After a glamorous six months’ cruise in H.M A.S. Melbourne, the Air Group returned to its nest at Albatross on July 20.
At 7.30 in perfect weather, 11 Sea Venoms, five Gannets and two Fireflies took off from Albatross and formed up for a welcoming flypast over the ship. The formation was led by Commander J A. Gledhill, D.S.C, Commander (Air) at Nowra and numbered two other commanders among its pilots, Commanders J. D. Goble and W. J. Lovell.
Shortly after this formation returned, Venoms and Gannets from Melbourne started to land. The first pilot to disembark was the Commanding Officer of 808 Squadron, Lt.Cdr. G. J. G. Hanchard Goodwin, R.N with his observer, Lt. E. D. Sandberg. The Gannet squadrons were led by Commander H. E. Bailey D.S.C, and Lt-Cdr. J. Griffin, M.V.O.
The hard standing was packed with wives, children and friends and the returning aviators received a warm welcome. Rig of the day for ail-crew was aloha shirts and a fi.1le selection of headgear, including one bowler hat. Family reunions were followed by an evening party in the wardroom attended by Melbourne ships officers as well as those from the air group.
After two days settling in at Nowra the MAG left for three weeks.
They will be back at Nowra and will embark again in HMAS Melbourne in October.