Former Fleet Air Arm identity, LCDR (Ret) Keith Stopford (pictured at right during a 1963 presentation at HMAS Albatross), died in Canberra on 6 November 2010 after a short illness. His funeral was held in Canberra on November 19.

Keith undertook his training/flying during the Fleet Air Arm’s fixed wing days. Prior to joining the RAN, he lived in the Perth suburb of Victoria Park. It is believed he did an apprenticeship designing and making leadlight windows.

He was already in the Naval Reserve when he joined the Navy from Perth as a Direct Entry Aircrew (Recruit Naval Airman [Aircrew]) on 31 March 1955 on Naval Airman Aircrew Course (NAAC) 14 at Flinders Naval Depot (HMAS Cerberus).

After three months he was posted to RAAF Basic Flying Training School at Uranquinty near Wagga, NSW to participate in RAAF Course No 23. After three months of ground subjects, he started flying training in Tiger Moth aircraft.

Some, including Keith, were later given the option of transferring to other areas. Keith was posted to NAS Nowra (HMAS Albatross) to commence observer training on No 3 Observer Course.

This began about late July 1956 and participants were awarded their wings on 2 May 1957, these being presented by the then Governor General, Sir William Slim. Keith then commenced an operational flying course on Firefly anti-submarine warfare aircraft with 725 Squadron. He later served on 816 Squadron (Gannet ASW aircraft) aboard HMAS Melbourne.

The Association extends its sympathies to Keith’s wife Linley and to her family, Evan and Sam, and Adrian and Kate.