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Private Francis X. McGraw AK-241 - History

Private Francis X. McGraw AK-241 - History


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Private Francis X. McGraw AK-241

Private Francis X. McGraw

(AK-241: dp. 15,199 (f.); 1. 455'3"; b. 62'1"; dr. 29'2", s.
15.5 k.; cpl. 24; cl. Boulder Victory; T. VC2-S-AP2)

Private Franci.s X. McGraw was laid down as Wabash Victory (MCV hull 796) by the California Shipbuilding Corp., I,os Angeles, Calif.; launched 6 September 1945, sponsored by Mrs. A. Easterbrook; and delivered to the Maritime Commission 7 June 1945.

Operated by the Interocean S.S. Co., under General Agency Agreement, Wabash Victory carried cargo and passengers to Eniwetok, Ulithi, and Okinawa and, from there back to the west coast between 8 August and 3 November l9i5. Employed along the Oregon and California coasts for the next four months, she transited the Panama Canal in mid-March 1946, then headed across the Atlantic to France. On the 28th, she arrived at Le Havre to begin transporting men and equipment between Europe and the United States. Two and a half months later, on 14 June 1946, she was transferred to the War Department but continued her transatlantic runs as an Army transport.

Renamed Private Francis X. McOraw, 31 October 1947, the victory ship remained a unit of the Army Transportation Service until 1 March 1950. Then returned to the Maritime Commission, she was simultaneously transferred to the Navy, given the designation T-AK-241, and assigned to the newly formed Military Sea Transportation Service. Since that time, Private Francis X. McGraw, manned by a Givil service crew, has carried supplies and equipment to "far flung" ports for MSTS, Atlantic. Although primarily rotated between Caribbean, North Sea, and Mediterranean runs, she has when necessary, and particularly from the mid1960's into 1970, been diverted from such assignments to carry cargo to Pacific ports.


USNS Private Francis X. McGraw (T-AK-241) -->

USNS Private Francis X. McGraw (T-AK-241) was a Boulder Victory-class cargo ship built at the end of World War II and served the war and its demilitarization as a commercial cargo vessel. From 1946 to 1950 she served the U.S. Army as a transport named USAT Private Francis X. McGraw. In 1950 she was acquired by the United States Navy and assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service. In 1974 she ended her career and was scrapped.


References [ edit | edit source ]

  1. ↑ 1.001.011.021.031.041.051.061.071.081.091.101.111.121.131.141.15"Organizational History- 267th Chemical Company, Letter of Capt. Charles H. Vogeler RIBCD-267CML March 26, 1966" . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:267th_Chemical_Company.pdf . Retrieved December 3, 2012 .  
  2. ↑ 2.02.12.22.32.42.5"267th Unit History" . http://www.johnstonmemories.com/usarmy.htm . Retrieved 9 September 2012 .  
  3. ↑"Project 112/SHAD Fact Sheets" . http://mcm.dhhq.health.mil/cb_exposures/project112_shad/shadfactSheets.aspx . Retrieved 8 December 2012 .  
  4. ↑ 4.04.1 Mitchell, Jon (December 4, 2012). "Were we Marines used as guinea pigs on Okinawa?" . http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20121204zg.html . Retrieved December 3, 2012 .   Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag name "guinea" defined multiple times with different content
  5. ↑ 5.05.1"Department of Veterans Affairs Citation Number 0806141" . http://www.va.gov/vetapp08/files1/0806141.txt . Retrieved 27 september 2012 .  

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Government.


یواس‌ان‌اس سرجوخه فرانسیس ایکس مک‌گرا (تی-ای‌کی-۲۴۱)

یواس‌ان‌اس سرجوخه فرانسیس ایکس مک‌گرا (تی-ای‌کی-۲۴۱) (به انگلیسی: USNS Private Francis X. McGraw (T-AK-241) ) یک کشتی بود که طول آن ۴۵۵ فوت (۱۳۹ متر) بود. این کشتی در سال ۱۹۴۴ ساخته شد.

یواس‌ان‌اس سرجوخه فرانسیس ایکس مک‌گرا (تی-ای‌کی-۲۴۱)
پیشینه
مالک
آغاز کار: ۶ سپتامبر ۱۹۴۴
تکمیل ساخت: ۷ ژوئن ۱۹۴۵
مشخصات اصلی
وزن: ۴٬۴۸۰ long ton (۴٬۵۵۰ تن) (standard)
۱۵٬۵۸۰ long ton (۱۵٬۸۳۰ تن) (full load)
درازا: ۴۵۵ فوت (۱۳۹ متر)
پهنا: ۶۲ فوت (۱۹ متر)
آبخور: ۲۹ فوت ۲ اینچ (۸٫۸۹ متر)
سرعت: ۱۵٫۵ گره (۱۷٫۸ مایل بر ساعت؛ ۲۸٫۷ کیلومتر بر ساعت)

این یک مقالهٔ خرد کشتی یا قایق است. می‌توانید با گسترش آن به ویکی‌پدیا کمک کنید.


Removal Operation

The United States Army leased 41 acres (170,000 m 2 ) on Johnston Atoll. The initial phase of Operation Red Hat involved the movement of chemical munitions from the Chibana Army Depot storage sites on Okinawa to Tengan Pier, eight miles away, and required 1332 trailers in 148 convoys. The second phase of the removal operation transferred the munitions to Johnston Atoll by ship. [ 13 ]

Phase I of the operation took place in January and moved 150 tons of distilled mustard (HD), a blister agent, manufactured by either the Levinstein or Thiodiglycol processes, but purified further so that it could be stored longer before polymerizing. The USNS Lt. James E. Robinson (T-AK-274) arrived at Johnston Atoll with the first load of HD projectiles from Okinawa on January 13, 1971.

Phase II completed the cargo discharge from Tengan Pier in Okinawa to Johnston Atoll with five more moves of the remaining 12,500 tons of the chemical munitions nerve agents including Sarin and suspected agent VX, arriving in August and September 1971 in the following order:

    ,
  • USNS Private Francis X. McGraw (T-AK-241) ,
  • USNS Sea Lift
  • USNS Private Francis X. McGraw

During the loading of the USNS Sea Lift in August 1971, one pallet of 15 M55 chemical agent-filled rockets was accidentally dropped approximately 40 feet into the hold of the vessel from a crane. Although subsequent examination showed that some of the rockets had been severely damaged, no spill occurred, and there was no harm to operators or the general public. [ 2 ] USNS Sea Lift was renamed USNS Meteor (T-AKR-9) on September 12, 1975.

The operation was overseen by the Army Technical Escort Unit (TEU). A Navy diving team, Harbor Clearing Unit One (HCU-1) from USS Grapple participated in the operation. In late June, assistance was requested in conjunction with Operation RED HAT in Okinawa. HCU-1 departed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for Okinawa July 6, 1971, in support of Operation Red Hat. The team of HCU-1 divers and all necessary equipment including compressors and hard hat diving rigs was air shipped to Okinawa. For the next two months HCU-1 personnel in conjunction with EOD personnel were on continuous standby should their services be required in the event any of the dangerous chemicals being shipped were lost. By mid-September operations were complete and the dive team returned to Pearl Harbor on September 15, 1971. [ 14 ]

Under the command of a Captain Pilcher, SP/5 Leon Lynch was NCO from 175th ordnance detachment in charge of day-to-day operations. Units operating under USARYIS 2nd Logistical Command were the 267th Chemical Company, 196th Ordnance Detachment (EOD), the 5th Ordnance Detachment (EOD), and the 175th Ordnance Detachment.


Private Francis X. McGraw AK-241 - History

SS Wabash Victory

Yes, it is called the S.S. Wabash Victory and it is named after the college and NOT for the Wabash River. The Victory was a new ship design, intended as an improvement on the Liberty class of ship. It was described as, “a faster vessel, with finer hull lines and…twice the horsepower of the reciprocating steam engine used in the Liberty.”

Information from the United States Maritime Commission, which oversaw the Merchant Marines, tells us more about the Victory ships. There were, as of February 10, 1945, 668 Victory ships under contract and mass production began in 1943. These ships were used for combat and for the delivery of all the material needed to wage a war. There were Victory ships outfitted with refrigeration and some were hospital ships. As an example of their size, each Victory ship could carry 440 tanks or 2,840 jeeps. These ships were among the workhorses of WWII.

The names of the ships were varied, the first group of Victory ships were named for the nations united as allies in WWII. Another in a series of names was that of colleges or universities in America. A former alum wrote to President Sparks suggesting that if the College were to contact the Maritime Commission, it might be possible to have a ship named for Wabash.

In March of 1945 President Sparks sent a letter to the United States Maritime Commission requesting that Wabash College be considered as a possibility for the name of one of the new Victory ships. He very quickly received a response that only schools with enrollments over 500 were being considered. Sparks sent a letter to the Wabash alum with this information adding, “This pretty well eliminates Wabash College for the present…”

Seventeen days later President Sparks received a letter with this news, “It is a pleasure to advise you that the Maritime Commission is naming one of the new Victory ships in honor of Wabash College….The S.S. Wabash Victory is under construction by the California Shipbuilding Corporation…and will be ready for launching on or about June 6, 1945.”

An alumnus from California attended the launch, on behalf of the College and it all went just as planned. This is pretty much all that our files show on this neat story. But in the age of the internet, we can learn a whole lot more about the S.S. Wabash Victory and its war work. I found my way to Wikipedia and then to this site: http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/ which is the the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting ships and the story just got even better….

The S.S. Wabash Victory served as a transport in the Pacific through 1945. In early spring of 1946 she was sent to Europe to help with transporting troops and materials back from Europe. By the fall of 1947 the ship had been transferred to the U.S. Army and was renamed the USAT Private Francis X. McGraw. The search for information on Private McGraw led me to this site: http://www.dvrbs.com/ccwd-ww2/CamdenWW2-FrancisXMcGraw.htm.

If there is a better example of our school motto, “Wabash Always Fights” than this humble private, I can’t imagine what it might be as the text of his Congressional Medal of Honor citation shows, “General Order No. 92. October 25th, 1945. Congressional Medal of Honor Citation: He [Private McGraw] manned a heavy machinegun emplaced in a foxhole near Schevenhutte, Germany, on 19 November 1944, when the enemy launched a fierce counterattack. Braving an intense hour-long preparatory barrage, he maintained his stand and poured deadly accurate fire into the advancing foot troops until they faltered and came to a halt. The hostile forces brought up a machinegun in an effort to dislodge him but were frustrated when he lifted his gun to an exposed but advantageous position atop a log, courageously stood up in his foxhole and knocked out the enemy weapon. A rocket blasted his gun from position, but he retrieved it and continued firing. He silenced a second machinegun and then made repeated trips over fire-swept terrain to replenish his ammunition supply. Wounded painfully in this dangerous task, he disregarded his injury and hurried back to his post, where his weapon was showered with mud when another rocket barely missed him. In the midst of the battle, with enemy troops taking advantage of his predicament to press forward, he calmly cleaned his gun, put it back into action and drove off the attackers. He continued to fire until his ammunition was expended, when, with a fierce desire to close with the enemy, he picked up a carbine, killed 1 enemy soldier, wounded another and engaged in a desperate firefight with a third until he was mortally wounded by a burst from a machine pistol. The extraordinary heroism and intrepidity displayed by Pvt. McGraw inspired his comrades to great efforts and was a major factor in repulsing the enemy attack.”

To finish the story of this ship, the SS Wabash/PFC McGraw was again transferred and renamed the T-AK-241 and continued in service with the Navy until she was decomissioned and scrapped in 1974.

As with so many of the stories from the Archives here at Wabash, this was a straightforward story which became something more, something richer – a story with some real heart!

Beth Swift, Archivist of Wabash College

Soccer at Wabash – Early days

The soccer team at Wabash is strong and well established and the fans are loyal and excited for this season. I thought this might be a good time to take a look back at the beginnings of this sport at Wabash.

The photo above was taken in the late 1960’s, although I don’t have a specific date. The Wabash Soccer Club was formed in 1965 with John Fischer as the driving force. He gathered a team, lobbied the administration and, with help from John Ledyard, had taught many players the game (there were no mini soccer leagues for kids then). The students were new to this sport, but it was embraced and in 1966 the club had a full season.

It was decided that for the 67 season, soccer would become a varsity sport and a head coach, Phil Daly was hired. With Fischer as assistant coach, soccer was up and running.

Here are a few pictures of the early days of soccer at Wabash…Enjoy!


Private Francis X. McGraw AK-241 - History

SS Wabash Victory

Yes, it is called the S.S. Wabash Victory and it is named after the college and NOT for the Wabash River. The Victory was a new ship design, intended as an improvement on the Liberty class of ship. It was described as, “a faster vessel, with finer hull lines and…twice the horsepower of the reciprocating steam engine used in the Liberty.”

Information from the United States Maritime Commission, which oversaw the Merchant Marines, tells us more about the Victory ships. There were, as of February 10, 1945, 668 Victory ships under contract and mass production began in 1943. These ships were used for combat and for the delivery of all the material needed to wage a war. There were Victory ships outfitted with refrigeration and some were hospital ships. As an example of their size, each Victory ship could carry 440 tanks or 2,840 jeeps. These ships were among the workhorses of WWII.

The names of the ships were varied, the first group of Victory ships were named for the nations united as allies in WWII. Another in a series of names was that of colleges or universities in America. A former alum wrote to President Sparks suggesting that if the College were to contact the Maritime Commission, it might be possible to have a ship named for Wabash.

