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About Admiral_Bing

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    Able Seaman
  • Birthday 12/13/1939
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    Naval History

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  1. Just for interest: November 18th 1938 The Falklands HMS Ajax towed a target for shore battery practice. 10 rounds were fired by the Sapper Hill BL 6 inch Mark VII gun and then 10 rounds were fired by the Canopus Hill (named after HMS Canopus) BL 6 inch Mark VII gun between 10am and noon. The target was two Pattern VII targets separated by an 18ft rope and towed 750 yards behind the ship located about 2-3 miles off Seal Point. The shore battery guns were originally taken from the Monmouth-class armoured cruiser HMS Lancaster ( a sister ship to HMS Cornwall and HMS Kent) and had arrived in the Falklands for shore defence in 1916. HMS Ajax had moved one of the guns to its current position in 1936. December 8th 1938 Exactly 24 years to the day in 1914, a British Navy Squadron led by Vice-Admiral Doveton Sturdee was at Port Stanley coaling from the hulk SS Great Britain when a German cruiser squadron, which had previously defeated the British West Indies Squadron in the Pacific at Coronel Chile, attacked the Wireless Station at Port Stanley. During the subsequent Naval chase that day all the German ships bar one were sunk and Admiral Maximilian von Spee was killed in his cruiser SMS Scharnhorst as it sank. A contingent of HMS Ajax crew attended a service at Christ Church Cathedral at 10.15am later parading to the Falklands Islands Battle Memorial for a short ceremony including a speech by the Governor of the Falkland Islands. HMS Ajax Marine band played the national anthem and both of HMS Ajax Fairey Seafox floatplanes undertook a flypast. HMS Ajax later that day sailed from Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands to Punta Arenas, Chile . http://www.fig.gov.fk/archives/jdownloads/Falkland%20Islands%20News%20Weekly/1938%2012%20December.pdf Just over a year later a few days past the 25th Anniversary on the 13th December 1939 HMS Ajax was involved in the Battle of the River Plate.
  2. Admiral_Bing

