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The Sea Shall Not Have Them - question about the watercraft

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The Sea Shall Not Have Them - question about the watercraft

Old 14th Jan 2021, 13:45
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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I would agree in regards to Artistic Licence when it comes to films to attract an audience, there must be a female presence and also a bit of tension (fire in the galley) In regards to passage planning barring for changing Bases it was a matter of homing in on the direction of a Mayday signal or where an aircraft was circling and going at best speed to the casualty and then returning to base on a reverse course. In those days no RADAR it was a matter of either dead reckoning or relying on a homing signal from the Base via the Wireless which were the same as fitted into aircraft (1154\1155)

“Grandad what’s a Wireless?”
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Old 14th Jan 2021, 14:25
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post


Tone,

Maybe you rescued me! I was on a UBAS Summer Camp at Binbrook in 1967. After dry-winching at Binbrook, we set off for a day trip to Bridlington in an RAF coach - no Humber bridge in those days, so it was a long drive. As you said, a 30 minute trip offshore and a rendezvous with the Leconfield helicopter. We all took it in turns to jump in (in overalls - no immersion suits) and climb into a dinghy. I distinctly remember looking up at the Whirlwind hovering over me and thinking “I hope he doesn’t have an engine failure right now!” I also remember the wet rope being thrown at my legs, to discharge the static, as I was lowered onto the deck.

Great fun, but that was the last time I swam anywhere in the UK. Tropical seas for me now!
The thread RAF Bridlington in the 50s/60s? may also be of interest, especially Post # 12 relative to to the point made above by India Four Two.....

Jack
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Old 15th Jan 2021, 02:06
  #43 (permalink)  
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As the OP, I again thank everyone for the replies to my original question.

Not only were the posts informative and fascinating, but most importantly they reveal a shared, and deep, appreciation for our history and all who faced real peril. Very glad to read that there are those who can speak with knowledge on these things.

I agree the movie was a bit dated, but what I would have given to go dashing out into the Channel, hell-bent for leather, in one of those craft. Sure the speed would have been impressive, but I just try to imagine the feeling when the props took initial purchase and got you underway.
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Old 15th Jan 2021, 07:52
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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A little off thread perhaps however 1965 I worked briefly with an ex RAF guy who was in ASR for a while. He told me that when the boat was racing along the "French" coast being shelled by the German guns all the shell bursts around the boat were actually him onboard the camera boat throwing hand grenades over the side to simulate the shell bursts. I shudder to think what the 'Elf and safety people would say to that if the movie had been made recently. FYI, his name was Ray Sealey.

H
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Old 15th Jan 2021, 10:55
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Elf and Safety, you would think that facing the enemy in a wooden boat full of Petrol was bad enough
but there was a more risky task for the RAF Sailors who were manning the Target Launches. These launches had wooden (double diagonal) Hulls based on the twin screw thirty seven and a half foot Seaplane Tender covered with Armour Plates with a third engine fitted because of the extra weight. The wooden Wheelhouse was removed and the Coxswain was covered with an arch of Armour plate with a quick release mechanism. Your first thought would be that these launches were used for target towing and the armour plate was for the protection of the Crew in case of creep when an aircraft fired its guns, well you would be wrong. The task was to actually bomb the launch with small practice bombs.
Uncle Fred it is indeed thrilling bashing along at high speed however it can give you medical problems, I was involved in Offshore Powerboat Racing in the 1960’s in what were scaled down wartime fast boats the Hull profile using the same style used by the Hants and Dorset’s and designed by the great George Selman whose design parameters were used on many motor yachts post War, bad backs along with kidney problems to the point of peeing blood mostly due to the constant hitting the surface of the water pretty hard on a rough sea which also meant constant throttle adjustment by the Coxswain, get it wrong and you could either bury the Bows underwater or do a back flip.

