Friday, December 12, 2008

Ron R Crayton 1922-2013

Ron R Crayton
L to R: Pilots: Mike Ginn, Ron Crayton, FTEs: Mike Ball, Bob Brookes

Lt Cdr R.R.Crayton.R.N was born August 26th 1922. He was educated at Torquay Preparatory Grammar School and Torquay Grammar School for Boys between 1933-40 leaving with a Cambridge School Certificate. He joined the Royal Navy in 1940 and was put on the R.N.R. In 1941 he joined HMS Daedalus at Lee on Solent and in November that year undertook 33 pilots course at HMS St Vincent. In 1942 he did his initial flying training at Grosse Isle USA and USN Pensacola Florida. On completion he was posted to HMS Anchusa Flower Class Corvette Atlantic Convoy and then 780 Sqn at HMS Daedalus on a Swordfish Conversion course. During 1943 he served with the following Squadrons: 756,755 and 766 Sqn's at RNAS Worthy Down performing TAG training. In 1944 he was with 768 Sqn at RNAS Inskip on a Night Attack Course then 836Sqn MAC Ships Atlantic Convoys flying the Swordfish.
In 1945 he was with 734,700 and 762 Sqn. H went to RNAS Worthy Down for a Maintenance Test Pilots Course and then to the Test Flight Section HMS Blackcap.
He performed detachment test flying at RAF Edzell, RAF Kemble and RNAS Dale. After the war he attended RAF Great Rissington Central Flying School Instructors Course in 1947 then to RAF Syerston Instructing. In 1950 he was posted to 767 Sqn HMS Heron where he took DLCO’S and Flight Deck Officers Course.
HMS Vengeance. Bats Officer 15th CAG HMS Indomitable Bats Officer 1st CAG CO MFV. Engine Crank Shaft Explosion, engine room fire. Whilst transporting indomitable personnel. Ordered abandon ship. During 1952 he was with 705 Sqn Instructing and in 1953 was with 705 Sqn. During the Dutch Floods he rescued 80+ people. Then to 848 Sqn RAF Kuala Lumpur Malaya performing Troop Lifting and Casevac.
In 1956 he became the Senior Pilot of 845Sqn, the1st Dunking Sonar Sqn. He was called into action during the Suez crisis with the1st Marine Assault, where he was badly shot up.
After Suez, he went to MOS Aberporth to perform Radar Trials and in 1958 he went to 701Sqn HMS Daedalus, the Trials Unit. He also went to the Sikorsky Plant in Connecticut, USA performing the 1St Night auto system assessment.
He resigned his Commission in R.N. to join Westland Helicopters as a Senior Test Pilot. As a test pilot with Westland he carried out development work on all marks of S55, Wessex and Seaking. His main projects were the development of auto pilot and stabiliser systems and the development of “1N SYSTEM.” IPN starter system, general engine development and production Test Flying.
He gave Air day demonstrations and flew at the Paris and Farnborough displays. After retirement from flying, he ran the family business until final retirement in 1988.