If you wish to know how to raise a modern combat squadron from nothing to combat ready in 21 Days you need look know further, Cdr Tim Gedge RN accomplished in 1982 when he raised a 809 squadron not once, but twice!
The first time was during the Falklands War itself, and the second time was afterwards to enable the relief of Invincible; the RN could not have found a better, more experience leader for the task – before 1982 he had already bought the first Sea Harrier squadron, 801, into service… and in a career that included flying four different jet types (including the ethereally stunning Sea Vixens) as well as extensive work as an Air Warfare Instructor – or Top Gun in US speak.
Cdr Gedge of course took his squadron to war on the Atlantic Conveyor, before splitting it and flying from both HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible; enough to give a unique perspective on the course of the conflict in any book. However, for the last days of the war rather than command his squadron, he was sent ashore to support and co-ordinate the crucial air support required to allow the land forces to achieve their necessary victories to end the campaign.
This though is all just a taster of what is explained so eloquently in his own words, I hope you the listeners enjoy this podcast and find it useful; it was as ever a sincere pleasure to record – and please look out for more of the series to follow.
ps. if anyone knows any Commonwealth or American Korean War veterans who might be interested in taking part in a podcast series on that war, please do get in touch.
Music: Sam LaGrone
Production: Alex Clarke