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The Airmen's Stories - Lt.(FAA) A E Marsh


Alan Edward Marsh was born on 5th May 1912 and enlisted in the Royal Marines on 15th November 1930. He served in the ranks until commissioned in January 1935 as a probationary 2nd Lieutenant.

He was attached to the Fleet Air Arm on 27th June 1938 and on that day he was posted to 6 E&RFTS Sywell, moving on to No. 1 SFTS on 10th September 1938.



With his training completed, Marsh joined 774 (FAA) Squadron at Aldergrove on 1st January 1940.

He moved to 804 Squadron at Hatston on 16th June 1940, flying Sea Gladiators on dockyard defence.

On 5th September 804 embarked on HMS Furious by air. The squadron disembarked and returned to Hatston on 8th September.

On 11th October 1940 804 again embarked on HMS Furious for operations against Tromso. The attack did not take place because of bad weather and 804 returned to Hatston on the 19th.

On 22nd November 1940 Marsh transferred to 802 Squadron on HMS Audacity but rejoined 804 on 24th March 1941 for Fighter Catapult ships, as Senior Pilot.

Marsh commanded the squadron from 9th February to 30th October 1942, including (after it had returned to carrier duties) the Pedestal convoy to Malta, following which he was at Combined Operations HQ as FAA Planner.

Marsh held a series of appointments as Lieutenant Commander Flying, on HMS Rajah from 3rd January to 16th December 1944, on HMS Khedive from 31st December 1944 to 11th June 1945 (which included the action on 15th/16th May 1945 in which the Japanese cruiser, Haguro, was sunk in the Strait of Malacca) and at RNAS Trincomalee from 12th June to 21st November 1945.

He returned to the Royal Marines in January 1946 and served in 42 Commando in Malta and in Germany.

Marsh retired on 30th September 1953. In civilian life he was a motor engineer, retiring again in 1977.

He died on 12th April 2001.



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