Keith Ford was unique in that he was the first RM Officer ever to qualify as a F.A.A. Observer, which under normal circumstances was the preserve of Naval Officers. So far as is known only one other RM Officer also qualified, namely T.A Johnston, and both were killed.
RM Officers did in fact fly as observers in the Great War but their duties were different and required no navigational or radio training. Having qualified in 1939 he was already serving in Ark Royal a outbreak of war.
It is of interest that on 23 December 1939 he carried out a reconniasance mission in a Skua of 800 Squadron with Capt. F.D.G. Bird as his pilot - an all RM aircrew. Unfortunately he was killed in a flying accident on 19 December 1941 when he was a passenger in a Lysander which crashed.