Search

Pigeon joins RAF Marham’s Dambusters on board HMS Queen Elizabeth

PUBLISHED: 09:57 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:11 18 June 2020

The crew of the HMS Queen Elizabeth have adoped a lost racing pigeon  Picture: LPhot Luke/MoD/PA Wire

The crew of the HMS Queen Elizabeth have adoped a lost racing pigeon Picture: LPhot Luke/MoD/PA Wire

A pigeon christened Pauley has joined the Dambusters.

F-35 Lightning jets from RAF Marham have been taking part in sea trials on board the HMS Queen Elizabeth  Picture:  LPhot Luke/MoD/PA WireF-35 Lightning jets from RAF Marham have been taking part in sea trials on board the HMS Queen Elizabeth Picture: LPhot Luke/MoD/PA Wire

RAF Marham-based 617 Squadron is currently taking part in sea trials on board the Royal Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Technicians who look after the squadron’s F-35 Lightning stealth fighters have been coping with a different set of wings in the shape of a stowaway racing pigeon.

The confused and exhausted bird, nicknamed Pauley aka Turbo P, was found nesting in the hangar of the 65,000-tonne warship which is currently carrying out flight trials with the F-35 jets off East Anglia.

The pigeon, confused and exhausted, landed on the flight deck of the HMS Queen Elizabeth while she was off East Anglia.  Picture: LPhot Luke/MoD/PA WireThe pigeon, confused and exhausted, landed on the flight deck of the HMS Queen Elizabeth while she was off East Anglia. Picture: LPhot Luke/MoD/PA Wire

You may also want to watch:

The pigeon was discovered as the crew were stowing the warplanes after a day of tests.

Air engineering technician Alexander Thomason said: “I was just putting the lashings on the jet when I looked up and saw this pigeon nestled behind the hangar gantry.”

The bird has been christened Pauley - aka Turbo P  Picture: LPhot Luke/MoD/PA WireThe bird has been christened Pauley - aka Turbo P Picture: LPhot Luke/MoD/PA Wire

“It appeared pretty pleased to be there, if I’m honest. We’ve named her Pauley.”

The sailors managed to catch the bird and are now looking for a safe place for it to live on board.

Lieut Cdr Jerome Pethrick, in charge of aircraft maintenance, said: “I know the hangar team would love to let the pigeon fly around all day but sadly for them it’s just not safe. We have to find somewhere without jet engines.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to return to its Portsmouth base at the end of June on completion of the flight trials which are preparing it for its first carrier strike group deployment next year.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press