Last edited by tramontana; 15th Jan 2021 at 11:03. Reason: Alterations to wording
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Old 16th Jan 2021, 00:11
  #46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tramontana View Post
Uncle Fred it is indeed thrilling bashing along at high speed however it can give you medical problems, I was involved in Offshore Powerboat Racing in the 1960’s in what were scaled down wartime fast boats the Hull profile using the same style used by the Hants and Dorset’s and designed by the great George Selman whose design parameters were used on many motor yachts post War, bad backs along with kidney problems to the point of peeing blood mostly due to the constant hitting the surface of the water pretty hard on a rough sea which also meant constant throttle adjustment by the Coxswain, get it wrong and you could either bury the Bows underwater or do a back flip.
Yikes. That's pretty rough.
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Old 16th Jan 2021, 12:21
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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India 42's concern re engine failure was understandable but, thankfully, reasonably rare considering the operating conditions.
I arrived at Thorney, early in my S&R time, and quite soon after the 'famous' and extensively filmed ditching of one of our Whirlwinds. It was a 'demo' laid on for the press, to show deck winching. The great misfortune was that they had set out with insufficient fuel !! All survived and the resultant film was quite popular !.
A recently deceased mate was operating out of Manston in the piston-engined 'Bumble' Whirly. Winching complete, he sat in the doorway, still on the hook, and the Nav/WinchOp climbed up to the left hand seat for the ride back to base. Yet another misfortune ! - said Nav (known as Charley Cornflakes), used the ICO as a handhold ... and closed it! Instant quiet ! Ditched straight ahead and Charley Cornflakes just continued his progress, exiting through the open window and installed himself in his rubber boat. Skip similarly exited to the right. My mate, still attached to a sinking helo was washed to the back of the cabin into a triangular air space with the cabin window showing C C in his boat gesticulating (a little unnecessarily) for my mate to 'Get the hell out of there !" This he eventually did and all eventually RTB'd. Subsequent 'discussions' were somewhat heated !
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Old 17th Jan 2021, 19:49
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Attached is a photograph of the Armoured Launch on which the RAF practised their bombing, as I previously mentioned the arch over the Coxswains position had a quick release mechanism.


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Old 18th Jan 2021, 07:21
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Attached is a photograph of the Engineroom of a triple screw ' Hants and Dorset' as seen in the film, only two Power Sea Lions can be seen the centre engine is driving the V drive Gearbox which is between the two engines. A very noisy environment for the Engine Fitter who had to operate and monitor these triple 500hp engines.


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Old 18th Jan 2021, 07:29
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This is what can happen when refuelling a petrol engined Launch when it all goes pear shaped.


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Old 18th Jan 2021, 08:32
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I used to marvel at either the bravery or stupidity of RN crews who were willing to go out, night after night on an MTB with something like 3,000 gallons of petrol on board. (Personally, I believe it was bravery of the highest order).
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Old 18th Jan 2021, 10:58
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I couldn't agree more KelvinD. Most of the Crew were only young lads same as in the RAF the oldest being the grumpy CPO or the Flight Sergeant, in the beginning it was the MGB's that caught most of the flak as they went in first to draw the fire then the MTB's snuck in behind and fired their Torpedo's that was until the light bulb lit and someone combined both in the same package leading up to the powerful Fairmile D series.
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Old 18th Jan 2021, 16:01
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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tramontana
Wireless which were the same as fitted into aircraft (1154\1155)
Not quite the same. There were different models of the R1155 and T1154: for marine use, vessels had the T1154L and R1155N or N (The difference between L and N was one had a steel case and one had an aluminium case) because these covered the band 3.0 to 1.5 MHz in lieu of the 200kHz to 75 kHz band. !.5 to 3.0 MHz was useful for inter-ship communications. Similarly, T1154L covered that band. The R1155L and N had the improved dial drive mechanism, too, which was reverse fitted to some earlier models. R1155M was manufactured by a subcontractor who wasn't used to soldering parts in radios and who used a corrosive flux! R1155 , R1155A and R1155B are the most common these days - and it is somewhat surprising how many are still in use amongst users of vintage radios.
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Old 18th Jan 2021, 16:21
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My uncle was a WOP/AG initially on Blenheims but after being shot down in North Africa he was transferred to RAF Air/Sea Rescue. He loved his time on the fast boats but ended his RAF career setting up radio networks in what was then India, now Pakistan. My dad also spent time with the Bridlington Air/Sea Rescue unit as the liaison officer between his Halifax squadron and the ASR unit. He had a few trips out into the North Sea and loved it.
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Old 18th Jan 2021, 17:16
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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I Bow to your obvious knowledge of the inner workings of the radios radeng, I am not a radio ham the closest I have are Walkie talkies to keep in touch with the Grandchildren although now they are older and have mobiles they are used less and less. I did however used to hop on the Dommie 88 and have trips to Johns Radio in Leeds which was jammed pack with surplus ex military sets still in their cardboard boxes. The most popular if you were a licensed Ham was the Type 16 set which I understood with a little adjustment and of course a decent aerial was a good buy. You could still by sets if you were not a listener but the receipt had to have on it “For spares or export only” . It does not surprise me that there are still plenty about judging by the number that became available after the War. At this point I should pay tribute to those Hams who manned the “Y” Stations during the War and their superb contribution.
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Old 19th Jan 2021, 10:38
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Tramontana,

