Vice Admiral Sir Edward 'Ted' Anson KCB 1929-2014
In 1957 Anson joined the elite group attending the Empire Test Pilot School, and later flew Scimitar jets in 803, the first Scimitar squadron. On its first embarkation, in Victorious on September 22 1958, its commanding officer, Commander Des Russell, was killed in an aircraft accident. Though Anson was still only a lieutenant, it fell to him as senior pilot (second-in-command) of 803 to maintain the morale of the other pilots .
In 1961, after two years with Blackburn, Anson returned to the Navy as senior pilot of 700Z Naval Air Flight, the Navy’s Buccaneer trials unit, based at Lossiemouth. The first version of the Buccaneer was underpowered and its engines unreliable. Anson’s job, at which he succeeded superbly, was to meld the aircrew into a team and teach them to fly an aircraft whose aerodynamics were completely different from anything they had flown before.
On promotion to commander in 1964, Anson took command of the frigate Eskimo before serving as commander (Air) at Lossiemouth, and in Eagle. He subsequently commanded the Inter-Service Hovercraft Unit. In 1972-73, as a captain, he was naval and air attaché to Japan and South Korea.
Anson was recalled to command the frigate Juno and the 4th Frigate Squadron, and to prepare him to take command in 1976 of Ark Royal, then thought to be the Navy’s last fixed-wing carrier; when her Buccaneers launched for the final time, Anson flagged them off from the flight deck.
After promotion to rear-admiral in 1980 he became flag officer Naval Air Command at Yeovilton. He was promoted to vice-admiral in 1982 and appointed chief of staff to the Commander-in-Chief Fleet at fleet headquarters at Northwood. On his retirement from the Navy, Anson had flown 2,700 hours in scores of aircraft from biplane to fast jet, and made 571 deck launches and 534 deck landings.
After a spell with BAe at its Filton headquarters, he was made president of BAe’s civil aircraft division in the United States.