In March of 1945 President Sparks sent a letter to the United States Maritime Commission requesting that Wabash College be considered as a possibility for the name of one of the new Victory ships. He very quickly received a response that only schools with enrollments over 500 were being considered. Sparks sent a letter to the Wabash alum with this information adding, “This pretty well eliminates Wabash College for the present…”

Seventeen days later President Sparks received a letter with this news, “It is a pleasure to advise you that the Maritime Commission is naming one of the new Victory ships in honor of Wabash College….The S.S. Wabash Victory is under construction by the California Shipbuilding Corporation…and will be ready for launching on or about June 6, 1945.”

An alumnus from California attended the launch, on behalf of the College and it all went just as planned. This is pretty much all that our files show on this neat story. But in the age of the internet, we can learn a whole lot more about the S.S. Wabash Victory and its war work. I found my way to Wikipedia and then to this site: http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/ which is the the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting ships and the story just got even better….

The S.S. Wabash Victory served as a transport in the Pacific through 1945. In early spring of 1946 she was sent to Europe to help with transporting troops and materials back from Europe. By the fall of 1947 the ship had been transferred to the U.S. Army and was renamed the USAT Private Francis X. McGraw. The search for information on Private McGraw led me to this site: http://www.dvrbs.com/ccwd-ww2/CamdenWW2-FrancisXMcGraw.htm.

If there is a better example of our school motto, “Wabash Always Fights” than this humble private, I can’t imagine what it might be as the text of his Congressional Medal of Honor citation shows, “General Order No. 92. October 25th, 1945. Congressional Medal of Honor Citation: He [Private McGraw] manned a heavy machinegun emplaced in a foxhole near Schevenhutte, Germany, on 19 November 1944, when the enemy launched a fierce counterattack. Braving an intense hour-long preparatory barrage, he maintained his stand and poured deadly accurate fire into the advancing foot troops until they faltered and came to a halt. The hostile forces brought up a machinegun in an effort to dislodge him but were frustrated when he lifted his gun to an exposed but advantageous position atop a log, courageously stood up in his foxhole and knocked out the enemy weapon. A rocket blasted his gun from position, but he retrieved it and continued firing. He silenced a second machinegun and then made repeated trips over fire-swept terrain to replenish his ammunition supply. Wounded painfully in this dangerous task, he disregarded his injury and hurried back to his post, where his weapon was showered with mud when another rocket barely missed him. In the midst of the battle, with enemy troops taking advantage of his predicament to press forward, he calmly cleaned his gun, put it back into action and drove off the attackers. He continued to fire until his ammunition was expended, when, with a fierce desire to close with the enemy, he picked up a carbine, killed 1 enemy soldier, wounded another and engaged in a desperate firefight with a third until he was mortally wounded by a burst from a machine pistol. The extraordinary heroism and intrepidity displayed by Pvt. McGraw inspired his comrades to great efforts and was a major factor in repulsing the enemy attack.”

To finish the story of this ship, the SS Wabash/PFC McGraw was again transferred and renamed the T-AK-241 and continued in service with the Navy until she was decomissioned and scrapped in 1974.

As with so many of the stories from the Archives here at Wabash, this was a straightforward story which became something more, something richer – a story with some real heart!


Private Francis X. McGraw AK-241 - History

www.CamdenNewJersey.org
A VERY useful site focused on Camden's Renewal

Not A Scam, And It's Sure Not Spam
Would You Like To Own Your Own Bank in Camden?

Too Late - somebody bought the Bank!
but you can get the office furniture for a song!

John DiSanto's site honoring Philadelphia and Camden Boxers

Religion in Camden
Churches, Synagogues, & other places of worship.

St. Joseph's Polish Church
10th and Mechanic Streets, Camden, New Jersey

OK, so he's not from Camden. You got a problem with that?

A slide presentation of photos of men and women who were serving with the United States armed forces during World War II. This presentation was compiled and first shown at St. Joseph's Church in June of 2009 in commemoration of Armed Forces Day.

If you would like to download this in PowerPoint format, click here.

Volunteers & Early Years: 1810-1869
From George Reeser Prowell's History of Camden County, New Jersey, 1886

Camden Firemen's Memorial
Dedicated to those who gave their lives in the Line of Duty

Text and Photos courtesy of Dennis Dowhy

NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMORIAL

In great part due to the efforts of the website, Chief Scott Thompson of the Camden Police Department, and other members of Camden's Finest, the name of Detective William T. Feitz , the first Camden police officer to lose his life during the performance of his duties, was inscribed along with 414 other law enforcement officers on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington DC. These men were honored in a candlelight vigil on May 13, 2005.

Discussions are also taking place to see that Detective Feitz's name be added to the Camden NJ Police Memorial at Federal Street and Haddon Avenue.

Police from other Jurisdictions

Camden Serves America:
Soldiers, Sailors, & Airmen

Camden Veterans
Honoring All Camden County Men and Women
Who Serve and Served Our Country
Army - Air Force - Coast Guard
Merchant Marine - Marine Corps - Navy

They Gave Their All For Our Freedom
Camden County NJ War Dead
From 1917 To The Present

If you have additional information, PLEASE contact me!

Dedicated June 11, 2005
American Merchant Marine Memorial
Wiggins Park on the Camden, New Jersey Waterfront

John B. Moullette, Ed. D.
Able Seaman Quartermaster
Certificate of Identification
2853680

Ok. one is from Merchantville, but I'm okay with that!
Click to read about three local men who have led or are leading America's Navy

Now hear this!! The revised "USS Denver CL-58 Pictorial History & Tribute has been uploaded to YouTube and is a 2 part video. The details and links to the videos are listed below.

Part 1 385 photos and video clips for a length of 58:55 minutes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhX00Wi3Nbs

Part 2 455 photos and video clips for a length of 1 hour 23 minutes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHfkmCU9y2Y

The new video has narrated letters to home from sailors 350 new photos from the national archives photos from the Navy Memorial and photos from more sailors and or their families. There are 2 interviews included as well, one from John Bloomer and one from a brother of a sailor who spent 3 days on the Denver visiting her while she was anchored in Manila Harbor. I have also added a personal tribute to the men killed on the Denver which is at the end of part 2. I was also able to find a song book called "Songs For Salty Bards" containing songs sung by the Denver men. I worked with the Rowan University men's chorus to perform 4 songs live and have them recorded to be used in this video, this would be the first time that these songs were played and heard in over 65 years. It took one year and three months to complete but it was worth every minute, at least for me who has such an interest in US history. I have connected with so many Denver sailors or their families from all parts of the United States. As you can see these videos are lengthy so schedule your viewing accordingly make sure you have enough snacks and enjoy the videos. Thanks to everyone who assisted with compiling the photos and stories your efforts are greatly appreciated.


Naval/Maritime History 18th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

T oday in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
10 April 1943 - italian Trento-class heavy cruisers Trieste, while moored in La Maddalena, Sardinia, was bombed and sunk by American heavy bombers


Trieste was the second of two Trento-class heavy cruisers built for the Italian Regia Marina (Royal Navy). The ship was laid down in June 1925, was launched in October 1926, and was commissioned in December 1928. Trieste was very lightly armored, with only a 70 mm (2.8 in) thick armored belt, though she possessed a high speed and heavy armament of eight 203 mm (8.0 in) guns. Though nominally built under the restrictions of the Washington Naval Treaty, the two cruisers significantly exceeded the displacement limits imposed by the treaty. The ship spent the 1930s conducting training cruises in the Mediterranean Sea, participating in naval reviews held for foreign dignitaries, and serving as the flagship of the Cruiser Division. She also helped transport Italian volunteer troops that had been sent to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil War return to Italy in 1938.

The ship saw extensive action during World War II, including the battles of Cape Spartivento and Cape Matapan in November 1940 and March 1941, respectively. Trieste was also employed to escort convoys to supply Italian forces in North Africa during one of these operations in November 1941, she was torpedoed by a British submarine. On 10 April 1943, while the ship was moored in La Maddalena, Sardinia, she was bombed and sunk by American heavy bombers. Her superstructure was cut away and she was refloated in 1950 the Spanish Navy purchased the hull in 1952, with plans to convert the vessel into a light aircraft carrier, though the plan came to nothing due to the growing costs of the project. She was ultimately broken up by 1959.


Line-drawing of the Trento class

Trieste was 196.96 meters (646 ft 2 in) long overall, with a beam of 20.6 m (67 ft 7 in) and a draft of 6.8 m (22 ft 4 in). She displaced 13,326 long tons (13,540 t) at full load, though her displacement was nominally within the 10,000-long-ton (10,000 t) restriction set in place by the Washington Naval Treaty. She had a crew of 723 officers and enlisted men, though during the war this increased to 781. Her power plant consisted of four Parsons steam turbines powered by twelve oil-fired Yarrow boilers, which were trunked into two funnels amidships. Her engines were rated at 150,000 shaft horsepower (110,000 kW) for a top speed of 36 knots (67 km/h 41 mph), but on sea trials only reached 35.65 knots (66.02 km/h 41.03 mph). That speed could only be reached on a very light displacement, and in service, her practical top speed was only 31 knots (57 km/h 36 mph). The ship had a cruising range of 4,160 nautical miles (7,700 km 4,790 mi) at a speed of 16 knots (30 km/h 18 mph)

She was protected with an armored belt that was 70 mm (2.8 in) thick amidships with armored bulkheads 40 to 60 mm (1.6 to 2.4 in) thick on either end. Her armor deck was 50 mm (2.0 in) thick in the central portion of the ship and reduced to 20 mm (0.79 in) at either end. The gun turrets had 100 mm (3.9 in) thick plating on the faces and the supporting barbettes they sat in were 60 to 70 mm (2.4 to 2.8 in) thick. The main conning tower had 100 mm thick sides.

Trieste was armed with a main battery of eight 203 mm (8.0 in) Mod 24 50-caliber guns in four gun turrets. The turrets were arranged in superfiring pairs forward and aft. Anti-aircraft defense was provided by a battery of sixteen 100 mm (4 in) 47-cal. guns in twin mounts, four Vickers-Terni 40 mm/39 guns in single mounts and four 12.7 mm (0.50 in) guns. In addition to the gun armament, she carried eight 533 mm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes in four deck mounted twin launchers. She carried a pair of IMAM Ro.43 seaplanes for aerial reconnaissance the hangar was located in under the forecastle and a fixed catapult was mounted on the centerline at the bow.

Trieste's secondary battery was revised several times during her career. The 100 mm guns were replaced with newer Mod 31 versions of the same caliber. In 1937–1938, the two aft-most 100 mm guns were removed, along with all four 12.7 mm machine guns eight 37 mm (1.5 in) 54-cal. Breda M1932 guns and eight 13.2 mm (0.52 in) Breda M1931 machine guns, all in twin mounts, were installed in their place. In 1943, the ship received eight 20 mm (0.79 in) 65-cal. Breda M1940 guns in single mounts.


Trieste early in her career

Trieste had her keel laid at the Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino shipyard in her namesake city on 22 June 1925. The completed hull was launched on 24 October 1926, a year before her sister Trento. After fitting-out work was completed, the ship was commissioned into the Italian fleet on 21 December 1928. On 16 May 1929 she joined Trento in the newly created Cruiser Division for a cruise in the northern Mediterranean Sea that lasted until 4 June. On 1 October, Trieste became the flagship of the 1st Squadron. In mid-1931, she entered the shipyard in La Spezia for an overhaul that included the replacement of her tripod foremast with a more stable five-legged version. On 6 and 7 July 1933, Trieste, Trento, and the four Zara-class cruisers held a naval review for the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in the Gulf of Naples. On 2 December 1933, Trieste, Trento, and the heavy cruiser Bolzano formed the 2nd Division of the 1st Squadron. The unit was renamed the 3rd Division in July 1934.

On 18 June 1935, Trieste temporarily relieved Trento as the divisional flagship. Mussolini took a short tour of Italian Libya from 10 to 12 March 1937, and Trieste was among the vessels to escort him. On 7 June, she took part in a major naval review held during the visit of German Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg. The ship became the 2nd Squadron flagship on 15 February 1938. On 5 May, another naval review was held in the Gulf of Naples, this time for the state visit of German dictator Adolf Hitler. On 12 October 1938, Trieste steamed out of Messina with the 10th Destroyer Squadron, bound for Cadiz, Spain. There, they met four Italian merchant ships on 15 October, which embarked 10,000 members of the Corpo Truppe Volontarie (Corps of Volunteer Troops) that had been sent to support General Francisco Franco's Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War. The convoy left Cadiz on 16 October and arrived back in Naples on the 20th. On 17 May 1939, Trieste took part in another fleet review, this one for Prince Paul of Yugoslavia during his visit to Italy. From 5 to 19 June, Trieste joined the rest of the fleet in Livorno for the first celebration of Navy Day on 10 June. From October to December, the ship underwent a major refit, which included modifications to her armament and the installation of funnel caps.

World War II
On 10 June 1940, Italy declared war on Britain and France, formally entering World War II. The heavy cruiser Pola replaced Trieste as the squadron flagship, which in turn became the flagship of the 3rd Division, which also included Trento and Bolzano. These four cruisers deployed north of Sicily to patrol for Allied vessels on Italy's first day of the war. On 31 August, the 3rd Division sortied to intercept the British convoy from Alexandria to Malta in Operation Hats, though the Italian fleet broke off the operation without encountering the merchant ships. Trieste arrived back in Taranto on 2 September. She was present there on the night of 11–12 November, when the British raided the port, and she emerged undamaged.

