Veterans

WWII Navy Veteran Celebrates 100th Birthday

Telegraphist Air Gunner Dougie Hudson marked the occasion at his retirement home in Cosham, Portsmouth.

A Royal Navy veteran who served in the Second World War has been joined for celebrations to mark his 100th birthday.

Wartime Telegraphist Air Gunner Dougie Hudson was presented with a crest, coin and card on behalf of those currently serving as naval aviators.

They came together with soldiers, airmen and staff at his retirement home in Cosham, Portsmouth.

"It was a great event to attend, attended by guests of every flavour – RAF, Army and Navy – and Dougie seemed to be delighted and pleased to see us all," executive assistant to the head of the Fleet Air Arm, Lieutenant Commander Amy Gaunt said.

Mr Hudson joined HMS St Vincent in 1936, and trained as one of 3,000 Telegraphist Air Gunners (TAGs) to serve in the branch during its 28-year lifespan.

One-sixth of them died either from enemy action or accidents when flying, while 69 became prisoners of war between 1939 and 1945.

Mr Hudson was assigned to a Walrus seaplane, flying from HMS Birmingham and serving in Norway, the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean.

He spent some years with the surface fleet later in the war, serving at Scapa Flow, and then in the USA, where he was tasked with retrieving Lend-Lease minesweeper, HMS Pylades.

When Pylades was sunk by German human torpedoes off Juno beach on July 8 1944, Dougie suffered serious injuries and was finished serving with the Navy.

Cover image: Royal Navy.