Fleet Air Arm remember ultimate sacrifice on 60th anniversary

Sailors from the Fleet Air Arm, HMS Sultan, came together with members of The Telegraphist Air Gunners Association (TAGA), at their annual memorial service, to remember those branch members lost in service, and commemorate 60 years since the unveiling of the associations’ memorial at Lee-On-The-Solent.

TAGA represent 3000 Telegraphist Air Gunners (TAGs) who served in Fleet Air Arm aircraft from 1922 - 1950, they provided communications by Morse Code and manning the rear gun.

Three thousand TAGs were trained in the 28 year life span of the branch; 507 were lost through enemy action and/or flying accidents, 69 became Prisoners of War. Most TAGS served only for the period of WW2, returning to civilian occupations in 1945/6.

TAGS were awarded:

  • 2 Gallantry Cross Medals
  • 115 Distinguished Service Medals
  • 20 British Empire Medals
  • 134 Mentions in Despatches

They served in 77 different Aircraft Carriers:

  • 12 Fleet Carriers
  • 10 Light Fleet Carriers
  • 33 Escort Carriers
  • 19 Merchant Aircraft Carriers
  • 3 Small Carriers

They aslo served in: 

  • 11 Battleships/ Battle Cruisers 
  • 36 Cruisers.

Each year the Association, which will celebrate its 67th Anniversary next year, presents the TAGA Trophy and Medal to the outstanding Air Engineering Mechanic of the Year chosen by the Air Engineering staff at HMS Sultan.

As part of the service Chaplain Rev Horne, HMS Sultan, read out a list of 10 members of TAGA who had recently passed away, before a minutes silence was observed and wreaths were laid at the memorial.

On completion of the service Chaplain Rev Horne said:

“TAGs won respect wherever they served, as shown by the large number of medals and citations for courageous service that TAGs won.

"A lot were taken prisoner too, and quite a few of the TAGs who were POWs died in captivity or were executed.

"Theirs was a very dangerous job, and it was a genuine privilege to meet the TAGs who were there on Sunday.”

Theirs was a very dangerous job, and it was a genuine privilege to meet the TAGs who were there on Sunday.

Chaplain Rev Horne