Trieste sortied with the fleet on 26 November in an attempt to intercept another convoy to Malta. The following morning, a reconnaissance floatplane from Bolzano located the British squadron. Shortly after 12:00, Italian reconnaissance reports informed the Italian fleet commander, Vice Admiral Inigo Campioni of the strength of the British fleet, and so he ordered his ships to disengage. By this time, Trieste and the other heavy cruisers had already begun engaging their British counterparts in the Battle of Cape Spartivento, and had scored two hits on the cruiser HMS Berwick, the second of which is credited to either Trieste or Trento. The battlecruiser HMS Renown intervened, and quickly straddled Trieste twice, though she inflicted only splinter damage. This forced Campioni to commit the battleship Vittorio Veneto, which in turn forced the British cruisers to break off the action, allowing both sides to disengage.

On 9 February 1941, Trieste sortied with the rest of the 2nd Squadron to search for Force H after the latter had shelled Genoa the Italians returned to port without success. On 12–13 March, Trieste escorted a fast convoy to North Africa.

Battle of Cape Matapan

Map showing the movements of the Italian and British fleets
Main article: Battle of Cape Matapan

On 27 March, the division sortied with the rest of the fleet for a major sweep toward the island of Crete. During the operation, Trieste flew the flag of Rear Admiral Luigi Sansonetti. At 06:55 on the 28th, an IMAM Ro.43 floatplane launched by Vittorio Veneto located a British cruiser squadron, and by 07:55, Trento and the 3rd Division had come within visual range. Seventeen minutes later, the Italian cruisers opened fire from a range of 24,000 yd (22,000 m), initiating the first phase of the Battle of Cape Matapan in the span of the next forty minutes, Trieste fired a total of 132 armor-piercing shells, though trouble with her rangefinders and the extreme range of the action prevented her from scoring any significant hits.

At 08:55, the Italian fleet commander, Vice Admiral Angelo Iachino instructed Sansonetti to break off the action with the British cruisers and turn northwest, to lure the British vessels into range for Vittorio Veneto. By about 11:00, Vittorio Veneto had closed the distance enough to open fire, prompting Sansonetti to turn his three cruisers back to join the fight. The 6-inch-gun-armed British cruisers were outmatched both by the Italian heavy cruisers and Vittorio Veneto, and they quickly reversed course. While the two sides were still maneuvering, a group of British torpedo bombers from Crete arrived and unsuccessfully attacked Trieste and the rest of her division shortly after 12:00. Further attacks from the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable convinced Iachino to break off the action and withdraw at 12:20.

Later in the day, Vittorio Veneto and Pola were torpedoed by British aircraft, the latter left immobilized. Trieste, Trento, and Bolzano were also attacked by aircraft, but they escaped without damage. Trieste reached Taranto in company with the damaged Vittorio Veneto at 15:30 the following day. in the meantime, Pola and two other Zara-class cruisers were destroyed in the night action with British battleships late on the 28th.

Convoy operations
From 24 to 30 April, Trieste and Bolzano escorted a convoy to North Africa. A combination of heavy seas and the presence of British warships forced the convoy to shelter in Palermo, Messina, and Augusta in Sicily before being able to make the crossing to Tripoli. A month later, the two cruisers covered another convoy for the return leg of the voyage, the ships joined a second convoy also returning to Italy. Another convoy made the crossing on 8–9 June, again escorted by Trieste and Bolzano, along with the destroyers Corazziere, Ascari, and Lanciere. Trieste and the heavy cruiser Gorizia and the vessels of the 12th Destroyer Squadron covered four ocean liners that had been converted into troopships on 25 June heavy British air attacks that night forced the convoy to return to Taranto. A second attempt was made on 27 June, and the ships successfully reached Tripoli on the morning of the 29th. Heavy air attacks targeted the ships while they were unloading the following day, but the ships were able to complete the task, depart that day, and reach Taranto on 1 July.

From 16 to 20 July, Trieste, Bolzano, Ascari, Corazziere, and the destroyer Carabiniere covered another fast convoy to Tripoli. On 22 August, Trieste sortied with other elements of the Italian fleet to try to locate Force H they returned to port four days later empty handed. In late September, the British sent another convoy to reinforce Malta, codenamed Operation Halberd the Italian fleet sortied on 26 September to try to intercept it, but broke off the operation upon discovering the strength of the British escort force. Trieste took part in the Duisberg convoy on 8–9 November along with Trento, the two ships serving as the convoy's covering force. The convoy was attacked by British warships in the early hours of 9 November, though the covering force failed to intervene and the convoy was destroyed.

Trieste escorted another convoy to Libya on 21 November in company with the light cruiser Duca degli Abruzzi. Late that evening, the convoy came under a combined submarine and aircraft attack at 23:12, Trieste was torpedoed by the submarine HMS Utmost, and a torpedo bomber hit Duca degli Abruzzi shortly thereafter. The two damaged vessels were escorted back to Messina by the cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi and the destroyer Bersagliere, arriving at around 08:00 the next morning. After repairs were completed, Trieste joined Bolzano and Gorizia—the only other surviving heavy cruisers in the fleet—in the reorganized 3rd Division. The ships sortied with eight destroyers on 12 August 1942 to try to intercept a British convoy while on the operation, Bolzano and one of the destroyers were torpedoed by a British submarine, forcing the cancellation of the mission.

Fate
On 10 April 1943, while moored in La Maddalena, Sardinia, Trieste came under attack from B-24 Liberator heavy bombers from the United States Army Air Forces. She received several hits at 13:45, and at 16:13 she capsized to starboard and sank in the shallow water. Casualties were relatively light, with 66 men killed or missing—of those, three were officers, eight were non-commissioned officers, and fifty-five were enlisted sailors—and 66 wounded—eight NCOs and fifty-eight sailors. The ship remained on the naval register until 18 October 1946, when she was formally stricken. Salvage operations began in 1950, starting with the removal of the ship's superstructure. The hull was then made watertight, was refloated, still capsized, and was towed to La Spezia. There, the ship was righted, and upon inspection, the shipyard workers discovered that fuel oil that had leaked into the engine rooms had preserved the machinery. The Spanish Navy purchased the hull and towed it to Cartagena and then to Ferrol in 1952 to convert Trieste into a light aircraft carrier. The cost of the project proved to be prohibitive, and in 1956 the Spanish Navy sold the vessel for scrap the ship was broken up by 1959.

Italian cruiser Trieste - Wikipedia

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
10 April 1963 - nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Thresher (SSN-593) that sank on deep-diving tests about 220 nautical miles (410 km) east of Boston, Massachusetts.
129 people died including commanding officer and 17 civilian technicians



The second USS Thresher (SSN-593) was the lead boat of her class of nuclear-powered attack submarines in the United States Navy. She was the U.S. Navy's second submarine to be named after the thresher shark.

On 10 April 1963, Thresher sank during deep-diving tests about 220 miles (350 km) east of Boston, Massachusetts, killing all 129 crew and shipyard personnel aboard in the deadliest submarine disaster ever. Her loss was a watershed for the U.S. Navy, leading to the implementation of a rigorous submarine safety program known as SUBSAFE. The first nuclear submarine lost at sea, Thresher was also the first of only two submarines that killed more than 100 people aboard the other was the Russian Kursk, which sank with 118 aboard in 2000.

Significance of design and loss
At the time she was built, Thresher was the fastest (matching the smaller, contemporary Skipjack class) and quietest submarine in the world. She was also considered the most advanced weapons system of her day. Created specifically to find and destroy Soviet submarines, the ship boasted a new sonar system whose passive and active modes could detect other vessels at greater range, and she was intended to launch the U.S. Navy's newest anti-submarine missile, the SUBROC. Shortly after her loss, the Commander of Submarine Force Atlantic wrote in the March 1964 issue of the U.S. Naval Institute's monthly journal Proceedings that "the Navy had depended upon this performance to the extent that it had asked for and received authority to build 14 of these ships, as well as an additional 11 submarines with very much the same characteristics. This was the first time since World War II that we had considered our design sufficiently advanced to embark upon construction of a large class of general-purpose attack submarines."

Following Navy tradition, this class of subs was originally named Thresher after the lead boat. When Thresher was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 16 April 1963, the class name was changed to that of the second boat, Permit, and Thresher is now officially referred to as a Permit-class submarine. Having been "lost at sea," Thresher was not decommissioned by the U.S. Navy and remains on "Eternal Patrol."


Thresher at sea on 24 July 1961

The contract to build Thresher was awarded to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on 15 January 1958, and her keel was laid on 28 May 1958. She was launched on 9 July 1960, was sponsored by Mrs. Mary B. Warder (wife of World War II skipper Frederick B. Warder), and was commissioned on 3 August 1961, Commander Dean L. Axene commanding.

Thresher conducted lengthy sea trials in the western Atlantic and Caribbean Sea areas in 1961–1962. These tests allowed a thorough evaluation of her many new and complex technological features and weapons. She took part in Nuclear Submarine Exercise (NUSUBEX) 3–61 off the northeastern coast of the United States from 18–24 September 1961.

On 18 October 1961, Thresher, in company with the diesel-electric submarine Cavalla, headed south on a 3-week test and training cruise to San Juan, Puerto Rico, arriving 2 November. Following customary procedure while in port, her reactor was shut down. Since no shore power connection was available in San Juan, the ship's backup diesel generator was used to carry the "hotel" electrical loads. Several hours later, the backup generator broke down and the electrical load was transferred to the ship's battery. As most of the battery power was needed to keep vital systems operating and to restart the reactor, lighting and air-conditioning were shut down. Without air-conditioning, temperature and humidity in the submarine rose, reaching 60 °C (140 °F) after about ten hours. The crew attempted to repair the diesel generator (four men would receive Navy Commendation Medals for their work that night). After it became apparent that the generator could not be fixed before the battery was depleted, the crew tried to restart the reactor, but the remaining battery charge was insufficient. The captain, returning to the ship from a shore function, arrived just after the battery ran down. The crew eventually borrowed cables from another ship in the harbor and connected them to the adjacent Cavalla, which started her diesels and provided enough power to allow Thresher to restart her reactor.

Thresher conducted further trials and fired test torpedoes before returning to Portsmouth on 29 November 1961. The boat remained in port through the end of the year, and spent the first two months of 1962 evaluating her sonar and Submarine Rocket (SUBROC) systems. In March, she participated in NUSUBEX 2–62 (an exercise designed to improve the tactical capabilities of nuclear submarines) and in antisubmarine warfare training with Task Group ALPHA.

Off Charleston, South Carolina, Thresher undertook operations supporting development of the SUBROC anti-submarine missile. She returned briefly to New England waters, after which she proceeded to Florida for more SUBROC tests. While moored at Port Canaveral, Florida, the submarine was accidentally struck by a tug which damaged one of her ballast tanks. After repairs at Groton, Connecticut, by the Electric Boat Company, Thresher went south for more tests and trials off Key West, Florida, then returned northward. The submarine entered Portsmouth Shipyard on 16 July 1962 to begin a scheduled 6-month post-shakedown availability to examine systems and make repairs and corrections as necessary. As is typical with a first-of-class boat, the work took longer than expected, lasting nearly 9 months. The ship was finally re-certified and undocked on 8 April 1963.

Sinking
On 9 April 1963, Thresher, commanded by Lieutenant Commander John Wesley Harvey, got underway from Portsmouth at 08:00 and rendezvoused with the submarine rescue ship Skylark at 11:00 to begin her initial post-overhaul dive trials, in an area some 190 nautical miles (220 miles 350 kilometres) east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. That afternoon Thresher conducted an initial trim dive test, surfaced and then performed a second dive to half test depth. She remained submerged overnight and re-established underwater communications with Skylark at 06:30 on 10 April to commence deep-dive trials. Following standard practice, Thresher slowly dove deeper as she traveled in circles under Skylark – to remain within communications distance – pausing every additional 100 feet (30 m) of depth to check the integrity of all systems. As Thresher neared her test depth, Skylark received garbled communications over underwater telephone indicating " . minor difficulties, have positive up-angle, attempting to blow", and then a final even more garbled message that included the number "900". When Skylark received no further communication, surface observers gradually realized Thresher had sunk.

By mid-afternoon, 15 Navy ships were en route to the search area. At 18:30, the Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, sent word to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to begin notifying next-of-kin – starting with Commander Harvey's wife, Irene Harvey – that Thresher was missing.

By morning on 11 April, all hope of finding Thresher was abandoned, and at 10:30 the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral George W. Anderson Jr., went before the press corps at The Pentagon to announce that the submarine was lost with all hands. President John F. Kennedy ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff on 12–15 April in honor of the 129 lost submariners and shipyard personnel.


US Navy ships circle in the vicinity of the site of Thresher's sinking on 15 April 1963

Search and recovery
The Navy quickly mounted an extensive underwater search using the oceanographic ship Mizar and other ships they soon found shattered remains of Thresher's hull on the sea floor, some 8,400 ft (2,600 m) below the surface, in six major sections. Most of the debris had spread over an area of about 134,000 m2 (160,000 sq yd). The bathyscaphe Trieste, then in San Diego, California, was alerted on 11 April and loaded aboard the large landing ship Point Defiance and brought through the Panama Canal to Boston. Trieste was deployed for two series of dives on the debris field: the first series on 24–30 June, and the second series in late August/early September. It found and photographed major sections of Thresher, including the sail, sonar dome, bow section, engineering spaces section, operations spaces section, and the stern planes. One aspect of the search conducted that summer by Mizarinvolved the use of highly sensitive proton magnetometers furnished by the Instrument Division of Varian Associates, Palo Alto, California, and shipped aboard Mizar before her departure from Suitland, Maryland. The magnetometers were used in conjunction with underwater video cameras and suspended on the same electrical line used to tow the video cameras themselves. Sea-bottom photography of the wreck site taken in summer 1963 can be seen at the official US Navy history website.