Don't also forget the radio amateurs provided the Radio Security Service (later part of MI9) with a network of people listening to all sorts of traffic. The RSS was set up prior to the outbreak of war and most of the members became 'Special Constables' who were 'seconded for special duties'. This meant they known to be volunteering for something, so were excused fire watching, Home Guard and the like. The stuff they logged went to P. O. Box 25 Barnet, from whence it had a initial sort in Wormwood Scrubs prison (secure accommodation!) and really interesting stuff then went to Bletchley Park. Most of the stuff they copied was Abwehr, Gestapo and the like... Somewhere I have the vellum certificate signed personally by Churchill that my father got after the war...
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Old 19th Jan 2021, 11:03
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in the beginning it was the MGB's that caught most of the flak as they went in first to draw the fire then the MTB's snuck in behind
For anyone interested in MGBs and MTBs, I can recommend "Gunboat 658" by LC Reynolds*




https://darrengoossens.wordpress.com...-l-c-reynolds/

*Leonard Charles 'Rover' Reynolds | Coastal Forces Veterans

I knew "Mr. Reynolds" as a teacher and Scoutmaster in the early 60s in Ramsgate and later, much to my surprise, as my headmaster at Maidenhead Grammar School.
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Old 19th Jan 2021, 12:00
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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India four two, the cover shows the combined MTB/MGB Fairmile D an interesting build in regards to all the parts of the vessel including the plywood Bulkheads were sent to a central depot and then distributed to the Boatbuilders when required, after the War the 4 Packard ‘Merlins’ based on the American Liberty engine were removed in most of these craft and they were distributed to the Sea Cadets, unfortunately the plywood Bulkheads started to delaminate due to poor Bilge Ventilation caused by dry rot and they were all scrapped in the mid 1950’s. Unfortunately 658 did not get to the Sea Cadets as she was lost by the RN in the Med when being towed to Egypt (one of six) by Destroyers for Officers Accommodation, how very embarrassing for the RN.

radeng,vellum certificates were well deserved as they did take a lot of flak for not being in uniform at the beginning of the War until the War Dept got their fingers out and made the changes to their status as you have described.
I have a former ‘Y’ Station not too far from me (pointed out to me by another member of this site) which just looks like an ordinary Bungalow, still being lived in but enclosed by Post War housing.
The most famous in Yorkshire of course is Scarborough was and still is a listening station now under GCHQ.

Last edited by tramontana; 19th Jan 2021 at 12:13.
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Old 19th Jan 2021, 12:05
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Originally Posted by radeng View Post
Tramontana,

Don't also forget the radio amateurs provided the Radio Security Service (later part of MI9) with a network of people listening to all sorts of traffic. The RSS was set up prior to the outbreak of war and most of the members became 'Special Constables' who were 'seconded for special duties'. This meant they known to be volunteering for something, so were excused fire watching, Home Guard and the like. The stuff they logged went to P. O. Box 25 Barnet, from whence it had a initial sort in Wormwood Scrubs prison (secure accommodation!) and really interesting stuff then went to Bletchley Park. Most of the stuff they copied was Abwehr, Gestapo and the like... Somewhere I have the vellum certificate signed personally by Churchill that my father got after the war...

Interesting video here:

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Old 19th Jan 2021, 12:59
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
For anyone interested in MGBs and MTBs, I can recommend "Gunboat 658" by LC Reynolds*
Also well worth a read is "Gunboat Command", the biography of the most highly decorated RNVR officer of the war, Lieutenant Commander Robert Hitchens DSO* DSC** RNVR, who was also awarded three MIDs and earned a recommendation for a posthumous VC after being killed in action, all for service in MGBs.

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