RNR Air Branch officer's long service recognised
Three veteran Royal Navy pilots reflected on their time at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) as one of their number received a clasp to his Volunteer Reserve Service Medal (VRSM).
Picking up his medal clasp, Commander Barney Wainwright RNR remembered that day 37 years ago when he, Commodore Jock Alexander OBE and Cdr Justin Wood RNR had marched through the gates at BRNC Dartmouth together and all went on to qualify as Fleet Air Arm pilots.
“Our joining instructions required us to catch a train to Paignton, change onto the Steam Train to Kingswear station then board the Higher Ferry for Dartmouth,” said Cdr Barney. “We were formed up in three ranks and marched up the hill to the Naval College. This was exactly what my father did when he joined the Navy back in 1937”.
Presenting the clasp to Barney after 12 years in the Royal Naval Reserve Air Branch, was the Armed Forces Minister responsible for Reserves, Julian Brazier MP, who was visiting Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton to update himself on the RNR Air Branch and how they operate within the Fleet Air Arm.
Barney is very proud of what he’s achieved during his time with the reserves: “12 years as a Reservist is a significant milestone that’s recognised by the Clasp. During my Reserve time I’ve flown with the Lynx squadrons, instructed in the simulator, and helped to run the Air Branch. More recently I’ve helped to organise military flying displays outside of the Air Station. I was display director for the national Armed Forces days in Plymouth, Nottingham and Stirling, as well as the Battle of the Atlantic events in London and Liverpool. They are really interesting projects which go well with my day job as a Flybe captain, flying around Europe.”
Cdr Justin Wood, Head of The Air Branch (HAB) who recently received his clasp, commented, “We’ve come a long way since 14 September 1977, when we started our adventure in the Royal Navy. Barney and I left the regulars to take up civilian aviation careers and Commodore Jock has his own Air Station. I think we’ve all been very lucky to have served through some interesting times”.