HMS Ark Royal Sails from Devonport for Post Refit Acceptance Trials the Air group including 892 Sqn Phantom F4K's conduct DLP's.
19th June, trials complete sailed for the Queens Silver Jubilee at Spithead June 28th 1977.
Rehearsals and much painting at Spithead 20th/28th June 1977.
30th June Plymouth Sound. Embark mini CAG (Carrier Air Group) including 3 Phantom F4k's of 892 Sqn for pre-final deployment flying trials
Navy Days at Devonport followed by leave and modification refit.
1st Sept 1977, sailed from Devonport after refit. For her final deployment.
Passage off West Coast of Ireland. Air group embark 5th September.
Workup 5th/15th September in Moray Firth. Visit Leith 15th/20th September, then second workup in Moray Firth 20th/28th including night flying.
HRH Prince Charles visits 21st September 1977. He experiences a catapult shot, courteously of 809 Buccaneer Sqn.
Visit Hamburg 30th September/5th October.
7th/14th October Third Phase Workup in the Moray Firth and ORI.
Cdr M.H.G. Layard relieves Cdr R.J. Northard as Cdr (Air)
Passage West Coast Ireland
Ex Ocean Safari 17th/28th October 1977, starting in Bristol Channel areas progressing through the bay of Biscay, off Lisbon and back to UK waters.11 ships of 8 countries participate. 400 hours of continuous flying operations.
Passage to Gibraltar 28th October to 1st November.
Flyex off Sardinia 4th November
12th November passage to Toulon an Ex Isles D'or 15th/26th November. 7 nation exercise including USN CVA Saratoga.
Naples28th November 5th December
Flyex enroute and at Gibraltar 5th/10th December
Air Group disembark Bay of Biscay 12th December
Plymouth"C" buoy 15th December 1977. Fog delayed entry. Berthed 16th December at Devonport for leave and DAMP. (Dockyard Assisted Maintenance Period) until February 1978
24834 Nautical miles steamed during deployment
21st February sailed post DAMP sea acceptance sea trials. Lyme Bay, Portland.
22nd Feruary/5th March air group on board.
Sea Inspection 27th February
5th March at Plymouth for Families day.
Final leave given before the final deployment 5th April 1978 sail Devonport for Westlant deployment 1978. The Final One.
6th April, Air group embarked.
12th April, position off the Azores
17th April, Air group disembark and ship berths at Roosevelt Roads Puerto Rico
Sail from Roosevelt Roads
20th April/8th May, Work Up and Atlantic Fleet Weapons Range. Live Missile firing.892 Sqn fire Sparrow and Sidewinders at drone aircraft.
9th/15th May visit the US Virgin Islands, anchored off Charlotte Amalie
15th/30th May 1978 Passage to and work up in the Jacksonville sea areas.
Ex Solid Shield. Strike USS John F. Kennedy 23rd/24th May
30th May/14th June 1978. Visit Fort Lauderdale
14th/23rd June Jacksonville Sea areas for private flyex
14th June, 1000th Cat shot and Deck Landing 1978 recorded.
22nd June Air group disembark prior ships visit to Mayport 23rd June/8th August
8th/13th August passage to Norfolk Virginia area and flyex
14th August/21st August visit Norfolk
23rd August leave USA and sail eastward to the Azores, Ex Common Effort until 31st August.
4th/19th September, Ex Northern Wedding.Position 61N20W. 200 ships, nine nations, including USS Forrestal
19th September enter Moray Firth
Passage to Gibraltar 20th September/2nd October
2nd October leave Gibraltar for last time flying the 450ft Paying Off Penant
2nd/16th October Ex Display Determination. Ships of 6 nations and USN carriers Forrestal and J.F. Kennedy. 2000 cat shots and arrested landings recorded
16th/21st October 1978 visit Naples
21st/27th November Flyex south east of Sicily
27th October/6th November visit Athens
2nd/6th November Flyex south east of Sicily, exercise with USS Saratoga
6th/16th November Malta. 10,000 people line the grand harbour so see the final farewell.
16th/18th November private flyex south of Sardinia.
18th November 1978, the last fixed wing recoveries are made on board HMS Ark Royal.
20th/25th November visit Palma, Mallorca
27th November 1978, the last fixed wing catapult launches in Royal Navy aviation occur as the squadrons disembark off the south coast of Spain.
28th Nov/4th December. Passage to Devonport
Monday 4th December 1978. Ark enters Plymouth sound in procedure Alfa flying the 450 ft paying off pennant. Thousands of people lined the vantage points of Plymouth Sound.
0850 hrs. Captain Anson orders "Ring off main Engines" The reply came so "Engines rung off for the last time, Sir".
42255 Nautical Miles steamed on this final deployment.