving a commendation. He stood out proudly when seen with his messmates and was qualified to take command of a Squadron.
|RECORD OF SERVICE FOR Lt N L DUDGEON RN|
|B.T.U.1. WHITING FIELD US NAVY||12 DEC 52||23 MAY 53|
|B.T.U.3. SAUFLEY FIELD US NAVY||23 MAY 53||06 JUN53|
|B.T.U.3. BARIN FIELD US NAVY||07 JUN 53||14 AUG 53|
|B.T.U.2. CORRY FIELD US NAVY||15 AUG 53||11 SEP 53|
|A.W.F. CORPUS CHRISTI US NAVY||28 SEP 53||06 NOV 53|
|ATU 101 NAS PENSACOLA FLORIDA||07 NOV 53||10 FEB 54|
|CAR QUAL NAS PENSACOLA FLORIDA||14 FEB 54||23 MAR 54|
|738 SQN RNAS LOSSIEMOUTH||15 JUN 54||24 SEP 54|
|801 SQN RNAS FORD||04 OCT 54||05 JAN 55|
|810 SQN HMS CENTAUR||06 JAN 55||22 MAR 55|
|AIRWORK St DAVID METEOR JET CON||19 MAY 55||10 JUN 55|
|810 SQN RNAS LOSSIEMOUTH||27 JUN 55||10 JAN 56|
|810 SQN HMS ALBION||10 JAN 56||14 MAY 56|
|810 SQN RNAS LOSSIEMOUTH||14 MAY 56||05 AUG 56|
|810 SQN HMS BULWARK||06 AUG 56||19 DEC 56|
|STATION FLIGHT RNAS LOSSIEMOUTH||21 JAN 57||30 JAN 57|
|238 OCU AWF RAF NORTH LUFFENHAM||04 FEB 57||18 APR 57|
|766 SQN RNAS MERRYFIELD||06 MAY 57||16 JUN 57|
|893 SQN RNAS MERRYFIELD||17 JUN 57||27 AUG 57|
|893 SQN HMS ARK ROYAL||28 AUG 57||25 NOV 57|
|893 SQN RNAS MERRYFIELD||26 NOV 57||26 JAN 58|
|893 SQN HMS ARK ROYAL||27 JAN 58||05 JUN 58|
|893 SQN RNAS YEOVILTON||06 JUN 58||24 SEP 58|
|893 SQN HMS VICTORIOUS||25 SEP 58||13 JAN 59|
|736 SQN RNAS LOSSIEMOUTH||24 FEB 59||06 APR 60|
|764 SQN SQN HMS EXCELLENT||25 APR 60||27 MAY 60|
|764 SQN RNAS LOSSIEMOUTH||30 MAY 60||28 JUN 60|
|766 B SQN RNAS YEOVILTON||15 AUG 60||29 AUG 60|
|893 SQN RNAS YEOVILTON||02 SEP 60||25 NOV 60|
|893 SQN HMS ARK ROYAL||25 NOV 60||06 JAN 61|
|BASIC TRAINING @ PENSACOLA||18 SEP 53|
|ALL WEATHER FLIGHT @ CORPUS CHRISTI||06 NOV 53|
|ADVANCE TRAINING @ CORPUS CHRISTI||23 MAR 54|
|No.2 SEA FURY CONVERSION @ LOSSIE||04 SEP 54|
|METEOR JET CONVERSION @ AIRWORK||10 JUN 55|
|184 NF/AW RAF NORTH LUFFENHAM||28 APR 57|
A spare engine box is stowed on the flight deck close to the wingtip safety line. In those days the combination of such small aircraft carriers and tight storage spaces made flying dangerous and hazardous.
The reader can now easily see that "Dudge" was a highly skilled, highly qualified Fleet Air Arm, Royal Naval Pilot. We have members of seavixen, collegues who served with him describing him as very popular. They testify to the sadness of his loss all these years later. He was a fine example and role model for all young future aviators.
The following is a family epitaph to "Dudge".
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth....Put my hand out and touched the face of God!
Peter Dudgeon. cousin of Lt. (P) N.L. Dudgeon RN. 1930/1961
Finally included here are the reflections Peter Dudgeons' Father.
Norman Dudgeon 1909/2002 uncle of Lt. (P) N.L. Dudgeon RN. 1930-1961
This verse in his own handwriting was found in his diary after his death. A silent Prayer, a thought, a Tear. Though absent you are very near.
The family wish this to reflect how much "Dudge" was missed.