November 12. WW2 Fleet Air Arm aces from NI. Roll of Honour

Michael Torrens-Spence was one of 21 navy flyers who made history on the night of 11/12 November 1940 in the first air attack launched from a carrier. Discover his story, a pilot’s account of the Battle of Taranto, and a Roll of Fleet Air Arm from NI in today’s post. Also in the Roll are Bill Brown and Wilson Ervin. Bill Brown was a yacht designer and a mathematician – PhD in mathematics at the University of Michigan. His passion for sailing resulted in him designing a new 35ft racing yacht ‘Ruffian’. He and his brother founded Westerley Yachts and over 200 fibreglass yachts were produced. Wilson Ervin a radar operator served in the Pacific, survived kamikaze attacks, and was off Burma when the war ended. A banker he was on several boards – a governor of RBAI and a Trustee of the Presbyterian Church. In WW1 William Patton was attached to the 1st King George’s Own Gurkha Rifles. He was listed as being presumed killed in 1918. However, he had been taken prisoner. After the war he pursued a career in the legal profession, becoming a Queen’s Counsellor. CBE, 1974, for his service to the legal system in Northern Ireland. On this day in 1944, 29 RAF Lancasters sink the German battleship, Tirpitz, near Tromsø, Norway. In 1942 three RN men die. One of them, Wilson Thornton, had been a member of HMS Caroline’s football team. In WW1 Harden Scott, a Ballynahinch scout leader died serving with the Royal Flying Corps. Mark Bacon of Portstewart is one of three veterans in today’s Roll.

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