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ships and navies


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I recently bought a 14-15 star and war medal, awarded to a Lieutenant in the R.N.R. After research i found out that he served on the Armed Merchant Cruiser " Orotava ".Does any body know anything of its war service up to 1917.


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OROTAVA, 5980 Reg. tons, of the Royal Mail line, was completed in 1899. She was hired as an AMC 19th November, 1914 (purchased 31st May, 1915)and joined 10th Cruiser Squadron. She was not considered completely suitable for 10CS and was moved south to 9CS in the Sierra Leone area in November, 1916 and almost immediately became involved in the search for the German raider MOEWE. As an AMC she had a patrol speed of 14 kts. and an armament of 5 x 6" and 2 x 6pdr guns. Dittmar & Colledge state that she was paid off 1st January, 1919, became a troopship and was broken up in 1923.

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Welcome to the Forum.

There are some mentions of Orotava in "The Big Blockade" by E. Keble Chatterton.

Her Commanding Officer was Commander G. E. Corbett, & in July 1915 she had a complement of 4 R.N. officers, 24 R.N.R. officers, 1 R.N.V.R. officer, & 200 men.

On June 15th 1915 Orotava drove away by gunfire a U-boat which had stopped the Danish neutral, S.S. Russ.

Part of the duties of the 10th C.S. were to stop neutral ships suspected of breaking the blockade & to put an armed guard on board who then took the neutral to a port where the ship could be searched for contraband.

"It was the Hildebrand who on October 30 met with the Danish sailing ship Maracaibo and found she had on board an armed guard from Orotava. During the last thirteen days the Maracaibo had been trying to reach Lerwick, but the south-easterly gales had prevented her from making any headway, so that supplies for guard and Danish crew had run distressingly short".

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Graham, find here two awards for service aboard OROTAVA, not `your' Lt., but ;

THOMAS Richard N/E Cdr(E) RNR 82N094 Orotava

Captain A.B. Hughes, R.N. 22.04.19 Gazetted

Ocean Escorts - Orotava 01.07.17 to 11.11.18 Mentioned in Despatches

Served in Orotava form the date of her inception as an Armed Merchant Cruiser, in December, 1914, to the date of her finally paying off on December 31, 1918. He performed the duties of Chief Engineer for the last year, and those of 2nd Engineer for the three years previous. The manner in which this old vessel has been kept running reflects great credit on this officer - his department has always been kept in a state of high efficiency and an excellent standard of disipline has been mainatined.

I strongly recommend him for a mention.

HUGHES Arthur B N/E Captain RN 88X758 Orotava

A.C.N.S 16.09.19 N/E Post War CBE(M)

Was employed as Ocean Escort of Convoys from Dakar and Rio de Janeiro and the United States, while in command of "Orotava".

During this time he escorted five convoys aggregating 68 ships.

Regards Sadsac

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Thanks for the info Sadsac

It seems like the Oratava had some decent officers aboard. My Lt was Andrew Holmes Hutton,he was promoted Lt in 1915 for showing coolness under fire. He left the Oratava and was posted to H.M.S Attentive in 1917, serving with her during the Zeebrugge raid and supporting the war against the Bolsheviks in 1918. Holmes is also listed as having studied for a B.J Certificate as Master, anybody know what this means, and does anyone have any info about him after 1918.



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