    Collector's Club Launch

    Finally - 100 ships with the Kii
  3. In June 1940 with the surrender of France the French steam merchant ship Le Rhin sailed from Marseillaise for Gibraltar commandeered by Claude Andre Michel Peri (AKA Jack L'anglais) and his partner Madeleine Victorine Bayard (AKA Madeleine Barclay) who would be his First Officer, a SOE spy and a commissioned officer in the WRNS and one of the very few women afloat in a senior position on any British Naval warship during WW2. Madeleine Victorine Bayard (AKA Madeleine Barclay) Commissioned as a British WRNS First officer of HMS Fidelity Le Rhin with her existing captain in charge was converted to HMS Fidelity a British Special Service Vessel which was commissioned on the 24th September 1940. HMS Fidelity's role as part of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) was to sail off the coast of Southern France flying a neutral Spanish or Portuguese flag to land agents into France and to pick up allied airmen from the French escape lines and to undertake small scale sabotage operations the ship sailed twice on these missions but little of substance was achieved. Since both Claude Peri and Madeline Bayard has spent many years together with Marconi in French Indochina , they suggested that using this detailed knowledge of the area and utilising a specialist sabotage team and support equipment they could inflict significant damage on the Japanese forces in the area using HMS Fidelity as a base of operations as the Royal Navy could no longer hope to attack the Japanese directly in Indochina after the devastating loss of Singapore in December 1941 and the subsequent loss of most of the ABDA naval forces and bases in the area . Thus HMS Fidelity in 1942 was significantly upgraded to act as a Commando carrier and to be a serious armed threat if she was stopped for inspection by an unaware Japanese patrol ship (Which is largely how the cruiser HMAS Sydney was lost when she went in too close to inspect the German Auxiliary cruiser Kormoran posing as a neutral merchantman in 19th November 1941 although the Kormoran was also sunk in the action), HMS Fidelity was heavily armed with four single 4” (100mm) guns, 4 torpedo tubes, anti-torpedo nets, two OS2U Kingfisher float planes, two small landing craft and Motor Torpedo Boat 105. T Troop of Royal Marine 40 Commando was separately trained in Scotland for operations against the Japanese and specialized in explosive demolitions. On the 18th November 1942 HMS Fidelity, joined up at the starting point for Convoy ON 154 was to begin at Liverpool bound for New York consisting of 45 ships , HMS Fidelity herself was bound for the Panama canal for the Pacific and was to leave the convoy once the most dangerous part of the journey had been undertaken. Heading into the Atlantic aircraft patrol gap on 28 Dec 1942 HMS Fidelity launched a OS2U Kingfisher that later crashed in the sea, the two crew were rescued by Destroyer HMCS St. Laurent (H83). HMS Fidelity then had severe engine trouble with her triple expansion steam engines and fatefully dropped behind the convoy, for protection the ship deployed her anti torpedo nets and managed to maintain a slow speed of about 2/3 knots. On the 29th the captain decided to head for the Azores and HMS Fidelity launched her surviving aircraft and MTB 105 for antisubmarine patrols. The aircraft located two boatloads of survivors from torpedoed SS Empire Shackleton and the two landing craft were launched to tow these lifeboats back to the ship. By evening HMS Fidelity was in the cross hairs of two U boats, the first torpedo was launched from the stern of U 225 but missed, a couple of hours later torpedoes 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 were singly launched by U Boat 615 at HMS Fidelity but they either all missed or some or all were caught by the deployed anti torpedo netting. On the 30th of December HMS Fidelity, after losing contact with the patrolling MTB, was found by U 435, Torpedoes 7 and 8 launched by U-435 finally found their mark and HMS Fidelity was sunk at 43°23′N 27°07′W at 16:30 after a large explosion. The U boat commander noted a large number of people on rafts and survivors in the water before he left the area but later in the night the weather deteriorated. None of the 274 (some reports 280) Free French crew, 51 Royal Marines RM 40 Commando T troop & the ship's Royal Marine gunners, 4 civilians or the 44 rescued survivors from SS Empire Shackleton who were on board the ship survived. The only survivors were the eight member crew of MTB 105 which was on anti-sub patrol and had broken down with engine trouble away from the ship and drifted before later being rescued by the crew of HMCS Woodstock (K238) and the two pilots picked upon the 28th by the C Class Destroyer HMCS St. Laurent (H83). To this date RM 40 Commando has never reused T as a company designation in memory of the loss.
  4. Admiral_Bing

    The Invergordon Mutiny of 1931

    I suspect that being involved at Invergordon mutiny may well have stunted many Naval rating/Marine careers, however my cousin, once removed's naval records only recorded him being AWOL for 48 hours from the 14th with punishments baed on this absence, it was only after I checked the location of the ship the QE Battleship HMS Valiant and the date of the offence that the penny dropped. I wondered if the disiplining officers on HMS Valiant as a kindness did not mention the mutiny directly on the records to help him as a young twenty year old Marine in his later career, however he did not make the next step up the ladder to Corporal until 1938. My cousin, once removed, went on to sail on a C class Cruiser in the Med, a D class Cruiser out of Bermuda and finally in 1938 HMS Ajax into WW2 a decade after he enlisted until early 1940. After this he left ships for 1st (101st) RM Batallion, then volunteered to A (40) RM Commando. I wonder in the officer training in the 1980 on Invergordon what they thought may have happened if, as the Government suggested afterward that he should have done, that the rear admiral had agressively dealt with the mutiny with the use of troops with bayonets and rifles (I suspect it would have not gone well at all and could have spread the problem across the Navy and possibly beyond into the Army). After being dismissed from the Royal Navy Len Wincott, having been part of the Strike Committee on the cruiser HMS Norfolk, became a member of the Communist party and defected from the UK for the USSR in 1934. Having survived the 900 day Seige of Leningrad in WW2 his "reward" by the Stalinist government in 1946 was to be sent to the Gulag for over decade after being accused of being a British spy, he died on Russia in 1983.
  5. 5a30263f9a714_AjaxBmap.thumb.jpg.4d2218c43ad07d60f508bdafaf230108.jpg

    The Battle of the River Plate

  6. Head of Clan [AJX] Ajax