Finals, Four Greens - the story a painting

Mike Cole-Hamilton has provided this thread from World Naval Ships Forum (now defunct). It’s an exchange between himself and Jim Rae and tells the story of a painting by Jim that now hangs in Mike’s office in Kingston, Ontario - ‘Finals, Four Greens’. The thread also answers the hypothetical question - could the Gannet conduct VERTREP or a mail drop??????????

Mike, here's one for you, I did a while back, not quite right on the nose, and u/c, but I like the pose so might do a proper one.


Oh Jim! Waves of nostalgia! And an H on the tail too! Thank you so much. If you ever do redo it, please let me know. Meanwhile, that's a smasher!

Mike PS: just remembered this (photo) from my log book. Taken during Hermes FD Trials, July '66.

I like the position, I think I'll tilt it to port a bit, drop the hook and put Hermes ready to receive. Mike would the flaps do ok as is, or drop them a bit. I vision about a ships length from the round down.


Jim, the flaps look just fine for landing on. If my ancient memory is right it was 2/3 for takeoff (as in the photo) and full for landing on, as you have shown. Can't wait to see it!


Work in progress from Jim

Jim, I really like the look of the WIP. You will give me a hook, won't you? The aircraft is just about exactly at the point of calling "Four Greens". Vague stirring of memory cells suggests the flaps should be fully down?


Here are a couple of WIP at the moment 1409 Sat 17/10 - Won't let me post more than one, here it is so far. Time 1455,


Can you remember if the plane Guard Chopper was Whirlwind or Wessex ? Probably put a frigate and maybe an RFA.


I can confirm it was a Wessex. the last Wwind as planeguard I can recall was in Centaur in '65.  Watching it grow with something approaching joy!


Thanks Mike, Wessex it will be.


That'll do for today, I'll finish it tomorrow, open for suggestions for a frigate and RFA , must fit the Mid to late 60s.


Suggestions Jim, ships that operated with her............RELIANT, OLNA, FORT DUNVEGAN, TIDEREACH...............Frigates AJAX, DIDO, GALATEA and MINERVA.


Thanks Scus, just the kind of info. I was after. I think it will be Tidereach (before they put all that stuff on the back) and a Leander perhaps Reliant farther off. All getting ready to RAS as soon as Mike gets on!.


OK Jim, I took 4 wire and 331 is struck down. Hermes is secured from Flying Stations, flight deck clear for RAS when you're ready. And thank you! I'm really enjoying this!


Love the old Gannet ... Landed like a ballerina .... very much a Lady.  


Thank you both. I like your reference to the Ballerina, or may be a Lady adjusting her skirts to step down from her carriage. The Scimitar, on the other hand was like a ton of coal down a coal hole!   This is for an ex Gannet driver friend in Canada.


Great angle to pick Jim, something different to the norm for carrier pics . Looks good .

Mike, the pilot, posted the photo on another site. The original is just leaving the catapult with the strop falling away. I just tilted it to port a bit and dropped the hook. The pilot has called Four greens and is about to go full flap.

Hermes has recovered her Sea Vixens and as soon as the Gannet is on, will be RASing with a tanker (still to do) 'Just another day at the Office' i'nit Lenny.


Finished. Fort Dunvegan, Tidereach and Minerva added.


Jim, I really think that's the best yet - from my point of view. Thank you!


At least ten other complimentary postings, then.....

Excellent standard as usual Jim. The subject reminds me of discussions (but never debates) down the stokers mess aboard HMS CAVALIER regarding the Gannets. During my time aboard two fixed-wing aircraft carriers I was always struck by the apparent low stall speed of the Fairey Gannets. It got me to wondering, given incredibly favourable conditions, if it were possible to do a VertRep (Vertical Replenishment) with a speedy escort, such as WWII Destroyer travelling at full speed, 37 knots.............. or even a Mail Drop?????

Now that we have our own Fairey (spelling!) driver embarked, how utterly unfeasible would that exercise be?????? Answers please on a postage stamp.

Sandy (ever the optimist)

Thank you all for your comments. Sandy I'll let Mike answer that one, but I suppose if you were steaming into a Hurricane in excess of a hundred Kts it might be possible. Another Handler I know said that a landing Gannet was like a Ballerina!. I likened it to Crinolined lady alighting from her Carriage!, where as a Scimitar landing was like a ton of coal shot down a coal hole. (only members of a certain age will remember coal holes.)


Sandy, that's fascinating! And thank you for the spelling.... Please bear in mind it was 50-odd years ago and the old memory has some gaps in it. The Gannet stalled with full flap etc. at approx. 88 Knots (I welcome correction on this), the deck-landing speed was 94. Our touchdown appeared much slower however. Slightly extreme example: carrier steaming at 25 knots into a 25 knot wind would give us a speed relative to the deck of 44 knots, airspeed of 94. So, given similar circumstances for a Vertrep, it would be feasible to deliver at about 40 knots faster than the ship in question. That being said, height of delivery would be a significant factor. Ideally, the lower the better BUT, any ship's upperworks and masts tend to create plenty of turbulence, let alone the risk of hitting them. In addition, funnel fumes etc. create a nasty bubble of low density, hot and turbulent air through which one would have to fly. The angled deck is probably the most wonderful life-saving device carrier pilots can imagine, but at the cost of flying briefly through island turbulence and the funnel bubble at about 200 feet on the approach. The jets were usually carried through by sheer inertia, the Gannet used to bounce around a bit at that point, with exciting airspeed fluctuations. That was a long answer to a short question so, theoretically yes but I'd rather not. Jim, apologies for taking up all this space in your thread, Mike

Thank you Mike for your prompt reply. I can just imagine Jim-the-brush's artistic juices percolating with the suggestion and vision of the VertRep. And great to hear the verdict from "the horse's mouth". C'mon then Jim, what about a fictitious Mail Drop with Mike's Gannet and my CAVALIER involved eh? Please, just for Christmas? Sandy.



64 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All


Subscribe Form