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Remembered Today:

Otranto barrage HM Drifters sunk 15/5/1917 and crews taken prisoner


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Jean N division, Union O division

 

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Jean escaped destruction by A-H cruisers on May 15 '17. However,she could

not avoid the mine off Cape Santa Maria de Leuca that sunk her on 17 Oct. '17

and killed nine of her crew.

 

Respectfully

Joe R

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For reference, I believe that from West to East the Divisions that night were as follows ( drifters within that division are not in order):

 

 

overall command  Drifter CAPELLA   Skipper ?  + Lt RH Baunton (bar to DSC)

 

"N "   ( 3 sunk out of 6, 2 seriously damaged)

       ADMIRABLE (sunk, 1 killed)  Skipper W Farquhar ( DSC) WSA 1310

        SELBY  (sunk)  Skipper DS Ralph  SA 2371

        TRANSIT (sunk, 2 killed)  Skipper G Ross  WSA 1504

        GOWAN LEA (serious damage, skipper VC)    Skipper J Watt (VC) WSA 1206

        JEAN   (serious damage)  Skipper ?

        ?? one more ??

"B"     (2 sunk out of 8)

        FELICITAS  (sunk, 2 pows?)  Skipper JW Labon SA 1086

        GIRL GRACIE   (sunk, 7 pows ?)   Skipper W Moncrief DA 4882

         ?? six more ??

"C"    (1 sunk out of 4)

        QUARRY KNOWE (sunk, 2 killed, 8 PoWs)  Skipper W Bruce  WSA 1486

        CARRIGILL    Skipper HJ Goldspink (MiD) WSA 1937

        ?? one more ??

        ?? one more ??

"T"      (1 sunk out of 8)

         YOUNG LINNET  (sunk,  10 pows)  Skipper C Brown SA 242

         FRIGATE BIRD       Skipper ?  + SubLt Brown

         XMAS DAISY     Skipper  WG Mayhew  WSA 1860

        ?? five more ??

"E"     (6 drifters)

"A"     (8 drifters)

"O"  (3 sunk out of 6, 2 seriously damaged)

          CORAL HAVEN (sunk)    Skipper R Cowe (DSC)  WSA 1774

          GIRL ROSE  (sunk)     Skipper J Strachan  WSA 1963

          TAITS    (sunk, 2 killed)   Skipper R Stephen (DSC) WSA 1384

          FLOANDI  (serious damaged, 6 killed)  Skipper DJ Nichols (DSC)  WSA 834 + Lt GR Barling (killed, MiD)

          UNION   (serious damaged)   Skipper ?

          MORNING STAR II    Skipper D Watson WSA 1115

"S"    (4 sunk out of 6)

          AVONDALE  (sunk, 9 pows)    Skipper W Lyall WSA 873

          CRAIGNOON  (sunk, 9 pows)    Skipper  J Wilson WSA 1059  **(but see Q below re Skipper Ritchie)

          HELENORA  (sunk, 9 PoWs)   Skipper  G Mackay WSA 1051

          SERENE  (sunk, 8 PoWs)      Skipper W More SA 1470

          BRITISH CROWN       Skipper A Lyall WSA 920

          ?? one more ??

   

 

The MILL O'BUCKIE was A (or E) Division ?   Skipper G Thain (MiD) WSA 1074

The BON ESPOIR was  ?? Division ,   Skipper  WG Smith  WSA 1137

The ENDEAVOUR II was A (or E ) Division,?   Skipper ?

The FORERUNNER was ?? Division,  Skipper WH Chaney (MiD) SA 1242

The SIXTEEEN was ?? Division, Skipper F Hutchings (MiD) WSA 1305

The BOY GEORGE III was ?? Division, Skipper EE Snowling (MiD) WSA 1962

 

 

A-H Cruisers from West to East were  HELGOLAND  then  SAIDA  then  NOVARA

 

Charlie

 

PS if anyone can update/correct this info I will gratefully edit my table !

eg vessel for Skippers HJ Goldspink (MiD) WSA 1937 and WH Chaney (MiD) SA 1242   and F Hutchings (MiD) WSA 1305 and EE Snowling (MiD) WSA 1962

 

**I have 2 men quoted as Craignoon Skipper- Wilson (as above) per ICRC and Ritchie (WSA 1271) per a quote in the Scotsman ! Ritchie was certainly Craignoon 9/7/16 when he won his DSC ?

 

Updates

Edit1-   for Skipper names and numbers, such as I have. I have not put foreign honours.

Edit2 (24/12) More Skippers' names.

