E Coast R.N. Named Ships

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Re: E Coast R.N. Named Ships

Postby E28 » Sat May 25, 2024 6:28 pm

The conflict had started and Grimsby was needed back in blighty, she remained east of Suez for 2 weeks then headed west where on 30 september she escorted her first convoy, blue 3 with Fowey which was for fast British merchants only from Port Said to Gib, a ten day trip. Blue 1 - 6 were westbound, green 1 - 5 eastbound and were all in late 1939 before the more familiar alpha numeric convoy codes were introduced. Leaving Gib Grimsby attacked a perceived u boat 70 miles west with no outcome and once back in home waters was involved in east coast convoy work when on 1 november 4.2 miles east of Whitby she made another u boat attack which was becoming a common occurence.

The Admiralty signalled all foreign stations on 4 november requesting all sloops return as there was a need for anti submarine and anti aircraft escorts, Londonderry and Auckland from south Atlantic, Fowey, Deptford and Aberdeen from Med whilst from China Wellington, Leith, Sandwich were to sail immediately, Bideford, Folkestone, Lowesfoft and Scarborough on completion of refits whilst Falmouth was to remain, get armed and ammunitioned with her war paint on ready to fight her own very succesful fight for the next 5 years.

By mid 1940 and a refit including re arming with 2 x twin 4"Grimsby would return east with her new pendant U.16 and be heavily involved in numerous escort duties in the Med, east of Suez and Indian ocean as would many other sloops through to may 1941 frequently operating with Auckland and Flamingo.

Let's look at the fates of the year '31 E class destroyers.
1940. E leader Exmouth was sunk 21 january with her entire complement of 189 which included the flotilla staff, a very rare occurrence except in submarines. Esk was mined whilst mine laying 31 august again with many men lost, 127, both in the North sea, Home waters.
The 1st RN destroyer sunk in the Med was Escort which sank 3 days after being torpedoed, 11 july '40, Eclipse was mined 24 october '43 again in the Med whilst in the Far East under Japanese guns the pair built together were pretty well sunk together, Electra 27 feb '42, 2 days later Encounter went down with Exeter all off Java.
The trio Echo, Express under foreign flags with Escapade all survived the conflict so 2/3 sunk in action.
Leith also made it through the conflict enduring a bizarre post war history.

May 1941 Grimsby still in the med escorted convoy AN30 from Haifa to Port Said then to Alexandria on the 10th and the start of the battle for Crete in which she was not directly involved but operated along the north Africa coast in support of the army's western desert operations including further work with Flamingo.

24 may. Hood sunk. 0600. Signal from flag officer 1st cruiser squadron in Norfolk, with Suffolk. 3 survivors later picked up by Electra.

25 may. 0300. Grimsby sailed Alexandria with ss Helka to Tobruk, the Admiralty did not want Helka loitering in port, she was carrying 600 tons of benzine spirit when at 1600 40 miles north east of Tobruk the pair were attacked twice by JU 87's, the 2nd attack by aircraft of 1/STG1 would prove decisive, their being no fighter protection available. Helka once hit broke in two whilst Grimsby had 1 near miss but 2 direct hits by D.A. fused 100 kg bombs whilst at full speed, both exploded in the engine room stopping both engines, rapid flooding ensued, she listed to port and started sinking.

Grimsby sink 250541.jpg


Photo clearly shows Grimsby going down with evidence she did have 4" mounted with aft part of Helka to the right, taken from the trawler Southern Maid which accompanied the pair on this relief mission to Tobruk. Grimsby suffered 11 dead, Helka 1.

Auckland was sunk 1 month later 24 june doing a similar run in almost the same location.

Should you see any photos of a single funnel warship with 4" guns showing pendant L.16 it is not Grimsby, but the Hunt type III class destroyer Stevenstone.

Grimsby was awarded 3 battle honours, Greece, Crete, Libya, all in 1941.

May 1941 was the most catastrophic month during WWII for RN personnel killed or missing in action.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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Re: E Coast R.N. Named Ships

Postby E28 » Sun Jun 09, 2024 6:47 pm

Grimsby Town football club were English league 2 champions in the 1933/34 season, promotion to league 1 would be their 3rd time at the top amongst other well known sides.

Consolidated fish in Grimsby had a new group of trawlers which now ranged further afield for longer than any previous boats, they were given football club names with Grimsby Town no 968 from Smith's south bank yard hitting the Tees 12 july '34 as GY.81, good excuse for the name.

This gave her 5 years productivity when on 23 august 1939 35 trawlers for anti submarine work and 2 days later a further 200 as mine sweepers were taken up by the Director of Sea Transport. Grimsby Town was of the former, the conversions were planned for a 2 week turn around, invariably wildly optimistic in both commercial and naval yards. By 12 november there were 107 A/S trawlers, their A/S conversions included a 4" gun in the bows of Great War vintage but sufficient to penetrate the pressure hull of a submarine, 3 or so QF guns, oerlikons preferably, for general and A/A duties and 2 depth charge chutes or racks for 18 charges but no throwers. Crew shot up to around 20.

