Colour photographs taken during 1963 and 1964 by S/Lt. R.E.M. Woolley RN


The following colour slides were all taken on the 30,000 ton aircraft carrier HMS Victorious by my late father, Bob Woolley, between August 1963 and July 1964 when Victorious was commissioned in the Far East.  At the time he was a Sub-Lieutenant with 893 Squadron piloting the Sea Vixen FAW1.  Also embarked during this period were 801 Squadron (Buccaneer S1), 849A Squadron (Gannett AEW3) and 814 Squadron (Wessex HAS1).  Whilst I have been in possession of a number of good quality black and white photographs from this period for a number of years - several taken by the ship's photographic unit - these slides were only located by my mother much more recently.  As far as I can discover, colour photographs of Sea Vixen FAW1s and Buccaneer S1s in front line service are very rare and I am therefore delighted to share these with you.

Please feel free to e-mail me with any comments or observations.

Many thanks and best regards,

Mark Woolley


Technical notes: The camera used was a Zeiss Ikon Contessa LK with film being a mixture of 35mm Agfa and Kodak.

All photographs are Copyright of Mark Woolley and are not to be used for any commercial purposes without  permission.


Click on thumbnail to display full sized image.




  Bob Woolley, aged 21 and freshly qualified as a Naval fighter pilot




  Sea Vixens and Buccaneers parked upfront. The confined deck space on Victorious is well shown.  



  Sea Vixen XN654\464 of 893 Squadron waits its turn on the catapult.



  An unidentified Sea Vixen prepares for launch.



  Sea Vixen seen being launched from the port catapult (pilot - Bob Woolley who had loaned the camera to a colleague on this occasion)



  Another Vixen being launched, this time during cloudy weather.



  Sea Vixen XN697\457 'rests' on deck.  Unfortunately this picture is right at the end of the roll of film but it is still worth including.



  Observer's view of a Sea Vixen in flight.



  Five Vixens in formation.



  Buccaneer S1 no.124 being readied on deck as the Wessex plane guard keeps a close watch.



  Buccaneer S1 no. 122 prepares to be boosted.



  Buccaneer launched from port cat.  Another waits on the starboard side.  The Buccaneer's leading edge blowing air ducts are shown to good effect.



   A Gannett seen preparing to be launched on the starboard catapult.  My father's note on the slide indicates that this aircraft delivered the ship's mail. 



  The Gannet pictured above seen taking off.  The antenna located on the starboard (right) side of the flight deck was used by ship's RDF (Radio Direction Finding) equipment. 



  Wessex helicopter preparing to take off.



  Plane guard's view of a Sea Vixen landing on.



  Buccaneer landing on.



  Hong Kong harbour.  Note American warship in middle distance.



  Two RAF Bristol Belvederes seen picking up supplies.



  Four Buccaneers and four Sea Vixens seen in a formation fly past.



  HMS Ark Royal pictured off Penang, September 1963.



  Seven Sea Vixens at sunset.



Go to black and white photographs taken on HMS Victorious during 1963/64

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Last updated: 9th October 2011