HMS Warrior, R31

The Planes


During 1953 and 1954, HMS Warrior was home to 811 Naval Air Squadron which flew Sea Furies and 825 NAS which flew Firefly AS.5s. The ship could support up to 48 aircraft.

Most of the following photos were taken from my dad's photo albums but in November 2000, Tony Pearce who was one of the two onboard meteorologists, emailed me saying that there were two photographers, Kingsley Jones and Norman Ford, on HMS Warrior. it is more than likely that these took the original photographs.

I also need to thank Albert Gauthier whose father served on HMCS Warrior from her launch in 1944 to the end of the war. Taff Webb sent some very nice photographs. His father, Rowland Victor Webb, served on HMS Warrior during 1953 and 1954. I also need to thank Vic Flintham for identifying the aircraft. Vic is a post-war aviation historian and author. His original site can be found on the Internet Archive, and here is his current site.

HMCS Warrior

HMS Warrior was laid down on December 12, 1942 and launched on May 20, 1944. It was commissioned into the Royal Navy on January 24, 1946 and the Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Warrior, on March 14, 1946, where it remained until November 1948 before returning to the Royal Navy.

Post-war Firefly Mk I

A post-war Firefly Mk I. Photo very kindly sent by Albert Gauthier

In December 2002, Albert Gauthier sent me the above great photo of HMCS Warrior. His dad served on her from her launch in 1944 to the end of the war. Albert wrote:

My dad joined the Canadian Navy in 1943, immediately after turning 18 years old. He was immediately shipped to Halifax, Nova Scotia and shortly thereafter, shipped to London and a place called Macrihanish in Scotland, where he trained as a Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic while the Warrior was under construction.

He basically trained until the end of 1944 until the Warrior was ready and they got the ship about that time. The photo was taken in mid 1945 when he was on the ship and they were headed to Japan to set up a naval blockade prior to the bomb dropping.

The Planes and Helicopters

Sea Furies of 811 Naval Air Squadron (nearest) and Firefly AS.5s of 825 NAS Kure, Japan, June 16, 1954. The flight deck elevators are clearly visible. Photo from Taff Webb The ship's helecopter, a Westland Dragonfly HR.3 WG665 The ship's helecopter, a Westland Dragonfly HR.3 WG665 Firefly AS.5 Sea Fury FB.11 The hard way into the hanger! Sea Fury FB.11 Mail at last! Westland Dragonflys HR.3 WG665 Sea Fury FB.11, Malta, March 10, 1953. Photo from Taff Webb Wot! No wheels in front? Sea Fury FB.11 Sea Fury FB.11 Sea Fury FB.11, April 23, 1953 Grumman Avenger HUP-2 Retriever from the light aircraft carrier, USS Wright HUP-2 Retriever from the light aircraft carrier, USS Wright, bringing mail to HMS Warrior Sea Fury FB.11 Sea Fury FB.11 Good catch! Sea Fury FB.11 Caught! Hawker Sea Hawk F.1 or F.2 (073) Sea Fury FB.11, 811 NAS Firefly AS.5, 825 NAS over Simonstown, South Africa Open Day: Firefly AS.5 A squadron of Sea Fury FB.11s Into the Sun: FJ Fury of the United States Navy The Last Lineup The Last Lineup

Sources and Resources

Fairey Firefly (Armoured Aircraft Carriers)
Fairey Firefly (Wikipedia)
Grumman TBF Avenger (Wikipedia)
Hawker Sea Fury (Wikipedia)
Hawker Fury & Sea Fury (BAE Systems)
Hawker Sea Hawk (Air Vectors)
Hawker Sea Hawk (BAE Systems)
Hawker Sea Hawk (Wikipedia)
Piasecki HUP Retriever (All the World's Rotorcraft)
Piasecki HUP Retriever (Wikipedia)
Westland WS-51 Dragonfly (Wikipedia)