“Life as an Aircrew Diver”

Monthly Meeting Talk by Mike Green – 5th June

Speaker Mike Green Speaker Mike Green

Pembrokeshire U3A member Mike Green gave a fascinating resume of his life as a Royal Navy Aircrew Diver and a history of the formation of this unusual specialty post.

After joing the Navy he was working as a safety equipment officer when the opportunity arose to become one of the first aircrew divers. This post was established after a particular aircraft carrier landing failure which, unfortunately, resulted in the loss of life of the pilot when the aircraft ended up in the sea in front of an assembled press.

The primary role of the aircrew diver was to enter the water to attempt to rescue aircrew from their crashed aircraft. This could involve jumping from a helicopter stationed alongside the carrier during the landing of returning aircraft.  The entertaining talk was amply illustrated with historical photographs, a video clip and personal anecdotes highlighting the varied other related events in his career.

An indication of the importance and risks involved in being an aircrewman is that it is the most highly decorated branch of the Royal Navy. In the 40 year since it was formed members have earned 4 George Medals, 15 Queens Gallantry Medals, 4 Air Force Crosses, 10 Air Force Medals, 3 Distinguished Service Medals as well as 4 MBE’s and 4 BEM’s.

Mike Green Speaker Mike Green

Photos and text MJW