Trieste's successor Trieste II incorporated parts of the original bathyscaphe and was completed in early 1964. The bathyscaphe was placed on board USNS Private Francis X. McGraw and also shipped, via the Panama Canal, to Boston. Additional operations were conducted at the loss site of Thresher that were commenced by the first Trieste the year before. Trieste II was Commanded by Lt Comdr. John B. Mooney, Jr., with co-pilot Lt. John H. Howland and Capt. Frank Andrews in an operation that recovered bits of wreckage of the lost Thresher, in September 1964. The groundbreaking deep submergence operations helped in the design and construction of other deep-diving submersibles which could be used in rescuing crews and recovering objects from submarines in distress below levels reachable by conventional methods.


Overhead view of Thresher's upper rudder, photographed in October 1964 from a deep-sea vehicle deployed from USNS Mizar

Cause
Deep-sea photography, recovered artifacts, and an evaluation of her design and operational history permitted a Court of Inquiry to conclude Thresher had probably suffered the failure of a salt-water piping system joint which relied heavily on silver brazing instead of welding. Earlier tests using ultrasound equipment found potential problems with about 14% of the tested brazed joints, most of which were determined not to pose a risk significant enough to require a repair. High-pressure water spraying from a broken pipe joint may have shorted out one of the many electrical panels, causing a shutdown ("scram") of the reactor, which in turn caused loss of propulsion. The inability to blow the ballast tanks was later attributed to excessive moisture in the submarine's high-pressure air flasks, moisture which froze and plugged the flasks' flowpaths while passing through the valves. This was later simulated in dock-side tests on Thresher's sister sub, Tinosa. During a test to simulate blowing ballast at or near test depth, ice formed on strainers installed in valves the flow of air lasted only a few seconds. Air dryers were later retrofitted to the high-pressure air compressors, beginning with Tinosa, to permit the emergency blow system to operate properly.

Subsequent study of SOSUS (sound surveillance system) data from the time of the incident has given rise to doubts of whether flooding preceded the reactor scram, as no sound of the high pressure water impacting the compartments of the submarine could be detected on instrument recordings from SOSUS at the time. Such flooding would have been a significant sonic event, and no evidence of that can be found in the recorded data.[

Submarines typically rely on speed and deck angle (angle of attack) rather than deballasting to surface they are propelled at an angle towards the surface. Ballast tanks were almost never blown at depth, and doing so could cause the submarine to rocket to the surface out of control. Normal procedure was to drive the submarine to periscope depth, raise the periscope to verify the area was clear, then blow the tanks and surface the submarine.

At the time, reactor-plant operating procedures did not allow for a rapid reactor restart following a scram, or even the ability to use steam remaining in the secondary system to propel the submarine to the surface. After a scram, standard procedure was to isolate the main steam system, cutting off the flow of steam to the turbines providing propulsion and electricity. This was done to prevent an over-rapid cool-down of the reactor. Thresher's Reactor Control Officer, Lieutenant Raymond McCoole, was not at his station in the maneuvering room, or indeed on the boat, during the fatal dive. McCoole was at home caring for his wife who had been injured in a household accident – he had been all but ordered ashore by a sympathetic Commander Harvey. McCoole's trainee, Jim Henry, fresh from nuclear power school, probably followed standard operating procedures and gave the order to isolate the steam system after the scram, even though Thresher was at or slightly below its maximum depth. Once closed, the large steam system isolation valves could not be reopened quickly. Reflecting on the situation in later life, McCoole was sure he would have delayed shutting the valves, thus allowing the boat to "answer bells" and drive itself to the surface, despite the flooding in the engineering spaces. Admiral Rickover later changed the procedure, creating the "Fast Recovery Startup" procedure. The Fast Recovery Startup allows an immediate reactor restart and for steam to be withdrawn from the secondary system in limited quantities for several minutes following a scram.

In a dockside simulation of flooding in the engine room, held before Thresher sailed, it took the watch in charge 20 minutes to isolate a simulated leak in the auxiliary seawater system. At test depth with the reactor shut down, Thresher would not have had 20 minutes to recover. Even after isolating a short-circuit in the reactor controls, it would have taken nearly 10 minutes to restart the plant.

Thresher likely imploded at a depth of 1,300–2,000 ft (400–610 m).

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
10 April 1968 – The TEV Wahine, a New Zealand ferry sinks in Wellington harbour due to a fierce storm - the strongest winds ever in Wellington. Out of the 734 people on board, fifty-three died.


TEV Wahine
was the second Union Steamship Company of New Zealand ferry to carry the name Wahine (TEV = Turbo-Electric Vessel). The first was TSS Wahine (1913–51). TEV Wahine was a twin-screw, turbo-electric, roll-on/roll-off passenger and vehicle ferry. She was launched at the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Govan, Scotland, in 1965 and worked the New Zealand inter-island route between Wellington and Lyttelton from 1966. On 10 April 1968, near the end of a routine northbound overnight crossing from Lyttelton to Wellington, she was caught in a fierce storm stirred by Tropical Cyclone Giselle. She foundered after running aground on Barrett Reef and capsized and sank in the shallow waters near Steeple Rock at the mouth of Wellington Harbour. Of the 734 people on board, 53 people died from drowning, exposure to the elements, or from injuries sustained in the hurried evacuation and abandonment of the stricken vessel.

The wreck of Wahine is one of the better-known disasters in New Zealand's history, although there have been worse, with far greater loss of life. Radio and television captured the drama as it happened, within a short distance of shore of the eastern suburbs of Wellington, and flew film overseas for world news.


TEV Wahine lists heavily to starboard as she sinks in Wellington Harbour on 10 April 1968.

Ship background
TEV Wahine was designed and built for the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand, and was one of many ferries that have linked New Zealand's North and South Islands. From 1875 ferries have plied Cook Strait and the Kaikoura coast ferrying passengers and cargo, making port at Wellington in the north and Lyttelton in the south. From 1933 the Union Company's Wellington – Lyttelton service was marketed as the "Steamer Express". The introduction of Wahine in 1966 enable the withdrawal of TEV Rangatira (1930–1967) from service in 1965 and TEV Hinemoa (1945–1971) in 1966 and the sale of both Rangatira and Hinemoain 1967.

Building Wahine
Wahine was built by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Govan, Glasgow, Scotland. Plans were made by the Union Company in 1961, and her keel was laid on 14 September 1964 as Hull No. 830. Built of steel, her hull was completed in ten months, and she was christened and launched on 14 July 1965 by the Union Company's director's wife. Her machinery, cargo spaces and passenger accommodations were installed in the following months and she was completed in May 1966. She left Greenock, Scotland for New Zealand on 18 June 1966 and arrived at Wellington on 24 July 1966 she sailed on her maiden voyage to Lyttelton one week later, on 1 August.

The dimensions were 488 feet (149 m) long, had a beam of 71 ft (22 m) and was 8,948 gross register tons (GRT). At the time Wahine was the Union Company's largest ship and one of the world's largest passenger ferries. The powerplant was turbo-electric transmission, with four boilers supplying steam to two turbo-alternators that drove the twin main propellers, gave a top speed of 22 knots (41 km/h) and the ship also had stern and bow thruster propellers to propel her sideways for easier berthing. She had stabilisers that halved the amount she rolled and the frequency with which she did so.

The hull was divided by 13 watertight bulkheads into 14 watertight compartments.

The lifeboat complement was eight large fibreglass lifeboats, two 26-foot (7.9 m) motor lifeboats each with a capacity of 50 people, six 31-foot (9.4 m) standard lifeboats each with a capacity of 99 people, and additionally 36 inflatable rafts, each with a capacity of 25 people.

Service
Wahine entered service on 1 August 1966 with her first sailing from Wellington replacing TEV Hinemoa (1947–1967). Between then and the end of the year she made 67 crossings to Lyttelton. From August 1966, TEV Wahine and TEV Maori (1953–1972) provided a two-ship regular overnight service between Wellington and Lyttleton, with one ship departing from each port each night and crossing during the night. The arrival of Wahine enabled Hinemoa to be withdrawn from service and TEV Rangatira (1931–1965) that last sailed on 14 December 1965 and Hinemoa were subsequently sold.

On a normal crossing Wahine crew complement was usually 126: in the deck department, the master, three officers, one radio operator and 19 sailors managed the overall operation in the engine department, eight engineers, two electricians, one donkeyman and 12 general workers supervised the operation of the engines in the victualing department, 60 stewards, seven stewardesses, five cooks and four pursers catered to the needs of the passengers.

On trips made during the day she could carry 1,050 passengers,[citation needed] on overnight crossings 927, in over 300 single-, two-, three- and four-berth cabins, with two dormitory-style cabins each sleeping 12 passengers. Common areas included a cafeteria, lounge, smoke room, gift shop, two enclosed promenades and open decks. Wahine had two vehicle decks with a combined capacity for more than 200 cars.

Final crossing
On the evening of 9 April 1968 she departed from Lyttelton for a routine overnight crossing, carrying 610 passengers and 123 crew.

Extreme weather conditions


Track map of Cyclone Giselle

In the early morning of Wednesday, 10 April, two violent storms merged over Wellington, creating a single extratropical cyclone that was the worst recorded in New Zealand's history. Cyclone Giselle was heading south after causing much damage in the north of the North Island. It hit Wellington at the same time as another storm that had driven up the West Coast of the South Island from Antarctica. The winds in Wellington were the strongest ever recorded. At one point they reached 275 kilometres per hour (171 mph) and in one Wellington suburb alone ripped off the roofs of 98 houses. Three ambulances and a truck were blown onto their sides when they tried to go into the area to rescue injured people.

As the storms hit Wellington Harbour, Wahine was making her way out of Cook Strait on the last leg of her journey. Although there were weather warnings when she set out from Lyttelton, there was no indication that storms would be severe or any worse than those often experienced by vessels crossing the Cook Strait.

Aground in Wellington Harbour
At 0550 hrs, with winds gusting at between 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) and 155 kilometres per hour (96 mph), Captain Hector Gordon Robertson decided to enter harbour. Twenty minutes later the winds had increased to 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph), and she lost her radar. A huge wave pushed her off course and in line with Barrett Reef. Robertson was unable to turn her back on course, and decided to keep turning around and back out to sea.

For 30 minutes she battled into the waves and wind, but by 0610 hrs she was not answering her helm and had lost control of her engines. At 0640 hrs she was driven onto the southern tip of Barrett Reef, near the harbour entrance less than a mile from shore. She drifted along the reef, shearing off her starboard propeller and gouging a large hole in her hull on the starboard side of the stern, beneath the waterline. Passengers were told that she was aground but there was no immediate danger. They were directed to don their lifejackets and report to their muster stations as a routine "precautionary measure".

The storm continued to grow more intense. The wind increased to over 250 kilometres per hour (160 mph) and she dragged her anchors and drifted into the harbour. At about 1100 hrs, close to the western shore at Seatoun, her anchors finally held. At about the same time the tug Tapuhi reached her and tried to attach a line and bring her in tow, but after 10 minutes the line broke. Other attempts failed, but the deputy harbourmaster, Captain Galloway, managed to climb aboard from the pilot boat.

Throughout the morning, the danger of the ship sinking seemed to pass as the vessel's location was in an area where the water depth did not exceed 10 meters (30 ft), and the crew's worst-case scenario was the clean-up once the vessel either arrived in Wellington or had grounded in shallower water. There was indication that the ship would even sail again that evening as usual, albeit later than scheduled while the damage done by the reef was repaired.


Looking east on a calm day over the entry of Wellington Harbour, where the disaster occurred.

At about 1315 hrs the combined effect of the tide and the storm swung Wahine around, providing a patch of clear water sheltered from the wind. As she suddenly listed further and reached the point of no return, Robertson gave the order to abandon ship. In an instance similar to what had occurred during the sinking of the Italian passenger liner Andrea Doria off the coast of New England in 1956, the severe starboard list left the four lifeboats on the port side useless: only the four on the starboard side could be launched.

The first starboard motor lifeboat, boat S1, capsized shortly after being launched. Those aboard were thrown into the water, and many were drowned in the rough sea, including two children and several elderly passengers. Survivor Shirley Hick, remembered for losing two of her three children in the disaster, recalled this event vividly, as her three-year-old daughter Alma had drowned in this lifeboat. Some managed to hold onto the overturned boat as it drifted across the harbour to the eastern shore, towards Eastbourne.

The three remaining standard lifeboats, which according to a number of survivors were severely overcrowded, did manage to reach shore. Lifeboat S2 reached Seatoun beach on the western side of the channel with about 70 passengers and crew, as did Lifeboat S4, which was severely overcrowded with over 100 people. Heavily overcrowded Lifeboat S3 landed on the beach near Eastbourne, about 3 miles (5 km) away on the opposite side of the channel.

Wahine launched her life rafts, but waves up to 6 metres (20 ft) high capsized some of them and many people were killed. She sank in 38 feet (12 m) of water. forcing hundreds of passengers and crew into the rough sea. When the weather cleared, the sight of her foundering in the harbour urged many vessels to race to the scene, including the ferry GMV Aramoana, tugs, fishing boats, yachts and small personal craft. They rescued hundreds of people. Over 200 passengers and crew reached the rocky shore of the east side of the channel, south of Eastbourne. As this area was desolate and unpopulated, many survivors were exposed to the elements for several hours while rescue teams tried to navigate the gravel road down the shoreline. It was here that a number of bodies were recovered.

At about 1430 hrs Wahine rolled completely onto her starboard side.

Some of the survivors reached the shore only to die of exhaustion or exposure. Fifty-one people died at the time, and two more died later from their injuries, 53 victims in all. Most of the victims were middle-aged or elderly, but included three children they died from drowning, exposure or injuries from being battered on the rocks. Forty-six bodies were found 566 passengers were safe, as were 110 crew, and six were missing.

