Aircrew and bi-plane saved after Greek islands drama

The ditched Nimrod with its pilot and navigator clinging to the fuselage
The ditched Nimrod with its pilot and navigator clinging to the fuselage
The new trackbed for the Horndean Light Railway looking south across the bridge over Southwick Hill Road, Cosham, about 1903.

NOSTALGIA: Ready and waiting, the shiny new tracks climbing Portsdown Hill

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Eric Eddles’s late father Edward was coxswain of the sea boat belonging to the S-Class destroyer HMS Stronghold when this incident happened off the Greek islands on January 24, 1935.

Edward and the boat’s crew rescued not only the pilot and navigator from the ditched bi-plane, but the aircraft too.

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Eric, of Westover Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, says it was the second drama of its kind.

It involved battle cruiser HMS Courageous, which was converted into an aircraft carrier between 1924 and 1928; Stronghold, which was launched in May 1919, and a Hawker Nimrod bi-plane.

In the picture above Stronghold is followed by her sister ship HMS Searcher, the sea boat is being lowered and the pilot and navigator are in the sea alongside the fuselage.

On the back of the second photo Edward wrote: ‘Took salvage lines to ship. Got clear until plane was hoisted. Just going to plane to open up fabric to let water out.’