Here she is in 1943 camouflaged with said weapons, note her name board below the galley stack...
Grimsby Town AS Trawler 1943.jpg


These trawlers could have as C.O a skipper or Lt RNR, our ship had a Lt RNVR and skipper in sept '39 then in june '40 a Lt RNVR, Chief Skipper RNR and a Skipper RNR.
Together with sister Blackburn Rovers the pair attacked a submarine south of Milford Haven 13 oct '39 to no avail, the former being lost 2 june 1940 in most bizarre circumstances. All the A/S trawlers were formed into Groups of 3 or 4, Grimsby Town being employed in numerous areas starting in Belfast, then the 40th AS group in mid '41, Portland, when tracking her movements becomes very indistinct, she was widely travelled including East Coast convoys where they were not ideally suited as when instructed to investigate a suspected contact their speed was too low to catch up, neither were they trusted with the high value Admiralty convoys between the Tyne and Methil.

This attachment illustrates one group in Norway 1940, including another sister, Aston Villa. I give all due and full credit to the RNPSA for this
http://www.rnpsa.co.uk/stannard/admiralty.htm

All trawlers and their men performed yeoman service between 1939-1945 irrespective of their tasks with remarkably few actually becoming u boat victims.

In november 1945 FY.125 Grimsby Town was returned to Consolidated becoming GY.136 and fish her old grounds including those off Iceland.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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Re: E Coast R.N. Named Ships

Postby northeast » Mon Jun 10, 2024 6:21 am

Another war-time view of GRIMSBY TOWN, collection of Billy Worrall
Grimsby_Town billy.jpg
northeast
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Re: E Coast R.N. Named Ships

Postby Hornbeam » Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:02 pm

My Pops was a Regular Soldier with the 1st Battalion Green Howards since the 1920’s, he had been pulled off the Beaches at Dunkirk and sent to Norway straight after, they had very little equipment as most of it was still in France.
Unfortunately the Germans got the upper hand in Norway and Green Howards had to fight a rearguard action in order to allow the Norwegians including their King to Escape to England.
Attached is a photograph of one of the Trawlers looking similar to the Trawlers featured on this discussion. It would be ironic if it was a Smith’s Dock built vessel.

IMG_0478.jpeg
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Re: E Coast R.N. Named Ships

Postby E28 » Tue Jun 18, 2024 6:46 pm

The two preceding images show Grimsby Town stbd bow view taken at same opportunity as my post showing her stbd quarter, unusual to see a minor vessel pose for dual photo shoot. Her 4" bow gun was the required fit to A/S trawlers and further details can be seen here... the Wilcannia shot closely resembles the fit to our subject, if they were not reliant on ready use shells then any form of magazine would have involved an interesting evolution, all involved, which would include every one except the stokers, would have been exhausted after a few rounds, and a few is all they would have managed a minute in favourable conditions. In roughers, no chance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_4-inch ... _XII,_XXII

the gun she mounts is either a QF Mk IV or much less likely a Mk V which was standard in the Admiralty V and W classes.

Hornbeam, your photo is a mine sweeping trawler with either a 3" or 12 pdr, much appreciated.

Grimsby Town was a late returnee to her owners for whatever reason, Consolidated had a large number of trawlers on war service, a late 1945 return was financially beneficial no doubt.

She was allocated a new Grimsby number 136, crewed and sent back to her familiar pre war grounds but with which men i do not know, many no doubt knew her foibles and would discover how the Andrew may have messed her about.

Her fishing career was very short lived when on 23 april 1946 she ran aground on the southern most point of Iceland off Hjorleifshofdi and became stranded, 3 of her men were lost. Some press reports are included here..

GY Grimsby Town loss.jpg


Her stranding and perceived salvage attempts became a rather protracted affair until her loss was accepted and over the next decades her remains diminished until today when a few plates and non ferrous items remain in the black volcanic sands.

The enquiry to her loss produced a damning outcome, a brief summary is here...the full report is online.
Grimsby Town report of loss.jpg


The following year the towns football club were relegated from the first division, their stay almost matched that of this trawler in time and have never been in the top division since.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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Re: E Coast R.N. Named Ships

Postby Hornbeam » Sat Jun 22, 2024 5:35 am

Thanks for the info E28, who could forget time spent on “The Grid”, into the Trainer first where there two
Bofors Mounts fitted with a Range Finder in the middle sighting and firing at Targets projected on to the wall and then on to “The Grid” itself where the 4.5’s along with the Bofors were sighted for live firing waiting for the Target Towing Aircraft towing the Target with the words ringing in your ears “He is pulling the Target not pushing it”
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Re: E Coast R.N. Named Ships

Postby Hornbeam » Tue Jun 25, 2024 9:19 pm

Thinking back over 60years there was a Hut at the rear of Excellent which contained the complete working apparatus and the Breech of either a 16 or 15 inch Gun which was the procedures training aid used by those who took part in the loading of same, all Gun Crew Team efforts were timed by a G.I. who was an expert in the Anglo Saxon dialect
I would agree that Stokers whose background was on Oil Fired Boilers in regards to endurance but, when it comes to those Stokers pre H.F.O. using a No 8 Shovel I would pitch their endurance against any old style Gun Crew.
The Coal movers (Stokers)may have the build of Racing Snakes but Firing and then the cleaning of the Fires on their Watch takes a lot of hidden strength.
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Re: E Coast R.N. Named Ships

Postby E28 » Sat Jun 29, 2024 6:56 pm

Mine hunters and mine sweepers serve different purposes, the most recent HMS Grimsby was the former belonging to the Sandown class of SRMH, single role mine hunters, not sweepers.

