The Airmen's Stories - Lt.(FAA) A J Wright
Alexander James Wright was born on 25th October 1913 in Northampton. His father William McCrome Wright was killed in action on 29th September 1918 serving with the 9th Battalion of the Tank Corps, he is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial.
AJ Wright attended Kettering Intermediate School, he left at age 15 and worked in Canada until 1932.
He joined the Royal Marines on 19th June 1934, was awarded the Kings Badge after training at Deal, and was commissioned on 1st January 1936.
He was attached to the FAA on 1st May 1939.
He joined 804 Squadron from 759 (Fleet Fighter School) Squadron on 21st March 1940. Wright embarked on the carrier HMS Glorious with a detachment of 804 on 22nd April. They flew from Glorious to Campbeltown on disembarking on 7th May 1940.
In early July 1940 he was serving with 804 Squadron at Hatston, flying Sea Gladiators on dockyard defence. Wright embarked on HMS Furious by air with 'A' Flight of 804 on 5th September. The flight disembarked and returned to Hatston on 8th September.
By 10th October 1940 Wright had left 804 Squadron and then served on HMS Argus, flying Skuas.
On 24th November 1940 Wright went to 803 Squadron on HMS Formidable, operating in the Mediterranean, covering Malta convoys and searching for the Italian fleet. In late May 1941 Wright was posted to 805 Squadron at Dekheila, Egypt, to fly Martlets in the Naval Fighter Wing.
After instructing at the Fighter School at Yeovilton, Wright took command of 809 Squadron on 7th August 1943, which embarked on HMS Unicorn for the Salerno landings on 9th to 12th September as part of Force V under Admiral Vian. The squadron flew Seafires in the umbrella over the landings, a total of 713 sorties.
Wright later served as Lieutenant Commander Flying on HMS Patroller and then on HMS Arbiter, which was used as a back-up carrier in operations against Japan in July and August 1945. He was Air Group Commander of 16 CAG (Carrier Air Group) on HMS Glory. He then spent two years on the staff of Flag Officer Air Home.
He returned to duty with the Royal Marines on 15th August 1949 and retired on 26th July 1958 as a Major. He received a Mention in Despatches (gazetted 2nd December 1941) for service in 805 Squadron and another (gazetted 19th May 1944) for Salerno.
Wright died in September 2005 in Dorset.