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Remembered Today:

Destroyer recovering a downed aircraft


Sepoy
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Being a bit of a "Landlubber" I must admit that my knowledge of the Royal Navy's efforts (not including the RND) during WW1 let me down.

Accordingly, I be extremely grateful if anyone can recognise thise Destroyer (or class of Destroyer)?

Equally, does anyone recognise the type of aircraft being recovered??

The photographs are probably taken in the eastern Mediterranean, either off Gallipoli, Salonica or Palestine, from on board the blister Cruiser HMS Grafton.

Many thanks

Sepoy

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post-55476-0-75081000-1377530474_thumb.j

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Looks very like one of the Short Seaplanes, Probably a 184. The ship might be something smaller than a destroyer - a corvette possibly? She looks seriously undergunned for a destroyer. Nice photos.

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It would have been nice if it had been the Racoon (but I don't think it is)

Midshipman Denham writes about downing an approaching plane with his 'fourth round from the 4-in. gun'

only to have to fish out an 'infuriated Admiral Usborne' soon after

see 'Dardanelles - a Midshipman's Diary' p.193

Sorry I can't help

Michael

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I think all British destroyers of the period were multi funneled. Not a corvette but possibly a sloop or torpedo boat. The aircraft does not appear to have crashed. One of the problems with the Short 184 (of which over 600 were deployed in all theatres) was that the floats were not too robust and tended to spring leaks after a rough landing (and sometimes after a smooth one). If the aircraft was retrieved by her parent ship in a timely fashion no big problem but if she came down prematurely say through engine or fuel failure she could sink whilst awaiting rescue. In such a case the internal floatation gear would save going to the bottom and leave a situation much as in the photos.

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The destroyer is 1 of the 4 Thornycroft 'River', later the 'E' class.

They had the 2 distinctive tall funnels.

The 4 are

Chelmer

Colne

Jed

Kennet

All saw extensive Med service, survived the war to be scrapped.

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The destroyer is 1 of the 4 Thornycroft 'River', later the 'E' class.

They had the 2 distinctive tall funnels.

The 4 are

Chelmer

Colne

Jed

Kennet

All saw extensive Med service, survived the war to be scrapped.

The ship in the photo only appears to have one funnel, moreover the River/E class Torpedo Boat Destroyers had a very different look - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8e/Hms_teviot.jpg and a much heavier armament (one 12 pounder and four or five 6 pounders)

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The destroyer is 1 of the 4 Thornycroft 'River', later the 'E' class.

They had the 2 distinctive tall funnels.

The 4 are

Chelmer

Colne

Jed

Kennet

All saw extensive Med service, survived the war to be scrapped.

Agreed. Looks like one of those four

http://www.warshipsww2.eu/shipsplus.php?language=E&id=503142

http://www.warshipsww2.eu/shipsplus.php?language=E&id=503141

http://www.naval-history.net/PhotoWW1-10ddJed1PS.JPG

http://www.naval-history.net/PhotoWW1-10ddKennet1PS.JPG

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Thank you for all your comments.

Centurion, I did wonder if it was a Short 184 seaplane, but discounted it due to the tail fin appearing smaller and the lack of the distinctive engine exhaust system. I should also state that I lack any real knowledge when it comes to seaplanes of WW1.

Culverin, I think that you are correct with it being HMS Chelmer or HMS Colne. It is definitely a two funnel vessel, but it is not clear in my photographs, although you can tell by the large u shaped items by the funnels (gosh you can tell I am a Landlubber!). Centurion is correct in as much that it does not match the photographs of HMS Jed or Kennet, because they have gun platforms (?) sticking out of the hull by the bridge.

One other comment, none of the four destroyers have a "crow nest" or could that have been added in the "field"?

Michael, what a real shame that the destroyer is obviously not the Racoon. It would be great to link the photos to the Admiral Usborne story....

Sepoy

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the log of HMS Colne mentions going to the assistance of an aeroplane on the 28th December 1915. No details of the type

The Turks have a 'prob' listed for that day - "Bristol Scout seen losing alt."

There is one other brief reference to "... on the same day (28th Dec 1915) a British biplane was seen to crash into the sea off Kumkale"

Details from 'Ottoman Aviation 1909-1919', Nikolasen & Yilmazer

What is the expert opinion - does that agree with what can be seen in Sepoy's photographs?

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I have an other question: From where are these photos taken - especially the first one? Another plane? The Position of the photographer seems to be pretty high.

Regards,

Karsten

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The photographs are probably taken in the eastern Mediterranean, either off Gallipoli, Salonica or Palestine, from on board the blister Cruiser HMS Grafton.

