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Cdr 'Sharkey'Ward RN

Old 23rd Aug 2007, 12:55
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Cdr 'Sharkey'Ward RN

Just re-reading his book 'sea harrier over the falklands' for a bit of falklands nostalgia.
So what happened to the chap ?Did he end up commanding a ship ?
Did he quit in disgust ?
Is he still with us ?

Just intrigued to know...
Old 23rd Aug 2007, 13:04
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Torygraph: ......Compared with many international locations, investing in property on Grenada (which includes the tiny islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique) can also be relatively free from red tape - providing you take the right advice.

For those interested in buying, Sharkey Ward, a retired Royal Navy commander and former fighter pilot, offers personally hosted holidays in Grenada for 500 per week (excluding flights) per couple. "The idea is to show guests the island so they can decide whether they want to pursue it," says Mr Ward, who would look after any property that resulted from this service.
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Old 23rd Aug 2007, 14:07
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As I remember, he never took his ship driving exams. He stayed in the MoD for a while and then left for a job in Turkey.
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Old 23rd Aug 2007, 14:31
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Forgive me for taking this off topic in 3, but has anyone ever come across a RAF pilot called Scruff Oliver? He would be in his 70s (at least) by now and when I met him almost 25 years ago, he was hosting gamekeeping/fishing/hunting etc weekend breaks and other similar holidays.
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Old 23rd Aug 2007, 16:05
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Sharks was guiding visitors to Yeovilton circa 1984 - My wife was in the Royal Observer Corps and she reckons he was the guiding light. Quite entertaining apparantly.

Knowing my wife any attempt at manouvering for Fox Two would have been defeated.

Cant believe I just wrote that..
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Old 23rd Aug 2007, 16:25
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Didn't he start up a private security company in the Late 80's protecting tankers in the Gulf.
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Old 23rd Aug 2007, 17:20
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seems to be here

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Old 24th Aug 2007, 09:15
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Thumbs up Cdr "Sharkey" Ward RN

Had the great pleasure of meeting Sharkey during a period of counter Narcotics Ops in the West Indies a couple of years ago. He was in spectacular form, hugely welcoming and entertaining and seemed to be enjoying his place in the sun. The thing that impressed me most was his fantastic carpentery skill with which he has finished off his residence, amazing. Needless to say with the proliferation of rum in the area the few days we spent there were in a suitable haze but Grenada is a beautiful Island and Sharkey has discovered some fantastic spots and beaches which he was good enough to share with us. If any one is in regular contact please pass on my very best, I believe he is still a regular contibutor to the Telegraph and Times via the letters page and adds his twopenneth' worth on current MoD policy.
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Old 24th Aug 2007, 10:55
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Never met Sharkey, but I can vouch for Grenada. Its a wonderful island
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Old 25th Aug 2007, 10:13
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He flew in a T8 with his son when said son graduated from 899. He spent an hour in the crewroom bragging about himself. One particular dit I remember was "how easy it was to wax an F16 in an FRS1". When challenged on this by a very experienced SHAR pilot he said "just because you can't do it doesn't mean it can't be done". Silence all round, I'd have thrown him out except his son was there. Son is an excellent chap by the way. Sooooo this god of the air went off for his flight-and they had to return early because he was airsick!! Nobody laughed about that!! He may have been good once but has always been regarded as an arch bullsh***er. He really offended a lot of people that day and even more at the end of SHAR bash at Greenwich when he was beyond embarrassing. Grenada can keep him- I won't be going.
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Old 25th Aug 2007, 10:52
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Thank goodness. Someone from the force said it, when a Journo would rightly be castigated for initiating criticism of such a disinguished bloke.

I'm not one for building people up and then demolishing them for no real reason, but what Moe says does chime with a lot of what you hear around the bazaars.

He obviously achieved a huge amount, and was a successful SHar pilot, and on that basis alone I'm not fit to lick his boots. He also writes very well, if you put aside the content. His dedication to his blokes must have made him a good Squadron CO, too, I'm sure.

But he has said and written some appalling things about his fellow professionals, many of whom were his equals (if not his betters). Anyone would think that he won the Falklands War single-handed, and that the other SHar unit down there (who got more kills, and whose kills didn't include a sitting duck Hercules) were incompetent non-achievers.

