Royal Air Force - Royal Navy Air Crew

Lt N Taylor. 4th May 1982 Killed in Action:

Nick Taylor joined the Royal Navy as a helicopter pilot in the early 1970's and flew Sea Kings until the end of the decade, when he crossed into the fast-jet training stream. In the spring of 1982, he had just completed Sea Harrier conversion and emerged from the pipeline to join 800 Squadron, with whom he deployed down south. On Tuesday the 4th May, 1982, a three-ship attack on the Goose Green airstrip was mounted during which Nick Taylor's aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire as he ran in to attack. The aircraft exploded and hit the ground very close to the airstrip.  Nick Taylor's body, still in its ejector seat, was recovered by the residents of Goose Green and buried under Argentine supervision with full military honours very close to where he came to rest. The site is now fenced off and marked with a proper headstone, it is lovingly tended by the residents of Goose Green who hold an annual service on the anniversary of his death. Nick left a widow but her present whereabouts are unknown.

Lt W A Curtis.  6th May 1982

Lt Cdr J E Eyton-Jones. 6th May 1982 Killed in Action:  Two Royal Navy Sea Harriers are lost over the  South Atlantic at night in bad weather.

[ Lt Cdr J E Eyton-Jones. ]

The Sketch on the Left is by an Artist called Douglas  Cooper who very kindly has given us permission to use it on this website.

We thank him for all the time he has spent in producing such an excellent Sketch of Lt Cdr J E Eyton-Jones.

John Eyton-Jones was born on April 24th 1943 in Northampton. He was the second of two brothers and two sisters. His father, John senior, served in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War. Educated at Northampton Grammar School, he joined the Royal Navy as a Fleet Air Arm pilot in 1964.  Right from the start he was nicknamed E-J, and displayed a special talent for the demanding world of fast-jet flying from carriers at sea. Specialising first on the all-weather Sea Vixen fighter, operating from HM Ships EAGLE and HERMES, he then moved on to the F-4K Phantom of 892 Sqn in the Carrier Air Group of HMS ARK ROYAL. By then, E-J had become an Air Warfare Instructor (AWI) and also completed a distinguished tour with the US Navy experimental squadron VX-4 at Point Mugu, California, where his record as an adversary in Air Combat Manoeuvering (ACM) was exceptional. On return to England in 1976 he converted onto the Royal Air Force's Harrier GR.3, then joined No 1(F) Sqn at RAF Wittering, further enhancing his already unique reputation. When the Sea Harrier FRS.1 joined the Fleet, E-J, by now a Lieutenant Commander, returned to RN service and became an instructor with 899 Squadron NAC (Naval Air Command). He was heavily involved in ensuring that the Air Weapons tactics and training for this new VSTOL fighter were of the highest possible standard.  On April 5th 1982, in the week following the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, E-J was one of five 899 pilots seconded to 801 Squadron, which departed from England in the carrier HMS INVINCIBLE in order to establish air superiority within the South Atlantic Total Exclusion Zone. E-J was a strong influence in the intensive work-up schedules that brought the embarked pilots up to operational standard by day and night. He also took part in a number of combat sorties. Then, in the early hours of 6th May 82, E-J and Lt Al Curtis RN, flying a night patrol in two Sea Harriers, were vectored to investigate a suspicious radar contact near the stricken hulk of HMS SHEFFIELD. The weather was appalling, with rain, fog and low cloud. Both pilots failed to return from this mission, and were never seen again. John Eyton-Jones left behind Sally, who he had married in 1966, and two young daughters, Sophie and Anna.

Royal Signals: Cpl D F McCormack. Royal Air Force: Flt Lt G W Hawkins. Killed in Action:  British troop-carrying helicopter ditches at night between ships in the Task Force, 21 lost.

Lt Cdr G W J Batt. DSC. 23rd May 1982 Killed in Action:  Sea Harrier crashes into sea shortly after night take-off from HMS Hermes.

Lieutenant Commander G. W. J. BATT. DSC 800 Squadron Fleet Air Arm 

Gordon ('Gordy') was born in 1945 at Bircoats in Yorkshire, the only child of Rose and James Batt. His father, now deceased, was serving in the Royal Air Force at the time. Gordy was educated at Andover Grammar School and, as a member of the local Air Training Corps, took an early interest in aviation. He joined the Royal Navy at HMS Fisgard in Cornwall as an Artificer Apprentice, but was then selected in 1964 for Officer Training. At the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, as an 'Upper Yardman' Cadet, he became interested in diving and sailing. Midshipman Batt then saw service in the Far and Middle East, returning to Dartmouth to continue his studies in 1967. After being commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant, he became the First Lieutenant of HMS BRAVE SWORDSMAN, a fast patrol boat.  He married in 1970, and in the same year started pilot training. July 1971 saw the award of his Fleet Air Arm 'wings' as well the Ground School Training Prize.  After completing Advanced Flying Training and Operational Training on Sea King helicopters, Gordy joined 824 Squadron, where he served in HMS ARK ROYAL until Easter 1973. At that time it became clear that despite the rundown of its 'big carrier' expertise, the Royal Navy would need to maintain a nucleus of fixed-wing pilots to crew the forthcoming Sea Harrier; Gordy Batt was among the first of a small number of helicopter pilots selected to train on fast jets.  Thus began what was to be five-year secondment to the Royal Air Force, initially for training on Jet Provost, then the Gnat and Hunter, before qualifying on the F-4M Phantom. Gordon was then operational with 43 Squadron - the Fighting Cocks - at RAF Leuchars, where he lived with his family from December 1974 to August 1977.  Gordy then returned to the Royal Navy as a student at the Naval Staff College, Greenwich until February 1978. A resumption of flying duties led to a two year exchange appointment with the United States Navy, in the highly esteemed VX4 Squadron at the Pacific Missile Test Centre, Point Mugu, California. He is still remembered there for his great skill in saving an F14 Tomcat after a dramatic low-level engine failure. For this he was awarded the US Secretary of State's Commendation for Meritorious Services in the Air. On return from the United States in 1980 he began his Sea Harrier conversion with 899 Squadron Naval Air Command, and moved to the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton, in Somerset. He was due to become Senior Pilot of 800 Sqn in late 1982.  Events in the South Atlantic intervened, and Lt Cdr Batt deployed south in HMS HERMES, with the integrated 800/809/899 Sea Harrier component of that carrier's Air Group. He flew several important missions as strike leader, including the bombing attacks on Stanley airfield, Goose Green, and several Argentine shipping assets. For these services and his outstanding leadership, Gordy was nominated 'in theatre' for the award of a Distinguished Service Cross. Then, on 23rd May 1982, about an hour before midnight, he launched from HERMES with three other Sea Harriers, to attack Stanley airfield once more. His aircraft was last off the deck, but was then seen to explode ahead of the carrier. The cause of this accident, which occurred about 90 miles NE of Port Stanley, was never established. His DSC was gazetted posthumously.  Gordy Batt was a hugely respected, highly experienced, and much admired figure in the demanding world of Naval aviation. A loving family man, he left behind Diana, and their three children - Christopher (1971), Andrew (1974) and Joanna (1976). He is still very much missed by all who knew him.