Karsten

I am certain that they were taken from on board HMS Grafton, because I have a two photograph albums kept by an Officer who served on board. Grafton was fitted two large anti torpedo "Blisters" and on the second photograph you can see the "middle aged spread" of this vessel. Grafton was torpedoed during 1917 and was kept afloat by flooding the opposite Blister. It must have caused some annoyance to the U Boat Commander watching the Grafton correct its list. I do have a photo of the hole caused.

Michael and jdoyle

In addition to the photo albums, I have a quite a detailed account of HMS Gratfon's movements and it was in harbour at Mudros on the 28th December. Annoyingly, I cannot find any reference to the recovery of an aircraft. Hence this post.

Sepoy

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Here is a photograph of HMS Grafton in dry dock, possibly taken during 1915 when the anti-torpedo Blisters were added. The second shows the damage caused when Grafton was torpedoed on 10th June, 1917 by U Boat 43.


Sepoy

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Here is a photograph of HMS Grafton in dry dock, possibly taken during 1915 when the anti-torpedo Blisters were added.

Sepoy

What is the frame over the stem? Is it some form of mine-sweeping or 'anti-torpedo net' lifting device?

edit: actually, it looks like a 'mine-repelling' or 'mine-catching' device.

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What is the frame over the stem? Is it some form of mine-sweeping or 'anti-torpedo net' lifting device?

edit: actually, it looks like a 'mine-repelling' or 'mine-catching' device.

As you state I assume that is a torpedo or mine net that was added at the same time as the "Blisters". Earlier photographs of HMS Grafton do not show the supporting "horns" fixed to the bow.

Sepoy

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As you state I assume that is a torpedo or mine net that was added at the same time as the "Blisters". Earlier photographs of HMS Grafton do not show the supporting "horns" fixed to the bow.

Sepoy

Do they appear in any later, sea-going, photographs?

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Do they appear in any later, sea-going, photographs?

Michael

Here is a link to a photograph of HMS Grafton prior to its conversion to a Blister Cruiser

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/HMS_Grafton.jpg

I have few sea going photographs of "Grafton", but here is one showing the netting mounts folded up by the "horns" (I am certain that is not the correct nautical term!). Unfortunately, I do not have any photographs of the stern to see if it was protected in a similar fashion.

Sepoy

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I've never seen anything like it before on a ship of this class/size

However, it does remind me of a reference by Captain Hughes Lockyer CB RN to the “spar” he (HMS Implacable) was reported to have used at X Beach, Gallipoli on 25th April 1915.

When writing his own account of that day, he corrects those who had used the above term, and he says that they mistook his “mine rake” bowsprit for a spar

Perhaps later in the war the Admiralty decided to make this item a fixed feature?

This is only a guess on my part and I am open to correction here.

edit to add: this is how Implacable looked on 25th April 1915 http://www.kingscollections.org/_assets/archiosgallery/57/2349.jpg

I must admit that Grafton's addition looks much more substantial

Edited by michaeldr
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I've never seen anything like it before on a ship of this class/size

However, it does remind me of a reference by Captain Hughes Lockyer CB RN to the “spar” he (HMS Implacable) was reported to have used at X Beach, Gallipoli on 25th April 1915.

When writing his own account of that day, he corrects those who had used the above term, and he says that they mistook his “mine rake” bowsprit for a spar

Perhaps later in the war the Admiralty decided to make this item a fixed feature?

This is only a guess on my part and I am open to correction here.

edit to add: this is how Implacable looked on 25th April 1915 http://www.kingscollections.org/_assets/archiosgallery/57/2349.jpg

I must admit that Grafton's addition looks much more substantial

HMS Grafton was initially part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron, before being sent to be re-armed and have the "Anti-torpedo Blisters" fitted in February, 1915. This work was probably carried out by Harland and Wolff, Belfast. The conversion work was completed by early July, 1915 and the "Grafton" sailed from Belfast to Gibraltar. Unfortunately, the notes in my possession do not detail the conversion work or make reference to the "Mine Rake" Bowsprit.

For interest, "Grafton" arrived at Gibraltar on 16th July, 1915 where minor problems were rectified, and stores taken on board. After a stop at Malta, "Grafton" arrived at Mudros on 27th July, 1915. It went into action on 2nd August off Kum Tepe when the "Grafton" was fired at by shore batteries.

On 12th August, 1915 "Grafton" was struck twice by high explosive shells causing her first casualties - killing 9 men and wounding 18 men.

Sepoy

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Well, whatever that contraption is, it seems to have been a standard addition at this time

Looking at the photographs thrown up by a Google search, you can find the same thing on Edgar, Endymion and Theseus

http://www.worldnavalships.com/ship_photo.php?ProdID=109687

http://www.worldnavalships.com/directory/shipinfo.php?ShipID=3553

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ww2images/7001348177/

Someone must know what it was for, surely?

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