Plymouth Dockyard and he didn't at first spot the 55,000 ton aircraft carrier... Marriage, Misery and the Mediterranean :  'Seaballs' : A Story by Bob Le Vaillant  bob@levaillantowen.com

Plymouth Dockyard and he didn't at first spot the 55,000 ton aircraft carrier... Marriage, Misery and the Mediterranean : 'Seaballs' : A Story by Bob Le Vaillant bob@levaillantowen.com

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HMS Ark Royal & USS Nimitz. Two of the mightiest pieces of engineering from either side of the Atlantic. Farewell to the mighty British carrier which is off to the breakers. She has served us well.

HMS Ark Royal & USS Nimitz. Two of the mightiest pieces of engineering from either side of the Atlantic. Farewell to the mighty British carrier which is off to the breakers. She has served us well.

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When we had a Navy. HMS Ark Royal berthing with sister ship HMS Invincible, Portsmouth, 2008

When we had a Navy. HMS Ark Royal berthing with sister ship HMS Invincible, Portsmouth, 2008

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HMS Ark Royal (1972). My ship (USS Franklin D Roosevelt (CV-42) operated in the Caribbean with this ship in early Feb, 1972. British warplanes landed aboard Roosevelt and some of our aircraft landed aboard Ark Royal. Then, they took off and landed aboard their own ships.

HMS Ark Royal (1972). My ship (USS Franklin D Roosevelt (CV-42) operated in the Caribbean with this ship in early Feb, 1972. British warplanes landed aboard Roosevelt and some of our aircraft landed aboard Ark Royal. Then, they took off and landed aboard their own ships.

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HMS Ark Royal, taken from a Merlin HM1 whilst the ship and squadrons were building up for a Joint Warrior exercise. The Four Harriers had just recovered back on the deck after a low level mission through Wales.

HMS Ark Royal, taken from a Merlin HM1 whilst the ship and squadrons were building up for a Joint Warrior exercise. The Four Harriers had just recovered back on the deck after a low level mission through Wales.

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DH.110 Sea Vixen fighter descends for a landing on HMS Ark Royal’s angled (skewed) flight deck, c.early 1960s.

DH.110 Sea Vixen fighter descends for a landing on HMS Ark Royal’s angled (skewed) flight deck, c.early 1960s.

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HMS Ark Royal Visits HMNB Clyde for the Final Time by Defence Images, via Flickr

HMS Ark Royal Visits HMNB Clyde for the Final Time by Defence Images, via Flickr

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Loved the F4 since being simultaneously excited by and frightened of them as a kid. The Royal Navy version was the best of all of them. The Rolls Royce Speys were so powerful that they would buckle and blister the deck plates of the American carriers that were used to conduct early sea trials. "Ark" had extremely beefy water cooled blast deflectors that could handle the huge heat from both engines on full burner. If I could have any job in history it would probably have been to fly these…

Loved the F4 since being simultaneously excited by and frightened of them as a kid. The Royal Navy version was the best of all of them. The Rolls Royce Speys were so powerful that they would buckle and blister the deck plates of the American carriers that were used to conduct early sea trials. "Ark" had extremely beefy water cooled blast deflectors that could handle the huge heat from both engines on full burner. If I could have any job in history it would probably have been to fly these…

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