Aftermath
Investigation

Salvage operations under way two weeks after the disaster

Ten weeks after the disaster, a Court of Inquiry found errors of judgement had been made, but stressed that the conditions at the time had been difficult and dangerous. The free surface effect caused Wahine to capsize due to a build-up of water on the vehicle deck, although several specialist advisers to the inquiry believed that she had grounded a second time, taking on more water below decks.

The report of the inquiry stated that more lives would almost certainly have been lost if the order to abandon ship had been given earlier or later. The storm was so strong that rescue craft would not have been able to help passengers any earlier than about midday. Charges were brought against her officers but all were acquitted.

Early hopes that she could be salvaged were abandoned when the magnitude of structural damage became clear. As the wreck was a navigational hazard, preparations were made over the next year to refloat her and tow her into Cook Strait for scuttling. However a similar storm in 1969 broke up the wreck, and it was dismantled (partly by the Hikitia floating crane) where it lay.

Wahine shipwreck

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
10 April 1991 - the Italian ferry Moby Prince collided with the oil tanker Agip Abruzzo in Livorno harbour and caught fire, killing 140 of the 141 people aboard.


The Moby Prince disaster was a major naval accident resulting in 140 deaths. It occurred in the late evening of Wednesday 10 April 1991, in the harbor of Livorno, Italy. It is the worst disaster in the Italian merchant navy since World War II. It is also considered one of the two worst environmental disasters in Italian history, along with the explosion and loss of the tanker Amoco Milford Haven on the following day in an unrelated accident near Voltri.

MV Moby Prince, a ferry owned by Navigazione Arcipelago Maddalenino (NAVARMA) Lines collided with the oil tanker Agip Abruzzo, sparking an extensive fire that ravaged the ship. The only survivor of the crew and passengers of the ferry was a young ship's boy, Alessio Bertrand from Naples. The other 140 on board were killed by the fire or toxic fumes.

On 28 May 1998 the ship's hull sunk while impounded in a dock in Livorno harbor it was later refloated and sent to be scrapped in Turkey.

Vessel
MV Moby Prince was an Italian ferry owned by Navarma Lines (today Moby Lines). She was built in 1967 by the English shipyard Cammell Laird of Birkenhead as Koningin Juliana for ferry operator Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland of the Netherlands, and was used on the Harwich to Hook of Holland route until 1984.


Moby Prince at Bastia (August 1987)

Collision
At 22:03 on 10 April 1991 the Moby Prince left Livorno, heading to Olbia for a regular service, manned by a complement of 65 crew and 75 passengers. The ship was commanded by Ugo Chessa. While taking the usual dedicated route out of the harbor, the ferry's prow struck the Agip Abruzzo, which was standing at anchor, and sliced through its tank number 7. The tank was filled with 2,700 tons of Iranian light crude oil. At 22:25, the ferry's radio operator broadcast a Mayday from the portable VHF transmitter. He did not use the fixed radio set, since he was not at his post at the moment of the disaster, as was later confirmed by the location of his corpse.

Fire
Some of the oil spread on the surface of the sea and caught fire, but the remainder was sprayed on to the Moby Prince by the impact. A raging fire quickly engulfed the ferry. The exact quantity of oil sprayed on the ferry was estimated in the subsequent trial at 100 to 300 tons. In the collision, the tanker got stuck to the ferry. The tanker commander ordered full power to the engines and managed to separate the ships, but unwittingly worsened the oil spill.

The deck of the Moby Prince was on fire, but the people aboard had some time to reach safety. The fire reached the ship's interior only after the two massive covers between the deck and the upper car compartment gave way under the intense heat. Once that happened, the fire spread to the prow engine room, slowed only by the fireproof doors. According to later surveys, the fire took over half an hour to reach the De Luxe hall, the ship's safe meeting point.

First response
Rescuers were alerted by repeated calls from the Agip Abruzzo, but the Mayday from the Moby Prince went unheard. The situation was unclear until 23:35 – over one hour after the collision – when the ferry's wreck was located. The crew of the Moby Prince had no time to cut power to the engines. The ship was left out of control and began circling away from the location of the collision, still engulfed in flames, as was the sea around her, making rescue even harder.

The crew mustered the passengers in the De Luxe hall in the ship's prow, relying on a quick rescue by the port authorities, whose base was just minutes away. The hall was equipped with fireproof doors and walls. The flames were fueled by the oil sprayed on the prow, but the wave of fire passed over and around the hall, igniting anything around it but leaving the hall and its occupants unscathed. The hall's safety features might have given a chance of rescue, but the rescue operators were slow to respond, because of miscommunication and confusion from the misunderstood disaster dynamics. By the time the crew understood that help was not coming quickly, the hall's surroundings were engulfed in flames and no escape route was available.

Post mortem examination of the victims revealed that many of them died of carbon monoxide poisoning, having survived (albeit unconscious) for hours after fire broke out. The thick black smoke from the oil and from the plastics of the ferry's fittings were aggravated by gases evaporating from the crude oil.

When the first wave of flames hit the command deck, the crew had to flee without disengaging the ferry's air conditioning system – the fans were still operating when the wreck was visited the following day, and it was found that the air circulation contributed to diffusing toxic gases and smoke in the rooms not directly affected by the fire.

Mistakes in rescue operations
Rescue operations were slow and chaotic, and it was later proved that problems with the rescue constituted one of the major causes of death. At first, the rescue ships from Livorno centered their operations around the Agip Abruzzo, reaching the scene at 23:00 p.m. and saving all the crew of the tanker. The Mayday from the Moby Prince went unheard, too feeble and garbled for the Port Authority to understand.

Commander Renato Superina of Agip Abruzzo communicated by radio with the rescuers at 22:36, declaring that the ship had struck a bettolina (a kind of small service boat used for refueling), misreporting the accident and asking the rescuers to hurry to the tanker, "without mistaking them for us". This error was later repeated by the radio operator of Agip Abruzzo: "looks like it was a bettolina striking us".

The Commander of the Port of Livorno, Admiral Sergio Albanese, rushed to the scene aboard the Coast Guard vessel CP250. As part of his duties he was in charge of coordinating the rescue activities. However, he's surprisingly silent and no orders from Admiral Albanese are reported by any officer involved in the rescue operation and his voice is never heard in the recordings of the VHF channels that night. Admiral Albanese position is quickly dismissed during the trial, raising questions on whether he rushed to the site to cover secret military operations by other unidentified ships.

First aid
The first to find the Moby Prince wreck (at 23:35, over an hour after the collision) were two tugboat operators, Mauro Valli and Walter Mattei, who managed to recover the only survivor, Alessio Bertrand, a ship's boy hanging from the stern railing.

Along with Valli and Mattei came Port Authority guard ship CP232. The tugboat operators repeatedly called for help, especially after Bertrand told them that many people were still in danger. Bertrand was put on board the guard ship, which stayed for over half an hour looking for survivors, but then headed back to the port since he needed medical attention. Valli and Mattei later reported that Bertrand said "there is no one to save anymore, they have all been burned to death".

Meanwhile, tugboats and firefighting ships were sent to the wreck and began cooling the hull. At 03:30 sailor Giovanni Veneruso, from a private tugboat, volunteered to board the ferry to attach a towline, the first rescuer to board the ship after the disaster. Other rescuers reached the ship only hours later, in the morning, when the fire on the wreck was extinguished.

Corpse on the deck
A Carabinieri helicopter left its base early in the morning to join the rescue operations, and filmed a corpse lying on its back near the ship's stern. The corpse was not charred, even though the surroundings were deeply scorched by the flames. Later, when the wreck was returned to Livorno harbor, firemen found the body completely burned by the heat, suggesting that many people did not die quickly in the flames, but slowly from the intense heat and suffocation. This opinion was thoroughly discussed in the trial. Some experts asserted that the corpse on the deck was a passenger who, after surviving the fire and suffocation, tried to reach the rescue ship at dawn, but was overcome by heat from the deck's metal.

In September 1992 a videotape filmed by a passenger shortly before the collision was found in good shape, confirming that the flames and heat were quite tolerable where the passengers were sheltered, and a quicker rescue operation could have saved many lives.

Fate of hull
The charred hull was moored at Livorno until 17 May 1998, when she made water and sank. The rusty wreckage was later raised and towed to Aliağa, Turkey to be scrapped. The sinking of the Moby Prince was the worst disaster for the Italian merchant marine since the end of World War II.

Causes
Fog
Among the officially accepted causes of the disaster, fog played the leading role. Judges confirmed that a natural phenomenon called advection fog (a quick buildup of thick fog in a small area caused by hot, moist air reaching the cold sea surface) was experienced that evening in the zone around the Agip Abruzzo, preventing the Moby Prince from spotting the tanker. Several qualified witnesses, including officers from the nearby Naval Academy, however, reported that visibility was good and no fog was present. Most of the witnesses referred to the smoke generated after the collision as "fog".

While this is one of the officially recognised causes of the disaster, many doubts were advanced as to whether the phenomenon had really occurred, especially after an amateur video found in the De Luxe hall was shown on TG1. In the video, weather conditions seem fair. Guardia di Finanza captain Cesare Gentile, commanding a guard ship which joined the first rescue efforts at 22:35, testified that "at the time, the weather was excellent, the sea was calm and visibility was perfect".

Traffic
A rumor that the United States and NATO military headquarters had radar reports and satellite photographs of the disaster received widespread attention, but was later denied by the respective commands.

The presence of the bettolina was never confirmed. The tanker commander in the early calls for help confirmed many times that the ship struck a small tugboat, grossly mistaking the real nature of the event. Those calls were undoubtedly influenced by the confusion from the collision and by low visibility caused by the smoke. Some sailors from Agip Abruzzo testified that they saw the silhouette of a ship in the fire, but only a few of them recognized that it could have been a ferry.

  • Tank number 6 of the Agip Abruzzo was not correctly sealed, as if it were being loaded or unloaded.
  • A length of pipe commonly used to refuel small boats was found, partly burned, near the tanker.
  • The record marked 11.30 p.m. from the diary of the captain of the Efdim Junior: "We learned that two ships, a passenger ferry and a tanker, had collided and that fire had broken out. I chose to stay at anchor because the great number of boats moving away from the burning ships and the many boats taking part in the search and rescue operations in zero visibility."

Two bigger ships, probably the Cape Breton and Gallant II, both American, were riding at anchor near the Agip Abruzzo, as shown in a photograph taken from the Livorno seafront the afternoon before the tragedy. Captain Gentile gave an account about the position of the ships in the harbor after the collision:

In 2008, it was found that Theresa, another ship, had been present at the scene but her involvement remains unclear. A mysterious audio recording from 22:45, just after the collision, was discovered in 1991. It said in English: "This is Theresa, this is Theresa for the Ship One in Livorno anchorage I'm moving out, I'm moving out . " No ship named Theresa was registered in the harbor records, and it is still unknown what is the "Ship One" referred in the recording.

Position of Agip Abruzzo
The real location of the Agip Abruzzo is debated. The ship's commander declared he was at anchor with the prow pointing south, but later revised his account. The tanker appeared to be heading south in the hours after the collision, as evidenced by a video recording found months after the disaster. It was never clarified if the collision was caused by the ferry going off course or if the tanker was mistakenly positioned in the "exit cone" of the harbor, where parking was strictly forbidden. The first position communicated by the Agip Abbruzzo Commander was recorded in the VHF transmission with the first mayday request. The voice of Commander Superina is clearly audible and reported a position inside the no-anchor-zone. Based on this initial declaration, the collision can be explained with the Agip Abruzzo being anchored wrongfully in the legitimate path of the Moby Prince. This may explain why Commander Superina's statements changed later on during the trial. The Captain Log which would have confirmed the correct position was surprisingly not immediately acquired and was lost few days later.

Human error
Blame was put on the crew of the Moby Prince for not using the radar equipment, for not following proper procedures for harbor maneuvering, and for speeding. The press wrongly reported that the crew was distracted by the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup football final between Juventus and Barcelona. This accusation was decisively refuted when Bertrand was interrogated and declared that the commanding officers were at the helm of the ferry, where they should be.

Trials
Immediately after the disaster, the Livorno public prosecutor began proceedings against unknown persons for failure to assist and culpable homicide. The first trial began on 29 November 1995: third officer Valentino Rolla of the Agip Abruzzo, acting commander of the tanker, was charged with multiple culpable homicide and arson Angelo Cedro, deputy commander of the Port Authority, and guard officer Lorenzo Checcacci were charged with multiple culpable homicide for the lateness of the rescues sailor Gianluigi Spartano was charged of culpable homicide for missing the ferry's Mayday. Charges against Achille Onorato, the owner of NAVARMA, and Agip Abruzzo commander Renato Superina were dropped.

The trial came to an end two years later, on the night of 31 October 1997, in a very tense atmosphere: in a courtroom full of police and carabinieri, jury president Germano Lamberti read out the verdict absolving all the accused. This verdict, however, was partially revised on appeal. The terza sezione penale (third criminal court) in Florence declared that further proceedings were not to be taken, because of a statute of limitations. In November 1997, 11 members of parliament proposed a new commission of inquiry.

In addition to the main trial, two separate cases were examined in the district court: Moby Prince first mate Ciro Di Lauro confessed to tampering with the rudder in the engine room of the scorched hull in order to set inquirers on the wrong track and Pasquale D'Orsi, maintenance technician for NAVARMA, was accused by Lauro. They were both absolved of any offence in the trial and two appeals.