Edit3 (27/12) More Drifter names

 

Edited by charlie962
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The lost crew of Jean on 17 October 1917 are:

Jean, hired net drifter, mined and sunk in Aegean

 ALLIX, John P, Ty/Lieutenant, RNR

 BUCHAN, Alick, Deck Hand, RNR, TC 397

 CAMPBELL, Peter, Trimmer Cook, RNR, TC 440

 CAMPBELL, William, Engineman, RNR, ES 3029

 GEDDES, Peter, Engineman, RNR, DA 5171

 REID, John, Deck Hand, RNR, DA 7650

 RICE, Ritchie P, Deck Hand, RNR, SD 3458

 STUART, John W, Deck Hand, RNR, DA 2007

 WILLIAMS, William, Trimmer, RNR, ST 1537

from https://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1917-10Oct.htm - a meticulously complied list

and for the barrage raid itself (the casualties on Dartmouth were in the pursuit after the raid not before as the list says:

 

ATTACK ON THE OTRANTO BARRAGE BY AUSTRIAN CRUISERS

 

Admirable, hired net drifter, sunk

 GORDON, Adam, 2nd Hand, RNR, DA 3945

 

 

Floandi, hired net drifter, damaged

 BALL, William J, Deck Hand, RNR, DA 7520

 BARLING, George F, Ty/Lieutenant, RNVR

 BOULTON, James, Deck Hand, RNR, DA 15230

 FOWLER, William H, Engineman, RNR, ES 2439

 HARRIS, Douglas M, Able Seaman, RNVR, Bristol Z 9359

 MURPHY, William J, Deck Hand, RNR, DA 5523

 

Quarry Knowe, hired net drifter, sunk

 BRUCE, Peter, Engineman, RNR, ES 2923

 SMITH, William, Engineman, RNR, ES 3461, DOW

 

Taits, hired net drifter, sunk

 CRAIG, George, Trimmer, RNR, TS 3018

 THOMSON, Adam, Deck Hand, RNR, DA 6897

 

Transit, hired net drifter, sunk

 COWIE, John, Deck Hand, RNR, DA 6102

 ROSS, George, Ty/Skipper, RNR

 

 

Dartmouth, light cruiser, surface action, then torpedoed and damaged by UC.25

in gun action during pursuit after attack

 HELM, Robert, Act/Engine Room Artificer 4c, M 18769 (Po)

 MILLS, Charles S, Leading Stoker, K 5635 (Dev)

 WORDEN, Arthur W, Act/Engine Room Artificer 4c, M 11841 (Dev)

 later when torpedoed by U-boat

 BENNETT, Ernest, Leading Seaman, 183634 (Dev)

 FANE, Robert G, Commander

 HORRIDGE, Samuel, Able Seaman, J 39203 (Dev)

 JAMES, Sidney, Shipwright 2c, M 10282 (Dev)

 KINSELLA, Christopher, Able Seaman, SS 3411 (Dev)

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32 minutes ago, The Treasurer said:

The lost crew of Jean on 17 October 1917 are:

The skipper that day was William Cowie (WSA 1488) who was reported slightly wounded. He was the only survivor (edit-  a later report says there was a deckhand who also survived)

 

 

At some stage he picked up a DSC and Serbian Gold Medal.

 

He might have been Skipper back in May 15th but I could not make out from his service record if this was definitely so.  A 1916 newspaper clipping tells me he won his DSC when in command of HMD Manzanita

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962
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In 1916 on 9 July FRIGATE BIRD was damaged by KuK cruiser in a raid on the Otranto barrage resulting in 5 crew dead.

In 1917 she survived the A-H raid on the barrage.

On 11 March 1918 she sank after collision of Marsa Scirocco with the merchant SS THESEUS with a total of nine  dead

including the skipper.   

Respectfully,

Joe R

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On 19/12/2020 at 21:09, Joe R said:

In 1916 on 9 July FRIGATE BIRD was damaged by KuK cruiser in a raid on the Otranto barrage resulting in 5 crew dead.

In 1917 she survived the A-H raid on the barrage.

On 11 March 1918 she sank after collision of Marsa Scirocco with the merchant SS THESEUS with a total of nine  dead

including the skipper. 

Drifter Frigate Bird:

I see the Skipper on 9th July 1916 , William Murray, was killed on that date.

The Skipper 11th March 1918 was Frederick George Hayhoe and, as you said, he was killed. (an old thread here refers)

I cannot ascertain from his service record if Hayhoe was skipper of Frigate Bird in 1917 but I don't think so ??

 

Charlie

 

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