Ivan Lawrence Firth Lowe
Lowe trained at 20 ERFTS Gravesend. His logbook has survived in the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, and confirms that he flew N-5490 during his training.
Lowe was a Naval pilot who
claimed enemy aircraft kills and himself ended in the drink three times.
He joined the Navy in 1938, undertaking his initial naval training aboard the carrier HMS Courageous, then transferring to 20 E&RFTS Gravesend in March 1939.
After winning his wings, he went to the Fleet Fighter School at RNAS Eastleigh. His first front-line squadron was 806 Sqn and in May 1940 he took part in the Norwegian campaign,
carrying out day bombing raids on shipping and oil tanks in Bergen. He was mentioned in despatches, then moved to Detling to cover the Dunkirk evacuation.
Later on he joined HMS Illustrious in the Mediterranean Fleet, shooting down a Cant Z 501 flying boat, and subsequently three other aircraft.
He was an instructor at the Fleet Fighter School, RNAS Yeovilton in 1941-42, and in September 1942, he had his first command: 882 Sqn,
and took part from HMS Victorious in the Operation Torch landings in North Africa in November. Lowe's second command was 898 Sqn on HMS Victorious
on her way to the Pacific in February 1943. After an instructors' course at the Empire Central Flying School, RAF Hullavington, in 1944, Lowe went to America
as Senior British Naval Officer, US Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida. He was released on the Emergency List in 1946 and returned to civilian life.
Honours and Awards DSC (1941)
Air ace with 1 destroyed
enemy aircraft and 5 shared destroyed
Operated from HMS Illstrious in the Mediterranean (806 sqdn).
1 victory, Cant Z501, himself hit, ditched, rescued HMAS Stuart, 29.9.1940 (806 sqdn)
1 victory, ju87, himself hit, ditched, rescued by HMS Jaguar, 10.1.1941 (806 sqdn)
Led sqdn in North Africa landings, HMS Victorious (882 sqdn)
With sqdn on HMS Victorious joined US Pacific Fleet, Feb 1943
Sqdn supported landings of US troops in Middle Solomons, June 1943
Seniority 5.1941 (Lt Emy)
WSR (Lt Cdr)
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