In 2006, at the request of Commander Chessa's sons, the Livorno public prosecutor opened a new inquiry into the disaster. New images of the disaster were found in the offices of the Livorno public prosecutor, confirming the presence of satellite reconnaissance of the area on the night of the collision. In 2009 the association of victims relatives asked president Giorgio Napolitano to ask Barack Obama to disclose the radar recordings, satellite images and any other information available to American authorities. In April 2009, parliamentarian Ermete Realacci called for a new inquiry into the alleged presence of other ships, especially of the US Navy, in the harbor on the night of the disaster.

On 16 November 2007 Fabio Piselli, a former army paratrooper, told the press of new information about the disaster that he had found while investigating the death of a relative working for the U.S. Embassy in Rome. He met with attorney Carlo Palermo, but was later allegedly attacked by four people who kidnapped him, shut him in the trunk of a car and set it on fire however, he managed to escape. An inquiry into the incident was opened.

In 2009 Alessio Bertrand was interrogated again, and the seabed of the harbor was searched, yielding new evidence.

The floating hull remained impounded in the Livorno harbor. In 1998 it almost sank, but was raised and sent for scrap to Aliaga, Turkey.


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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 10 April


1746 Privateer Alexander (20) Cptn Phillips, cut out & recaptured Solebay (24) from St. Martin's road.

HMS Solebay (1742) was a 20-gun sixth rate launched in 1742. She was captured by the French in 1744, recaptured by the British in 1746 and was sold into mercantile service in 1763.


1759 – Launch of Spanish Astuto (San Eustaquio) 58/60 (launched 10 April 1759 at Havana) - BU 1810


1769 HMS Endeavour, Lt. James Cook, arrived at Tahiti.

First voyage of James Cook - Wikipedia

1777 - Lt. Horatio Nelson appointed to the frigate HMS Lowestoft and met on board Cuthbert Collingwood

In 1777, Collingwood first met Horatio Nelson when both served on the frigate HMS Lowestoffe. Two years later, Collingwood succeeded Nelson as Commander (20 June 1779) of the brig HMS Badger, and the next year he again succeeded Nelson as Post-Captain (22 March 1780) of HMS Hinchinbrook, a small frigate. Nelson had been the leader of a failed expedition to cross Central America from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean by navigating boats along the San Juan River, Lake Nicaragua and Lake Leon. Nelson was debilitated by disease and had to recover before being promoted to a larger vessel, and Collingwood succeeded him in command of the Hinchinbrook and brought the remainder of the expedition back to Jamaica.


Depicts a confrontation between two British and two French naval ships. Cannon smoke hangs between the vessels. The French La Minerve, in the centre foreground, in port broadside view, has lost the top section of her mainmast and her entire foremast. Her bow is badly damaged with the bowsprit and figurehead gone. Figures can be seen crowding the deck. Behind La Minerve, passing on the opposite tack, the starboard stern quarter of a British naval vessel can be seen through the smoke. This vessel has lost her mizzen mast overboard, but is still carrying three courses of sails on her remaining masts and flying the Red Ensign on her main mast. On the right of the picture, further away, two vessels, one French, one British, both on the same tack, are seen in port stern quarter view exchanging cannon fire. Their sails are intact, but holed otherwise, both vessels appear to be in better condition than those in the foreground. The scene depicts the capture of La Minerve by the British Dido and Lowestoffe off Toulon on 24th June 1795. The French L'Artemise was also involved in the action

Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood - Wikipedia


1780 – Launch of USS Saratoga was a sloop in the Continental Navy. She was the first ship to honor the historic Battle of Saratoga.

USS Saratoga was a sloop in the Continental Navy. She was the first ship to honor the historic Battle of Saratoga. Having disappeared in 1781, her fate remains a mystery.
Saratoga was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Warton and Humphries. She was begun in December 1779 and launched on 10 April 1780. She weighed 150 tons, was 68’ long with a beam of 25'4" and a depth of hold of 12'. Her complement was 86 with an armament of sixteen 9-pounders and two 4-pounders.


This drawing by J. M. Caiella is based on conjecture as to the first Saratoga's appearance no depiction exists in any form. This is based on the 25-ship British Swan class of 1766-80 that was well known to American shipbuilders. The Saratoga of "trim lines," was an austere warship and thus was most likely not fitted with quarter badges and had a painted rather than coppered hull.

USS Saratoga (1780) - Wikipedia


1794 Capture of the Saintes by British.

In 1794, France's National Convention, represented by Victor Hugues, tried to reconquer the islands but succeeded in occupying them only temporarily, pushed away by the powerful British vessel Queen Charlotte.

HMS Queen Charlotte was a 100-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 15 April 1790 at Chatham. She was built to the draught of Royal George designed by Sir Edward Hunt, though with a modified armament.
In 1794 Queen Charlotte was the flagship of Admiral Lord Howe at the Battle of the Glorious First of June, and in 1795 she took part in the Battle of Groix.


Lord Howe's action, or the Glorious First of June by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, painted 1795, shows the two flagships engaged on 1 June 1794. Queen Charlotte is to the left and Montagne to the right.

HMS Queen Charlotte (1790) - Wikipedia

1799 hired armed Convoy ship HMS Lord Mulgrave (26) wrecked on Arklow Bank, Irish Channel.

Lord Mulgrave was launched at Whitby in 1783. She had a mercantile career until 1793 when the Admiralty hired her to serve as an armed ship protecting convoys. She was wrecked in 1799.

Lord Mulgrave (1783 ship) - Wikipedia

1800 – Launch of Cumberland, launched in 1800 and sailed as a West Indiaman until 1807 or 1808 when she was sold to Enderbys.

Cumberland was launched in 1800 and sailed as a West Indiaman until 1807 or 1808 when she was sold to Enderbys. She then made five voyages as a South Seas whaler. Enderbys sold Cumberland and she proceeded to sail between England and Australia. In 1827 she sailed from Hobart and was never seen again. It later transpired that pirates had captured her off the Falkland Islands and killed her crew and passengers.

Cumberland (1800 ship) - Wikipedia

1800 – Launch of Travers was launched in 1800 as an East Indiaman.

Travers was launched in 1800 as an East Indiaman. She made four complete voyages as an "extra ship" for the British East India Company (EIC). She was wrecked near the end of the outward bound leg on her fifth voyage.


Wreck of the Travers, East-Indiaman, on a Rock near Sunken Island, Thomas Tegg, 27 May 1809

Travers (1800 ship) - Wikipedia

1804 HMS Wilhelmina (32), Cptn. Henry Lambert, engaged french privateer Psyche (36), Cptn. Trogoff in the Indian Ocean

Battling the Psyche
On 9 April 1804 Wilhelmina was escorting the country ship William Petrie to Trincomalee when she sighted a strange sail. The unknown ship was the 36-gun French privateer Psyche, under the command of Captain Trogoff.

Psyche outgunned Wilhelmina, which was armed en flûte. Nevertheless, Lambert sailed towards Psyche to give William Petrie a chance to escape.

Light winds meant that the engagement did not begin until 11 April, when both ships opened fire, exchanging broadsides and attempting to tack around to rake their opponent. After several hours fighting, Psyche broke off and fled. Both ships had sustained heavy damage, Wilhelmina to her masts and rigging, while Psyche was in a near-sinking condition. Wilhelmina had nine of her crew wounded, three mortally and six slightly, while Psyche lost ten killed and 32 wounded, 13 of them mortally. Wilhelmina put into port, while William Petrie also arrived safely at her destination.

Almost a year later, on 14 February 1805, Lambert, now Captain (Acting) of San Fiorenzo would meet Psyche, now a frigate of the French Navy, in battle off the Malabar Coast of India. Lambert was victorious in a sanguinary action that resulted in the British taking Psyche into service as HMS Psyche. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "San Fiorenzo 14 Feby. 1805" to any still surviving claimants from the action


Engraving of a painting of HMS Sirius capturing the Dutch ships Furie and Waakzaamheid, 24 October 1798, created 1 October 1816.

HMS Wilhelmina was a 32-gun fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She was previously a Dutch ship and had been built in 1787 for the Dutch Republic as the Wilhelmina. She was renamed Furie in 1795, after the establishment of the Batavian Republic as a client state of the First French Empire. Like other Dutch ships at that time, she was pressed into service as part of French plans to support the Irish Rebellion of 1798 in the hope of destabilising Britain. The British captured her and the Dutch corvette Waakzaamheid in 1798 while the two were supporting French and Irish forces involved in the Irish Rebellion. The Royal Navy took both into service, with Furie regaining her original name. Sailing as HMS Wilhelmina, she spent the bulk of her later career in the East Indies, serving mostly as a troopship. Here she fought an unequal battle against a large French privateer, and succeeded in driving her off and protecting a merchant she was escorting. Wilhelmina was almost the ship that faced a superior French squadron at the Battle of Vizagapatam, but she was replaced beforehand by the larger HMS Centurion. She spent the rest of her days as a guardship in Penang, and was sold there in 1813.


1811 – Launch of General Graham at Hull. She made one voyage for the British East India Company (EIC) as an "extra" ship, i.e., under charter

General Graham was launched in 1811 at Hull. She made one voyage for the British East India Company (EIC) as an "extra" ship, i.e., under charter. She carried stores to New South Wales, and returned to England via China. She also made one voyage to Bengal as a licensed ship. Between 1829 and 1847 she made numerous voyages between Scotland and Canada carrying cargoes, but also some immigrants. Currently, she last appears in records in 1847.

General Graham (1811 ship) - Wikipedia

1897 Birth of Miles Rutherford Browning (April 10, 1897 – September 29, 1954) was an officer in the United States Navy in the Atlantic during World War I and in the Pacific during World War II.

Miles Rutherford Browning (April 10, 1897 – September 29, 1954) was an officer in the United States Navy in the Atlantic during World War I and in the Pacific during World War II. A pioneer in the development of aircraft carrier combat operations concepts, he is noted for his aggressive aerial warfare tactics as a captain on the USS Enterprise during World War II. His citation for the Distinguished Service Medal states: "His judicious planning and brilliant execution was largely responsible for the rout of the enemy Japanese fleet in the Battle of Midway." He is the grandfather of actor Chevy Chase.


1925 – Launch of Kako (加古 重巡洋艦 Kako jūjun'yōkan) was the second vessel in the two-vessel Furutaka class of heavy cruisers in the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Kako (加古 重巡洋艦 Kako jūjun'yōkan) was the second vessel in the two-vessel Furutaka class of heavy cruisers in the Imperial Japanese Navy. The ship was named after the Kako River in Hyogo prefecture, Japan.


1929 – Launch of French Pluton was a fast minelaying cruiser built for the French Navy in the late 1920s.

Pluton was a fast minelaying cruiser built for the French Navy in the late 1920s. She was also able to carry 1,000 troops on her mine deck as a fast troop transport. Shortly after completion she was modified and became a gunnery training ship, replacing the elderly armored cruiser Gueydon. Shortly before the beginning of World War II, she reverted to her original role and most of the gunnery training equipment was removed. She was sent to Casablanca, in French Morocco, when the war began to lay a minefield, but the order was cancelled a day later and she was ordered to disembark her naval mines. She exploded while landing her still-fuzed mines on 13 September 1939.


1940 - HMS Thistle (N24) was a T-class submarine of the Royal Navy. She was laid down by Vickers Armstrong, Barrow and launched in October 1938. She was sunk by the German submarine U-4 on 10 April 1940 near Skudenes.

HMS Thistle (N24) - Wikipedia

1941 - USS Niblack (DD 424) picks up three boatloads of survivors from Dutch freighter Saleier, which was sunk the previous day by a German U-boat. The destroyer detects a submarine preparing to attack and drives it off with a depth charge attack. This bloodless battle apparently was the first action between American and German forces in World War II

USS Niblack (DD-424), a Gleaves-class destroyer, is the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Albert Parker Niblack. Niblack became the Director of Naval Intelligence 1 March 1919, and Naval Attache in London 6 August 1920. As Vice Admiral, he commanded U.S. Naval Forces in European waters 15 January 1921 to 17 June 1922.
Niblack was laid down 8 August 1938 by the Bath Iron Works Corp. Bath, Maine launched 18 May 1940 sponsored by Mrs. Albert P. Niblack, widow of Vice Admiral Niblack and commissioned 1 August 1940, Lieutenant Commander E. R. Durgin in command. On 10 April 1941 Niblack dropped depth charges aimed at a German U-boat, the first hostile action between American and German forces during the Second World War.

USS Niblack (DD-424) - Wikipedia

1942 - USS Thresher (SS 200) torpedoes and sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship Maru six miles north of Oshima, near the entrance to Tokyo Bay, Honshu, Japan.

USS Thresher (SS-200) - Wikipedia

1944 - TBM bombers and FM-2s aircraft (VC 58) from USS Guadalcanal (CVE 60) sink German submarine U 68 off Madeira Island.

German submarine U-68 (1940) - Wikipedia

1990 10. April 1990 - Großbritannien: im Maschinenraum der französischen Kanalfähre "Reine Mathilde" bricht auf dem Weg vom französischen Caen zum englischen Hafen Portsmouth Feuer aus. Zwei Personen kommen auf dem mit 600 Passagieren besetzten Schiff ums Leben

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
11 April 1693 – Launch of HMS Sussex, an 80-gun third-rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, lost in a severe storm on 1 March 1694 off Gibraltar.


HMS Sussex
was an 80-gun third-rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, lost in a severe storm on 1 March 1694 off Gibraltar. On board were possibly 10 tons of gold coins. This could now be worth more than $500 million, including the bullion and antiquity values, making it one of the most valuable wrecks ever.


HMS Sussex (80) model, third-rate, starboard broadside Source: U. S. Naval Academy Museum Multi-licence with GFDL & cc-by-sa-2.5 and older versions by the USNA Museum.

