Sea Gladiator, N2272/G No 804 Sqn Fleet Air Arm, Hatston Orkney

Discussion in '#7 Battle of Britain' started by vikingBerserker, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    #1 vikingBerserker, Oct 15, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
    Username: VikingBerserker
    Name: David
    Category: Category 2
    Scale: 1/48
    Kit: Roden Gloster Sea Gladiator
    Accessories: Some scratch building

    gladiator.jpg

    I'm thinking about pulling a "Wayne" on the 110 and taking my time to do a better job so I wanted to enter this one to have one finished on time. Tried for a Fulmar but alas, no luck.

    This is the mount of Lt J W Sleigh

    James Wallace Sleigh was born in South Africa on 27th September 1916. At the age of 15 he joined the South African Naval Training Ship General Botha and spent a short period in the Merchant Navy. In 1936 he joined the Royal Navy and served initially as a Midshipman aboard HMS Rochester on the African Station.

    Commissioned as a Sub-Lieutenant in March 1938, he was given the opportunity to transfer to the Fleet Air Arm and train as a pilot. He gained his wings in September 1939 and was posted to 804 Squadron at RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk), in the Orkney Islands.

    Here he flew Sea Gladiators in defence of the naval base at Scapa Flow, 804 Squadron and another FAA squadron, 808 at Wick, being counted as flying operationally under Fighter Command in the Battle. In October 1940 804 Squadron became one of the first FAA units to re-equip with the Grumman Martlet.

    He was injured in a crash on 11th November after the engine of his Martlet failed. In late November 1940 part of 804 was used to form 802 Squadron at RNAS Donibristle. Sleigh was part of this move and worked up with the new squadron prior to it being sent to sea. Initially 802 deployed onboard HMS Argus before joining HMS Audacity in early September 1941. Later that same month he and another 802 pilot, Lt Bertie Williams, were detached to HMS Victorious to reinforce that ship’s complement of aircraft. It was whilst on Victorious that Sleigh claimed the first kill made by a Martlet whilst operating from a carrier. At just after 2pm on the 13th September, he and Williams were directed to intercept a Heinkel 111 which was shadowing the force of which Victorious was part. He fired at the enemy aircraft and whilst passing over it felt a jolt. Looking back, he saw the Heinkel crash into the sea. He and Williams proceeded to attack another Heinkel which flew away damaged. On return to the carrier, he discovered a gouge down the underside of his aircraft, where he had come into contact with the first Heinkel during his attack.

    Shortly after this engagement, Sleigh rejoined 802 onboard Audacity and some three months later, made his second kill, this time a Fw200 Kondor. Late in the morning of 19th December 1941, he and Williams were sent off to attack the Kondor that had been sighted shadowing the convoy that Audacity was helping to protect. After a lengthy chase, and having all their guns jam on the first attack, Sleigh was able to get one of his guns operating again and carried out a head-on attack. Pulling up from the attack, he collected some 30 feet of cable and an aerial from the Fw200 in his arrester hook. For this action Sleigh was awarded the DSC (gazetted 10th March 1942). Two nights after this engagement, Audacity was sunk off Portugal by the U-751, with heavy loss of life.

    Now a Lt Cdr, Sleigh was appointed to command 890 Squadron which was working up with the new Martlet III aircraft at the US Naval Base in Norfolk Virginia. From here, he took the squadron to sea aboard HMS Illustrious and was mentioned in dispatches for his part in the Salerno landings in September 1943. Later that same year, he was posted as Staff Officer Flying to HMS Royalist. Here, he was involved in the operational planning and execution of Operation Tungsten, the Royal Navy’s carrier strike against the German battleship, Tirpitz. For his contribution to this operation, he was awarded a DSO (gazetted 30th May 1944). He was then to return to, and remain in, the Mediterranean area where he continued to fly operational sorties until late 1944 as Wing Leader of 15 Naval Fighter Wing operating Corsair aircraft aboard HMS Illustrious. On 14 December 1944, he was appointed CO of 759 Squadron, at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset. At that time, this unit acted as the Navy’s fighter school.

    At the end of the war, Sleigh, as a regular officer, remained in the Royal Navy and served in a number of appointments. In January 1948, he was appointed as the Air Group Commander of the 14th Carrier Air Group. At that time, the 14th CAG comprised No’s 804 (Seafire 47) and 812 (Firefly FR 4/5) Squadrons. After working-up at RNAS Ford, Sussex and RNAS Eglinton, Northern Ireland the Group boarded HMS Ocean for a cruise in the Mediterranean Sea. Following this, Sleigh went on to serve as Commander Air, at RNAS Ford and, later afloat, onboard HMS Glory, in the waters off Korea during the conflict there. For his services in Korea, he was awarded the OBE (gazetted 6th November 1953). .

    After retiring from the Royal Navy in 1958, Sleigh returned to his native South Africa. Here, he initially farmed in the wine district near Stellenbosch before joining the Hydrographic staff attached to the South African Navy, retiring from there in 1981.

    He passed away after a long illness at his home in South Africa on the 7th March 2005. He is survived by his wife, Veronica, a son and two daughters.

    from Battle of Britain London Monument - Lt. (FAA) J W Sleigh
     
  2. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    As always VB, something a little different. Good to see and great choice. 8)

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice choice David, and a nice kit too, given it's the same quality as their other Gladibags.
     
  4. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Oh, this'll be good. Great pick David.
     
  5. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Nice choice David! I made the Lindberg Gladiator years ago and wanted to try the Rodan one when it came out but some how it never happened. Will be watching with interest!
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    That old Lindbergh kit (ex- Inpact) is actually very good, a bit better in its original form, and was way ahead of its time when first released in the mid 1960s.
     
  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Interesting choice David, look forward to seeing what this one is like...
     
  8. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    great choice David
     
  9. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    With all here.:)
     
  10. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Like your choice VB, will be interested in the rigging process and your method.
     
  11. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I got some work done today on this one.


    1 - Built the cockpit. Played with putting decal seat belts on aluminum foil and trimming it. Wanted to give them more of a 3D look - I need to play with it more.
    2 - Installed the items into the fuselage
    3 - Glued the fuselage together.

    Finished the engine but camera battery died. Bottom wings were only test fitted as I plan to paint all the wings before installing.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff so far!
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Certainly is! Looks like it's gone together without any problems. Nice to know, as I've got one to do for the 56 Sqn builds !
     
  14. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    That does look like a nice kit David. The build's looking real good!
     
  15. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks fellas. It's been pretty easy so far. The fusaloge does not have any guide pins, but it was pretty straight forward getting it together. The biggst challange is converting the paint codes to Polly Scale.
     
  16. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    I'm with Terry on this one. Though I have built one, a second is in the stash for 56 Sqn and will most likely be in the Between Wars GB.
     
  17. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    looks great, might invest in one of them
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    It's worth it Karl, or even the Lindbergh kit. If you can get the original Inpact kit ( which is now the Lindbergh/Pyro/Lifelike) it's even better than the re-boxed versions. I know a place which has a couple. The Lindbergh is quite a bit cheaper than the Roden, and probably as good in most areas.
     
  19. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    David, I have some familiarity with Pollyscale paints. What colours are you trying to get? The Pollyscales I have are all called up by the RAF or LW names. I have all the RLM ones and Dark Eartk, Dark Green, Medium Sea Gra, Sea Gray, Mid Stone, etc.....

    I'm guessing you need Sky (I don't have that), Dark Green, and Dark or Extra Dark Sea Gray but the experts out there could certainly correct me.
     
  20. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Good start David!:D
     
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