Again as with the Hunt class sweepers these are all plastic which presents serious problems when the hull is holed and leaks, not useful when hunting mines, at least the welds won't split. This issue has afflicted Bangor after being rammed in the middle east. By the By, this Bangor is second of name but named for the Northern Irish town whilst the first Bangor class sweeper of 1940 was named for the Welsh town and consequently needed a new different ships badge.

Since entering service in the late 80's these hunters have now been discarded by the RN, this has not meant their lives are extinguished as it has been felt appropriate to palm them off to those less practised in mine warfare whilst the RN invests in a totally unproven unmanned remote system reliant on mother ships, thereby expunging in one fell swoop the proven & visible deterrent. Here is Grimsby...

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=11401&p=70780&hilit=hms+grimsby#p70780

which with Shoreham are such examples serving in the Ukranian navy but unable to gain access to the Black sea and home due to the existing conflict. The pair remain in British waters, their men practising skills many miles from home.

Online details tell you 15 Sandowns were constructed, 12 for the RN and 3 for the Saudi Arabians, of the former only 5 currently remain in British hands, Cromer serves BRNC, Walney has been gutted but despite being for sale this has not occured, no one knows how to recycle plastic, whilst Ramsey, Penzance and Bangor will have futures where ever.

Wait, there were not 15 constructed, but 21. The Armada built 6 under license, they look more like Med based super yachts except no white paint was available, here is Tambre...

Tambre M33 Spain minehunter.jpg


all are named for Spanish rivers, Tambre is in the top north west and with the ancient celtic connections there this river was previously known as the Tameris. Yes, exactly as the Tamar 'tween Cornwall and Devon. ( photo credit to Armada Espanol with any attendant copyright )

What future the ex Grimsby and Shoreham may have serving the Ukranian navy only time will tell.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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Re: E Coast R.N. Named Ships

Postby E28 » Sat Jul 06, 2024 7:43 pm

Boston CA 69 - 8" cruiser 1943

USS Boston CA 69 cruiser 1943.jpg


Oops, wrong navy, right coast. Boston in the American Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is only 3240 miles from Boston, Lincolnshire and is named for the English town.

Here she is impressively running trials winding up the revs to extract her 150,000 shp to propel 17,000 tons at 33 knots her 4 screws would be creating some serious vibrations and a fearsome racket down where only them stokers dwell. Two of her planes are clearly visible aft on her fantail as it is termed over the pond, earlier ships in the class had the 2 cranes with the hangar sited below, totally unlike British practice.

The original Baltimore class 8" heavy cruisers comprised 8 in the class, including Boston, all built by Bethlehem, Fore river, Mass, and were a natural evolution of the type after the previous treaty cruisers of the 1920's and 30's which conformed to limitations imposed in Washington, 1922 and the London treaties of 1930 and 1936, war in 1939 lead to all niceties being discarded.

The last 8" treaty cruiser constructed for the RN was Exeter from Devonport launched 18 july 1929 which at 8,500 tons standard was 5,000 tons lighter than these US developments of the type.

I have put Boston here as at the same time many plans for very similar 8" cruisers were mooted for the RN from late 1939 pretty much right through the war, the 4 Admiral class of 1941 were in many respects carbon copies of these Baltimores from within a year, including weapons, armour, machinery but not appearance, more resembling a cross between a KGV battleship and a Fiji class 6" cruiser. Numerous other cruiser designs were discussed for the RN all which lead nowhere with the realisation the heavy cruiser was a dead end as a type and a huge drain on resources and manpower, let alone finances. A new 8" gun did start development and was soon stopped, plans for the fire control and directors never commenced.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/069/04069.htm

lots more in that link to which i give all credits due. If you delve deeper the US navy continued constructing cruisers into the nuclear age, many seeing scant service, those that were converted to missile cruisers, as Boston, provided sound hulls where their size was beneficial.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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Re: E Coast R.N. Named Ships

Postby Hornbeam » Mon Jul 08, 2024 7:55 am

In regards to the Minehunters, I gather from yourself that we have one bare Hull in good condition and one complete vessel but with a large hole in it, as we are donating vessels to Ukraine (we haven’t got the Crews to man/women them in any case) we should let the Ukraine Navy have a corner of Pompey Dockyard for the Ukrainian Crews to swop the bits over from the damaged Hull to the complete but empty Hull.
The best way to know your ship is to be part of the build or in this case rebuild of their ship although I doubt they will rename her “Wilton 2”
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