HMS Sussex was launched at Chatham Dockyard on 11 April 1693, and was the pride of the Royal Navy. As the flagship of Admiral Sir Francis Wheler, she set sail from Portsmouth on 27 December 1693, escorting a fleet of 48 warships and 166 merchant ships to the Mediterranean.

After a short stopover in Cadiz, the fleet entered the Mediterranean. On 27 February a violent storm hit the flotilla near the Strait of Gibraltar and in the early morning of the third day, HMS Sussex sank. All but two "Turks" of the 500 crew on board drowned, including Admiral Wheler, whose body, legend has it, was found on the eastern shore of the rock of Gibraltar in his night-shirt.

Due to the extent of the fatalities, it was not possible to establish the exact cause of the disaster, but it has been noted that 'the disaster seemed to confirm suspicions already voiced about the inherent instability of 80-gun ships with only two decks, such as the Sussex, and a third deck would be added for new ships of this armament.'

Besides HMS Sussex, 12 other ships of the fleet sank. There were approximately 1,200 casualties in total, in what remains one of the worst disasters in the history of the Royal Navy.


Treasure hunt
Between 1998 and 2001, the American Company Odyssey Marine Exploration searched for the Sussex and claimed that it had located the shipwreck at a depth of 800 metres.

In October 2002, Odyssey agreed to a deal with the ship's rightful owner, the British government, on a formula for sharing any potential spoils. Odyssey would get 80 percent of the proceeds up to $45 million, 50 percent from $45 million to $500 million and 40 percent above $500 million. The British government would get the rest.

The Americans were then poised to start the excavation in 2003, but it was delayed amid a raft of complaints from some archaeological quarters, denouncing it as a dangerous precedent for the "ransacking" of shipwrecks by private firms under the aegis of archaeological research.

Just as Odyssey was about to start an excavation, it was stopped by the Spanish authorities, in particular the government of Andalusia in January 2006.

In March 2007, Andalusia gave assent for the excavation to start with the condition that Spanish archeologists would take part in the excavation in order to ascertain that the shipwreck to be excavated is indeed the Sussex and not a Spanish galleon. On the same day, Odyssey Marine sent one of its survey vessels from Gibraltar, west of Cadiz to begin its Black Swan Project, which has resulted in Spain taking action against the company and cancelling its agreement to cooperate on the Sussex project.


An interesting monographie - here the link to the Planset Review:

And the wonderful model built by our member Ramon, alias @ramonolivenza

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION OF MODEL SHIPBUILDING - Rochefort, France - 18.th-21.st October 2018

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
11 April 1712 - Battle of Fladstrand - Danes under Knoff vs Swedes under Sjöblad


This inconclusive battle which took place on 11 April 1712 near Fladstrand, Jylland, between Swedish and Danish forces. It was part of the Great Northern War.

The Swedish fleet, under Sjöblad, consisted of 7 ships with 330 guns, and the Danish fleet, under Knoff, consisted of 5 ships with 158 guns. The battle lasted about 2 hours. Denmark suffered 44 casualties.

Ships involved
Sweden (Sjöblad)

Fredrika 52
Kalmar 46
Stettin 46
Elfsborg 42
Warberg 42/52
Charlotte 38
Stenbock 36

Denmark (Knoff)
Fyen 52
Raae 30
Soridder 28
Leopard 24
Loss 24

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
11 April 1781 – Launch of HMS Africa, a 64-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched by Barnard at Deptford


HMS Africa
was a 64-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched by Barnard at Deptford on 11 April 1781.

American War of Independence
During the American War of Independence, she was sent out to India in early 1782 as part of a squadron of five ships under Commodore Sir Richard Bickerton, arriving too late for the battles of that year. Africa never made it to America and remaining in India, taking part in the last battle of that war, at Cuddalore in 1783. She returned to England once news of the peace treaty arrived.


Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for Inflexible (1780), and later for Africa (1781), Dictator (1783), and Sceptre (1781), all 64-gun Third Rate, two-deckers. The design was similar to the 74-gun Albion (1763). Signed by John Williams [Surveyor of the Navy, 1765-1784]


Napoleonic Wars
Africa was present at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 under the command of Captain Henry Digby. Having been separated from the main British fleet before the battle, the Africa arrived from a different direction without knowing the battle plan that Horatio Nelson had devised. As the rest of the fleet engaged the combined Franco-Spanish fleet in a pell-mell battle, Digby sailed the Africa down the line of enemy ships in a parallel fashion, exchanging broadsides.

Gunboat War
During the Gunboat War, Africa was under the command of Captain John Barrett. On 15 October 1808, Africa was escorting a convoy of 137 merchant ships in the Baltic, with the assistance of the bomb vessel Thunder and two gun-brigs. They left Karlskrona that day and on 20 October they anchored in the Øresundoff Malmö. At noon a flotilla of Danish gunboats was seen moving towards the convoy and Africa sailed to intercept them.[3] The flotilla consisted of 25 gunboats and seven armed launches, mounting some 70 heavy cannons and with an overall total of some 1600 men.[3] It was under the command of Commodore J.C. Krieger.

At 1:30 the wind died and Africa was immobilized. By 2:50pm the gunboats had stationed themselves off Africa's quarters, where few of her guns could fire, and opened fire. The battle continued until 6:45pm when with night closing in all firing ceased. Had daylight lasted another hour the Danes would probably have captured Africa.[3] As it was, she had lost 9 men killed and 51 wounded, including Barrett. She was so badly battered that she had to return to Karlskrona for refitting.[3] The convoy, however, managed to reach Britain.

In 1810 George Frederick Ryves commanded the Africa, in the Baltic, from which he brought home a large convoy, notwithstanding the severity of the weather and the violence of the gales.

John Houlton Marshall promoted to Commander on the ship at a ceremony held on 21 October 1810 to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar.

War of 1812
Under the command of Captain John Bastard, Africa was part of Sir Philip Broke's squadron that pursued, but ultimately failed to catch, the USS Constitution early in the War of 1812.

Fate
Africa was broken up in May 1814 at Portsmouth.


Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the framing profile (disposition) for Inflexible (1780), and later for Africa (1781), Dictator (1783), and Sceptre (1781), all 64-gun Third Rate, two-deckers


The Inflexible -class ships of the line were a class of four 64-gun third rates, designed for the Royal Navy by Sir Thomas Slade. The lines of this class were based heavily on Slade's earlier 74-gun Albion-class.

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
11 April 1796 - Royal Navy HMS Révolutionnaire captured Gracieuse, a 32-gun Charmante-class frigate off Île d'Yeu and brought her into British service as HMS Unite.


Gracieuse was a 32-gun Charmante -class frigate of the French Navy. Renamed to Unité in 1793, she took part in the French Revolutionary Wars. The Royal Navy captured her in 1796 off Île d'Yeu and brought her into British service as HMS Unite. She was sold in 1802

French service
Gracieuse was re-commissioned in Rochefort in April 1793 under captaine de vaisseau Chevillard. She transported troops between the Basque Roads and Sables-d'Olonne, and then returned to Rochefort. She transferred to the naval division on the coasts of the Vendée. There she escorted convoys between Brest and Bordeaux. Gracieuse took part in the War in the Vendée, capturing the British privateer Ellis on 11 July.

In September 1793 Gracieuse was renamed Unité. She was to be named Variante in April 1796, but the Royal Navy captured her before the name change took effect.

On 14 May 1794, Unité captured the ship-sloop HMS Alert after a short fight that left Alert with three men killed and nine wounded before Alert struck. The French Navy took Alert into service as Alerte.

Unité then undertook a crossing from Port Louis to Rochefort under commander Durand. On 13 April 1796 Indefatigable, under the command of Captain Sir Edward Pellew was in pursuit of a French frigate. Pellew signaled to his squadron mate HMS Révolutionnaire to sail to cut the frigate off from the shore. Revolutionnaire then captured Unite after having fired two broadsides into her. Unite had nine men killed and 11 wounded Revolutionnaire had no casualties. The Royal Navy took the frigate into service as HMS Unite.


British service
She was then captained by Ralph Willett Miller and Sir Charles Rowley.

On 9 October 1797 Unite captured the French Navy brig Decouverte, of 14 guns and 91 men. She was three days out of Nantes, on her way to Guadaloupe with secret dispatches that she managed to throw overboard before the British took possession of her. During the chase her crew threw 10 of her guns overboard in an attempt to lighten her. Decouverte arrived at Plymouth on 15 October.

On 4 March 1799 Unite and the sloop Gaiete left Portsmouth as escorts to a convoy for the West Indies.

Fate
Unite was paid off at Sheerness in April 1802. She was sold there in May 1802


Scale 1:48. Plan showing the quater deck and forecastle, upper deck, lower deck, fore and aft platforms for for Unite (1796) a captured French Frigate fitted at Plymouth Dockyard prior to fitting as a 32-gun, Fifth Rate Frigate. Signed J. Marshall. (Master Shipwright)

Révolutionnaire (or Revolutionaire), was a 40-gun Seine -class frigate of the French Navy, launched in May 1794. The British captured her in October 1794 and she went on to serve with the Royal Navy until she was broken up in 1822. During this service HMS Revolutionnaire took part in numerous actions, including three for which the Admiralty would in 1847 award clasps to the Naval General Service Medal, and captured several privateers and merchant vessels.


Portrait of Révolutionnaire in 1820, by Antoine Roux.

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
11 April 1796 - french 80-gun ship of the line Ça Ira, ex Couronne. was destroyed in an accidental fire


The Couronne was an 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.


Model of Couronne, on display at the Château de Brest.

Career
Couronne was built at Brest, having been started in May 1781 and launched in August that year. She probably was built from the salvaged remains of her predecessor, Couronne, which had been accidentally burnt at the dockyard in April 1781. She had a refit at Toulon in 1784.

French Revolution
In 1792 she was renamed Ça Ira, in reference to the revolutionary anthem Ah! ça ira.


Ça Ira fighting at the Battle of Genoa on 14 March 1795

On 14 March 1795, she took part in the Battle of Genoa under Captain Coudé, in which a French squadron, under Admiral Pierre Martin, was pursued off Alassio by a superior British fleet consisting of 15 ships of the line under Lord Hotham. During the chase, around 9:00, Ça Ira ran afoul of Victoire, losing her fore and main topmasts and falling back of the French squadron. The frigate HMS Inconstant under Captain Thomas Fremantle caught up and engaged Ça Ira Vestale came to help, fired distant broadsides at Inconstantand took Ça Ira in tow. Ça Ira began a heavy fire on Inconstant which forced her to retreat. At 10:45, HMS Agamemnon under Captain Horatio Nelson caught up and opened fire, shortly aided by HMS Captain the artillery duel continued for four hours until French ships came to support Ça Ira, compelling Agamemnon to retreat.

During the night, Vestale was relieved by the 74-gun Censeur in towing the now dismasted Ça Ira. In the morning, the British fleet had come in windward HMS Captain caught up and engaged the two French ships, which battered her for 1 hour and 15 minutes, leaving her severely damaged, in distress, and eventually to be towed away from the action. HMS Bedford came to reinforce Captain, and had her rigging also severely damaged. The British fire had also reduced Ça Ira and Censeur to an almost helpless state. The main of the French fleet attempted to come to the rescue of her rear again and seize the opportunity of the battered state of the British vanguard, but the lack of wind, incompetent French gunnery, and opposition by HMS Illustrious and HMS Courageux prevented any effective action. Only the Duquesne intervened, and had to retreat after she sustained damage and casualties. Ça Ira and Censeur tried to fight but due to a false manoeuvre Ça Ira collided with Censeur her rigging fell on Censeur, stranding both ships. As a favourable wind built up, the French squadron retreated, leaving Censeur and Ça Ira without hope of rescue. Men from Agamemnon boarded Ça Ira and captured her. Reduced to hulks, the French ships eventually struck. They were taken into Spezia Bay.

Late career
Ça Ira was commissioned in the Royal Navy, but in too battered a state to serve, she was used as a hospital hulk in Saint-Florent.

Ça Ira was destroyed on 11 April 1796 in an accidental fire boats from other ships attempted to aid, but as the fire became out of control, Ça Ira was evacuated and brought away from the anchorage. She drifted and ran aground half a mile to the northward of the citadel and burnt to the water line. An inquiry subsequently concluded that the fire had been accidentally put on by a "bottle of combustible matter improperly kept in the carpenters cabin", and acquitted the officers from blame.

Archaeological discovery
In 1988, a 19th-century map was discovered, allowing the discovery of the wreck the following year, and its subsequent excavation. From 1990 to 1995, underwater archaeological survey was undertaken by Tech Sub, a non-profit organisation.

sistership

The Saint-Esprit in action. (Detail of an English painting of 1784)

The Saint-Esprit group was a type of three 80-gun ships of the line of the French Navy. They did not constitute a single class, as each was built to a separate design, but they each carried a standard ordnance amounting to 80 guns.

sistership

The Languedoc, dismasted by the storm the night of the 12th, attacked by HMS Renown the afternoon of 13 August 1778

Battle of Genoa (1795) - Wikipedia

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
11 April 1809 - Beginning of the Battle of the Basque Roads, also known as the Battle of Aix Roads (French: Bataille de l'île d'Aix)
was a major naval battle of the Napoleonic Wars, fought in the narrow Basque Roads at the mouth of the C harente River on the Biscay coast of France.