Arrogance and ego are a must-have for a fighter pilot, but they do need to be leavened with just a tiny bit of humility and generosity of spirit towards one's comrades in arms and won wonders if Sharkey had that in sufficient measure to balance his larger than life ego?
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Old 25th Aug 2007, 11:09
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I have not met S.W, and I know he has rubbed a lot of Navy people up the wrong way; I was told of a 'phone conversation with a Navy Test Pilot which basically ended with " last seen languishing in a latin American jail "...

However I have found one navy test pilot since to be so absolutely full of himself, & arrogant way beyond rude that he was hated by all around - not very professional...

When the Indian Navy bought Sea Harriers, the Flight Test team that went out for trials reckoned the Indians could teach the R.N. a lot about operations, rather than organising cocktail parties. Note the low loss rate.

A neighbour is an ex-R.N. Admiral who happily gave up flying so as to get command of a ship, which says a lot.

I'd tend to think the Royal Navy is still a lot more concerned with B.S. Than doing things right ( though the maintenance of the Seajets was reckoned better than RAF ) - so I would take whatever Sharkey says, in a diluted form, as about right.

As for the F-16, the FRS1 ( note not using BVR ) was said to beat it & about anything else, though obviously that would require tactics, not the Sun 'newspaper'- described viffing.

I attended a talk by the late Navy Test Pilot Taylor Scott who happily chatted about waxing F-14's in an exercise, simply by using radar on standby & detecting the other guys by emissions.

Like Sandy Woodward's description of sneaking into a U.S. CBG, I think this relied on peace-time rules rather than what would happen in an all-out war.
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Old 25th Aug 2007, 13:15
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Al R - a consummate gentleman fighter pilot who was an excellent single seat fighter pilot and mentor to many a struggling student.

Scruff, that is. Not that Bearded Bullshitter Ward, who I have also met.

Sad to hear of Scruff's passing away.

Edited because I misss-spoolled 'hear' earlier - and then ran out of Internet time in the Frankfurt Airport Senator lounge!

Last edited by BEagle; 25th Aug 2007 at 19:45.
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Old 25th Aug 2007, 14:15
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well you've been closer than I, but I expect even Sharkey Ward can spell.

The R.N. is still full of B.S. procedures, and anyone mentioning it seems to get ousted - Sandy Woodward's own book '100 days' hardly shows an aircraft minded person ( I have met him & he seemed a charming chap, but switched off when I mentioned I'd worked with Sea Harriers, that was in about 1995 ).

As for being air-sick as someone mentioned, I'd have thought it common knowledge that tolerance builds up & reduces according to the amount of vigourous flying one does; I got to the stage where I was pretty 'bullet-proof' in a light aircraft, but after a break then being strapped into G-Hawk I was not well at all - didn't actually heave but close to it.

Seems to me from the outside ( just, I was involved in a mild way from UK during the Falklands ) Sharkey was the right man in the right place at the right time - I worked with someone who had been his wingman who seemed to think so.

Not everyone wants to brown-nose their way to ship driving...
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Old 25th Aug 2007, 19:46
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Double-zero, you're probably right.

His book proved that he could spell "I" and "me" on many an occasion.....
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Old 25th Aug 2007, 19:59
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Haven't we all met people like that, surpisingly few in aviation ( but dozens of RNLI types at my sailing club, who all reckon they were special forces )

at least a " there I was, nothing on the clock but the maker's name " story can be worth listening to, even if only to take to bits afterwards...
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Old 25th Aug 2007, 20:03
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I'm a RNLI supporter. A 'governor', actually - whatever that means.....

Would far sooner listen to their tales than any of Ward's.

Yes, he did a very good job back in 1982. That will always be true.
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Old 25th Aug 2007, 23:34
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What a great fighter pilot Sharkey was; won the air war single handledly by his own account.

Was almost perturbed that my own involvement was irrelevant, but then so was that of the other SHAR sqns so not too bothered.

Good on you Sharkey, hope you're prospering.
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Old 26th Aug 2007, 08:18
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Thanks everyone.

Was thinking of buying the book - but I'd rather have a balanced read.
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Old 26th Aug 2007, 08:31
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Buy it - it is a good read, and now you know a bit about his personality you can interpret what he writes in context.
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