Lady Nanette Smith Passes Away

Lady Nanette Smith Passes Away

The Fleet Air Arm Association was saddened to learn that Lady Nanette Smith, the wife of the late VADM Sir Victor Alfred Trumper (VAT) Smith, passed away on 17 October 2017 aged 94.

Admiral Smith, a Naval Aviator awarded the DSC flying Swordfish during WW2,  is considered the father of the Fleet Air Arm and went on to serve the country as the Fleet Commander 1966-67, Chief of Naval Staff 1968-1970 and Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (predecessor to the role of CDF). He was the first Naval officer to achieve the rank of full Admiral.  You can read his story here.

Lady Smith was a stylish and most proper lady of her time, a stalwart supporter of our Navy and all whom served within. She was well known during the early years of HMAS ALBATROSS as one who was always there to look after sailors and officers and their families alike. Her dinner parties were apparently legendary for their perfection and quantity.

Commodore Chris Smallhorn,  the Commander Fleet Air Arm, periodically visited Lady Smith in the last couple of years of her life, together with her son Mark. He advised that she remained wonderfully polite and was a great supporter of the FAA to her last. On his visits Lady Smith would often recall many of her experiences at HMAS ALBATROSS and enjoyed describing a place of old.  She was delighted to hear of the Fleet Air Arm’s successes and she remained sharp to the end.

Her passing marks the end of an era as she was one of the very few direct links (if not the only one) to the very beginning of the RAN Fleet Air Arm as an entity. She is survived by her sons Mark and Piers and their extended families, to whom we offer our deepest condolences.