PS.....I remembered the Brit's name when I woke up this morning. His name is Dave Braithwaite. He came to VF-121 as I was leaving to return to the fleet with VF-92. He was still with them when I came back to shore duty early because my squadron, airwing and ultimately my ship were all decommissioned, along with many others, as unnecessary after the war ended.
I got to know Dave as well as one can over a short period of time in a huge squadron with most of the instructors flying 2 or 3 hops a day with an hour and a half brief before and debrief after each hop for 5 and sometimes 6 days a week. I will be forever grateful for his introducing me to my all time favorite libation, Glenfiddich single malt whiskey. Cheers, mate.
Dave got a second try at riding a M-B ejection seat in 1988 when the engine on his Hawker Hunter flamed out on approach. His descent and landing was much nicer, er...softer, this time as he reportedly landed in a large pile of cow manure.
Dave had a very long and interesting career both in the UK and US Navys. He had a second exchange tour with Operational Test & Evaluation Squadron VX-4 based at NAS Point Mugu, flew almost every fighter in the Royal Navy and was awarded an MBE membership in the Order of the British Empire as a Sea Harrier pilot in the Falklands War. He later commanded a Sea Harrier squadron and eventually retired in 2001 after a 37 year career in the Royal Navy.
The link below is to a recorded oral history interview in 8 segments of about a half hour each. Beginning at 16:50 on Reel 5 and continuing on Reel 6 are his thoughts and impressions of his time in the Phantom with VF-121. I haven't had time to listen to the whole thing yet but I'm sure it will be quite interesting.