Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Captain Michael Clapp CB RN 1932-

Michael Clapp joined the Royal Navy in 1950 from Marlborough College. As a midshipman, he served in the Far East during the Korean campaign. In 1954 he was boarding officer capturing a caique running guns into Cyprus. In 1955, he was appointed to No. 1 Long Observer Course, expecting to specialise in anti-submarine warfare. His first operational flying tour was, however, with 849 Airborne Early Warning Squadron. In 1959, after a series of flying courses, he was posted to Ferranti Ltd to assist in test flying the weapon system for the Buccaneer Mk 1 finally joining 700 Z Flight, the Intensive Flying Trials Unit.
In 1962, he was the Senior Observer of 801 Squadron, then the first operational Mk 1 Buccaneer squadron. They embarked in HMS Ark Royal and Victorious and sailed for the Far East and tropical trials returning home in January 1964. He returned to the Far East to command HMS Puncheston, a Minesweeper, during Indonesian Confrontation when he was mentioned in despatches.
In late 1965 he took command of 801 Squadron now equipped with the Buccaneer Mk 2. The Squadron once again embarked in HMS Victorious and sailed for the Far East and tropical trials.
After a brief stay at the Joint Warfare Establishment, he had two ship commands, HMS Jaguar and HMS Leander. He also completed two tours in the Naval Staff of the MOD and one as the executive officer of HMS Norfolk completing Exocet trials at Toulon. Later he was the Naval Director of the Joint Maritime Operational Training Staff.
In 1981 he was appointed Commodore Amphibious Warfare and commanded the landings and inshore operations in the Falklands conflict in 1982 for which he was made a CB.