The Royal Navy Wasp

An Operational and Retirement History

Larry J Jeram-Croft, Terry Martin

This book tells the story of the first helicopter in the world designed from the outset to be deployed at sea, in Destroyers and Frigates. It is primarily based on the words of those who operated it. Designed from the outset to cope with the restricted space of a warship both for stowage and flight operations it proved an immediate success.
Date Published :
April 2019
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
40 color illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781526721143
Pages : 280
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.5 inches
Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


This book tells the story of the first helicopter in the world designed from the outset to be deployed at sea, in Destroyers and Frigates. It is primarily based on the words of those who operated it. Designed from the outset to cope with the restricted space of a warship both for stowage and flight operations it proved an immediate success. Its original role was to act as a weapon carrier to launch torpedoes and depth charges on submarine contacts out of range of the parent ship’s weapons range. Soon, it also took on a second primary role of air to surface attack using wire guided missiles. The flexibility of the machine was such that it was able to conduct a plethora of secondary roles from visual search to collecting the all-important ship’s mail. Wherever the Royal Navy was deployed on operations a Wasp was there. The book has accounts of operations around the world particularly during the Cold War of the Seventies and the Falklands War where amongst other things it had the honour of being the first RN platform ever, to fire a guided missile at a surface target.However the story doesn’t end there. Although the aircraft went out of service in the Royal Navy in 1988, it continued to operate with other navies around the world. To this day there are still several airworthy examples flying. The second part of the book gives accounts of these machines and brings the story of the Wasp completely up to date.

About The Author

**Larry Jeram-Croft** Spent Thirty Years In The Royal Navy. He Trained As An Aircraft Engineer And Then As A Helicopter Pilot. He Was Awarded A Queens Commendation For Search And Rescue Duties And Flew The Lynx Of Hms Andromeda During The Falklands War. Retiring From The Rn In 2000 As A Commander, He Worked In Industry Before Retiring For A Second Time. He Then Bought A Yacht And Lived In The Caribbean With His Wife, Fiona, Before Returning To The Uk To Write. He Now Lives In Somerset Where, Apart From Writing, He Continues To Fail To Hit A Golf Ball With Any Skill Whatsoever.  **T****Erry Martin,** Despite Growing Up In Portsmouth And In A Navy Family, Learned To Fly With The University Air Squadron At Raf Abingdon Whilst At Medical School In London. His Original Ambition Of Being A Medical Officer Pilot In The Raf Would Make It Possible To Fly And Be A Doctor At The Same Time And He Qualified As A Pilot And In Medicine Within Two Months Of Each Other In 1981\. Terry Spent The Next Ten Years On Active Raf Duty Followed By A Further 17 Years As A Reservist In The Royal Auxiliary Air Force Seeing Action In Both Gulf Wars. Terry Became A Flight Medical Officer And Received Training In The De Havilland Chipmunk, Scottish Aviation Bulldog And The British Aircraft Corporation Jet Provost. After Later Dalliances With The British Aersopace Hawk And Then An Eye-Opening Flight At The Controls Of A Two Seater Harrier T4a, It Was The Latter That Convinced Terry That Vstol And Hovering Were Much More Fun Than Flying Fast! Realising That He Was Past His Sell-By Date For Harrier Training, He Learned To Fly The Westland Aerospatiale Gazelle At Raf Shawbury, Followed By Later Experience On The Westland Aerospatiale Puma With 230 Squadron At Raf Gütersloh In Germany And 1563 Flight (33 Squadron) In Belize. During His Twenty Nine Years In The Royal Air Force, Terry Reached The Rank Of Wing Commander And, In Addition To Aerospace Medicine, He Specialised In Emergency Medicine, Intensive Care Medicine And Aeromedical Evacuation. He Now Works As A Consultant In Anaesthesia And Critical Care As Well As Being The Medical Director Of An International Air Ambulance Company Based In The Heart Of ‘Wasp Country’, The Southwest Of England. Terry Has Privately Owned And Flown Several Wasps Since 2000 And Still Flies As A Display Pilot In The Uk.

Terry was born in 1965 at Bankstown in Sydney, New South Wales and grew up at Macquarie Fields. His interest in birds started at the age of 10 when Terry was given his first pair of Zebra Finches by his father and thus started a continuous history of aviculture up to the present day. Having started with Zebra Finches and all their different colour mutations, naturally his interest in genetics also began early and this allowed him to form a sound basis of knowledge to work upon in later years. Terry began his secondary schooling at Hurlestone Agricultural High School. To this day Terry can remember his English teacher Mrs Llewelyn informing his parents that he would never write a novel, but that he had adequate language skills to write a technical manual! At the age of 16 he moved to Brisbane, Queensland and finished his schooling at Sunnybank High School where his Biology teacher Mr O’Driscoll found it difficult to adjust the genetics course for Terry. His solution was to give Terry his university textbook on genetics, a move which opened the door of knowledge even further, resulting in even more difficult questions for the teacher! In 1984 Terry began studying Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland and he graduated in 1988. His training at university level expanded Terry’s genetic knowledge once again and taught him how to use scientific method to expand his knowledge. Upon graduation, Terry moved back to Sydney to work. His interest in birds naturally led to adding avian medicine to his veterinary skills. He was asked regularly to speak at local bird club meetings and in 1990 began studying parrot mutations and genetics in depth. In 1995, Terry was a speaker at the first Grass Parrot and Lorikeet Society convention held in Sydney. It was at this time that Nigel Steele-Boyce first suggested that he write a book on parrot mutations and genetics. Also in 1995, Terry decided to move back to Brisbane. He married Sharyn in 1997 and later that year they purchased the Sunnybank Veterinary Clinic. The stability of married life provided the last ingredient required to begin work upon this book in 1998. Writing the genetics book became an even greater stimulus for knowledge and has led to contact with experts in parrot genetics worldwide. In 1999 Terry initiated the formation of an international genetics discussion group (Genetics-Psittacine@ which operates via e-mail. The existence of this group has helped Terry make his book the most up-to-date and comprehensive book ever produced on colour mutations in parrots. In 2000, Terry presented three papers on avian genetics and colour mutations at the annual scientific meeting of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists. Later that year he also spoke at the Birds 2000 conference held in Melbourne by the Post Graduate Foundation in Veterinary Science University of Sydney. In 2001 he spoke at the Aviculture Federation of Australia (AFA) conference in Adelaide on colour mutations in parrots. Terry has written a number of articles for Australian Birdkeeper Magazine as well as for various club magazines. He also has written a significant number of papers currently available through the internet. Currently Terry keeps a wide range of parrots including Neophema species, Red-rumped Parrots, Eastern and Western Rosellas, Indian Ringnecked Parrots, Peachfaced and Masked Lovebirds and, of course, Zebra Finches. As always, his main interest is genetic understanding of the behaviour of colour morphs and he currently has breeding experiments under way to learn more about complex gene interaction in Zebra Finches, Red-rumped Parrots and Peachfaced Lovebirds.

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