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100-year-old veteran makes flying visit to Fleet Air Arm Museum

8 June 2018
100-year-old veteran aviator Mr Douglas Rolton visited Yeovilton's Fleet Air Arm Museum recently for a special visit to see the Fairey Barracuda aircraft project.

Mr Rolton, who was 100 last month, flew as an observer/navigator in Royal Navy Barracuda aircraft on the bombing mission against the German Battle ship Tirpitz in 1944. 

He also survived two crash landings at sea during his career as a Navy pilot, making him a double member of the ‘Goldfish Club’, the name given to aircrew members who have had to make forced landings over water.

Commander Jason Phillips, Executive Officer (XO) at RNAS Culdrose, himself a member of the ‘Goldfish Club’ was there to meet Mr Rolton.

William Gibbs, museum restoration engineer, who is heading the Barracuda rebuild, was able to show Mr Rolton many familiar parts of the aircraft that are being worked on to recreate the last surviving example of a Barracuda dive bomber, using components from Barracuda crash sites, recovered to aid the project.

Of particular interest was the window section from the Observers position in a Barracuda, a view Mr Rolton would have been very familiar with during his flying career.

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