Part I


The Battle of the Basque Roads , also known as the Battle of Aix Roads (French: Bataille de l'île d'Aix, also Affaire des brûlots, rarely Bataille de la rade des Basques) was a major naval battle of the Napoleonic Wars, fought in the narrow Basque Roads at the mouth of the Charente River on the Biscay coast of France. The battle, which lasted from 11–24 April 1809, was unusual in that it pitted a hastily-assembled squadron of small and unorthodox British Royal Navy warships against the main strength of the French Atlantic Fleet, the circumstances dictated by the cramped, shallow coastal waters in which the battle was fought. The battle is also notorious for its controversial political aftermath in both Britain and France.

In February 1809 the French Atlantic Fleet, blockaded in Brest on the Breton coast by the British Channel Fleet, attempted to break out into the Atlantic and reinforce the garrison of Martinique. Sighted and chased by British blockade squadrons, the French were unable to escape the Bay of Biscay and eventually anchored in the Basque Roads, near the naval base of Rochefort. There they were kept under observation during March by the British fleet under the dour Admiral Lord Gambier. The Admiralty, desiring an attack on the French fleet, ordered Lord Cochrane, an outspoken and popular junior captain, to lead an attack, over the objections of a number of senior officers. Cochrane organised an inshore squadron of fireships and bomb vessels, including a converted frigate, and personally led this force into Basque Roads on the evening of 11 April.


Destruction of the French Fleet in Basque Roads - Thomas Sutherland, after Thomas Whitcombe, 1817. NMM

The attack caused little direct damage, but in the narrow waters of the channel the fireships panicked the sailors of the French fleet and most of their ships grounded and were left immobile. Cochrane expected Gambier to follow his attack with the main fleet, which could then destroy the vulnerable French force, but Gambier refused. Cochrane continued the battle over the next several days, successfully destroying several French ships, but with little support from Gambier. This allowed most of the French fleet to refloat and retreat up the Charente to safety. Gambier recalled Cochrane on 14 April and sent him back to Britain, withdrawing most of the inshore squadron at the same time, although scattered fighting continued until 24 April. The increasingly marginalised French fleet was badly damaged and trapped in its home ports several captains were court-martialed for cowardice and one was shot.

In Britain the battle was celebrated as a victory, but many in the Navy were dissatisfied with Gambier's behaviour and Cochrane used his position as a Member of Parliament to publicly protest Gambier's leadership. Incensed, Gambier requested a court-martial to disprove Cochrane's accusations and the admiral's political allies ensured that the jury was composed of his supporters. After bitter and argumentative proceedings Gambier was exonerated of any culpability for failings during the battle. Cochrane's naval career was ruined, although the irrepressible officer remained a prominent figure in Britain for decades to come. Historians have almost unanimously condemned Gambier for his failure to support Cochrane even Napoleon opined that he was an "imbécile".

Background
By 1809 the Royal Navy was dominant in the Atlantic. During the Trafalgar Campaign of 1805 and the Atlantic campaign of 1806 the French Atlantic Fleet had suffered severe losses and the survivors were trapped in the French Biscay ports under a close blockade from the British Channel Fleet. The largest French base was at Brest in Brittany, where the main body of the French fleet lay at anchor under the command of Contre-amiral Jean-Baptiste Willaumez, with smaller French detachments stationed at Lorient and Rochefort. These ports were under observation by the Channel Fleet, led off Brest by Admiral Lord Gambier. Gambier was an unpopular officer, whose reputation rested on being the first captain to break the French line at the Glorious First of June in 1794 in HMS Defence. Since then he had spent most of his career as an administrator at the Admiralty, earning the title Baron Gambier for his command of the fleet at the Bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807. A strict Methodist, Gambier was nicknamed "Dismal Jimmy" by his men.

Willaumez's cruise
British superiority at sea allowed the Royal Navy to launch operations against the French Overseas Empire with impunity, in particular against the lucrative French colonies in the Caribbean. In late 1808, the French learned that a British invasion of Martinique was in preparation, and so orders were sent to Willaumez to take his fleet to sea, concentrate with the squadrons from Lorient and Rochefort and reinforce the island. With Gambier's fleet off Ushant Willaumez was powerless to act, and it was only when winter storms forced the blockade fleet to retreat into the Atlantic in February 1809 that the French admiral felt able to put to sea, passing southwards through the Raz de Sein at dawn on 22 February with eight ships of the line and two frigates. Gambier had left a single ship of the line, Captain Charles Paget's HMS Revenge to keep watch on Brest, and Paget observed the French movements at 09:00, correctly deducing Willaumez's next destination.

The blockade squadron off Lorient comprised the ships of the line HMS Theseus, HMS Triumph and HMS Valiant under Commodore John Poo Beresford, watching three ships in the harbour under Contre-amiral Amable Troude. At 15:15 Paget, who had lost sight of the French, reached the waters off Lorient and signaled a warning to Beresford. At 16:30, Beresford's squadron sighted Willaumez's fleet, tacking to the southeast. Willaumez ordered his second-in-command, Contre-amiral Antoine Louis de Gourdon to drive Beresford away and Gourdoun brought four ships around to chase the British squadron, with the remainder of the French fleet following more distantly. Beresford turned away to the northwest, thus clearing the route to Lorient. His objective achieved, Gourdan rejoined Willaumez and the fleet sailed inshore, anchoring near the island of Groix.

In the early morning of 23 February, Willaumez sent the dispatch schooner Magpye into Lorient with instructions for Troude to sail when possible and steer for the Pertuis d'Antioche near Rochefort, where the fleet was due to assemble. Willaumez then took his fleet southwards, followed from 09:00 by Beresford's squadron. The French fleet passed between Belle Île and Quiberon and then around Île d'Yeu, passing the Phares des Baleines on Île de Ré at 22:30. There the fleet was sighted by frigate HMS Amethyst under Captain Michael Seymour, the scout for the Rochefort blockade squadron of HMS Caesar, HMS Defiance and HMS Donegal under Rear-Admiral Robert Stopford, which was anchored off the Phare de Chassiron on Ile d'Oléron. Signal rockets from Amethyst alerted Stopford to Willaumez's presence and Stopford closed with Willaumez during the night but was not strong enough to oppose his entry into the Basque Roads at the mouth of the Charente River on the morning of 24 February.

Gambier's blockade
Assuming that the French fleet had sailed from Brest, Stopford sent the frigate HMS Naiad under Thomas Dundas to warn Gambier. The British commander had discovered the French fleet missing from its anchorage on 23 February and responded by sending eight ships under Rear-Admiral John Thomas Duckworth south to block any French attempt to enter the Mediterranean while Gambier turned his flagship, the 120-gun first rate HMS Caledonia, back to Plymouth for reinforcements. In the English Channel Naiad located Caledoniaand passed on Stopford's message. Gambier continued to Plymouth, collected four ships of the line anchored there, and immediately sailed back into the Bay of Biscay, joining Stopford on 7 March to form a fleet of 13 ships, later reduced to 11 after Defiance and Triumphwere detached.

Shortly after departing Stopford's squadron off the Basque Roads, Naiad had sighted three sail approaching from the north at 07:00 on 24 February. These were Italienne, Calypso and Cybèle a French frigate squadron sent from Lorient by Troude, whose ships of the line had been delayed by unfavourable tides. The lighter frigates had put to sea without the battle squadron and sailed to join Willaumez the previous morning. Their passage had been observed by the British frigate HMS Amelia and the sloop HMS Doterel, which had shadowed the French during the night. To the south, Dundas had signaled Stopford and the admiral left Amethyst and HMS Emerald to observe the French fleet while he took his main squadron in pursuit of the French frigates. Trapped between the two British forces, French Commodore Pierre-Roch Jurien took his ships inshore under the batteries of Les Sables d'Olonne. Stopford followed the French into the anchorage and in the ensuing battle drove all three French ships ashore where they were damaged beyond repair.

Willaumez made no move to challenge Stopford or Gambier, although he had successfully united with the Rochefort squadron of three ships of the line, two frigates and an armed storeship, the captured British fourth rate ship Calcutta, commanded by Commodore Gilbert-Amable Faure. Together the French fleet, now numbering 11 ships of the line, withdrew from the relatively open Basque Roads anchorage into the narrow channel under the batteries of the Île-d'Aix known as the Aix Roads. These waters offered greater protection from the British fleet, but were also extremely hazardous on 26 February, as the French manoeuvred into the shallower waters of their new anchorage the 74-gun Jean-Bart grounded on the Palles Shoal off Île Madame, and was wrecked. The channel in which Willaumez chose to position his fleet formed a strong defensive position: an assailant had to cross the open Basque Roads and advance past the long and dangerous Boyart Shoal hidden just below the surface. On entering the channel, an attacking force would then come under fire from fortified gun batteries on Île-d'Aix before finally encountering the French fleet. The anchorage had been successfully attacked before, such as during the Raid on Rochefort in 1757, but more recent efforts in 1803, and 1807 had ended in failure.

The developing stalemate saw activity on both sides of the bay. Among the French fleet there was dissatisfaction that Willaumez had not attacked Stopford when he enjoyed numerical superiority, taking the opportunity to break out of the anchorage and pursue his objectives in the Caribbean. Captain Jacques Bergeret was so incensed that he wrote a letter criticising Willaumez to the Minister of Marine Denis Decrès, and warning that the Aix Roads were highly vulnerable to British attack. Although Emperor Napoleon apparently shared Willaumez's opinion, Decrès removed and censured both Willaumez and Bergeret, replacing the admiral with Zacharie Allemand on 16 March. Word had arrived that a British expeditionary force had captured Martinique in late February, and so Allemand, lacking further instructions, prepared his defences.

The French position was strengthened with a heavy boom formed from chains and tree trunks laid between the Boyart shoal and Île-d'Aix. This boom measured 0.5 nautical miles (1,000 yd) long and 31.5 inches (80 cm) wide, weighted in place with 5 1/4 tons of anchors, and yet was installed so subtly that the British fleet did not observe it. More than 2,000 French conscripts were deployed on the Île-d'Aix, supporting batteries of 36-pounder long guns, although attempts to build a fort on the Boyart Shoal were identified, and on 1 April Amelia attacked the battery, drove off the construction crew and destroyed the half-finished fortification. Allemand also ordered his captains to take up a position known as a lignée endentée, in which his ships anchored to form a pair of alternating lines across the channel so that approaching warships could come under the combined fire of several ships at once, in effect crossing the T of any attempt to assault the position, with the frigates stationed between the fleet and the boom.

In the British fleet there was much debate about how to proceed against the French. Gambier was concerned that an attack by French fireships on his fleet anchored in the Basque Roads might cause considerable destruction, and consequently ordered his captains to prepare to withdraw from the blockade at short notice should such an operation be observed. He also wrote to the Admiralty in London recommending British fireships be prepared but cautioning that "it is a horrible mode of warfare, and the attempt very hazardous, if not desperate". A number of officers in the fleet, in particular Rear-Admiral Eliab Harvey, volunteered to lead such an attack, but Gambier hesitated to act, failing to take soundings of the approaches or make any practical preparations for an assault.

Mulgrave's imperative

Lord Cochrane Peter Edward Stroehling, 1807, GAC

With Gambier vacillating in Basque Roads, First Lord of the Admiralty Lord Mulgrave interceded. Prime Minister Lord Portland's administration was concerned by the risk posed by the French fleet to the profits of the British colonies in the West Indies, and had determined that an attack must be made. Thus on 7 March ten fireships were ordered to be prepared. In considering who would be best suited to lead such an attack Mulgrave then made a highly controversial decision. On 11 March the frigate HMS Imperieuse anchored at Plymouth and a message instructed Captain Lord Cochrane to come straight to the Admiralty. Cochrane, eldest son of the Earl of Dundonald, was an aggressive and outspoken officer who had gained notoriety in 1801 when he captured the 32-gun Spanish privateer frigate Gamo with the 14-gun brig HMS Speedy. In the frigates HMS Pallas and Imperieuse he had caused havoc on the French and Spanish coasts with relentless attacks on coastal shipping and defences including, most relevantly, operations in the Rochefort area. He was also a highly active politician, elected as a Member of Parliament for Westminster in 1807 as a Radical, he advocated parliamentary reform and was a fierce critic of Portland's administration.

At his meeting with Mulgrave, Cochrane was asked to explain a plan of attack on Basque Roads which he had drawn up some years previously. Cochrane enthusiastically described his intention to use fireships and massive floating bombs to destroy a fleet anchored in the roads. When he had finished, Mulgrave announced that the plan was going ahead and that Cochrane was to command it. Cochrane was in poor health, and under no illusions about Mulgrave's intentions: should the attack fail Cochrane would be blamed and his political career damaged. In addition, Cochrane was also well aware of the fury this decision would provoke in the naval hierarchy the appointment of a relatively junior officer in command of such an important operation was calculated to cause offense. Cochrane refused, even though Mulgrave pleaded that he had been the only officer to present a practical plan for attacking Allemand's fleet. Again Cochrane refused the command, but the following day Mulgrave issued a direct order: "My Lord you must go. The board cannot listen to further refusal or delay. Rejoin your frigate at once."

Cochrane returned to Imperieuse immediately and the frigate then sailed from Plymouth to join Gambier. The admiral had received direct orders from Mulgrave on 26 March ordering him to prepare for an attack, to which he sent two letters, one agreeing with the order and another disputing it on the grounds that the water was too shallow and the batteries on Île-d'Aix too dangerous. Gambier did not however learn of the leadership of the operation until Cochrane joined the fleet on 3 April and presented Mulgrave's orders to the admiral. The effect was dramatic Harvey, one of Nelson's Band of Brothers who had fought at Trafalgar, launched into a furious tirade directed at Gambier, accusing him of incompetence and malicious conduct, comparing him unfavourably to Nelson and calling Cochrane's appointment an "insult to the fleet". Gambier dismissed Harvey, sending him and his 80-gun HMS Tonnant back to Britain in disgrace to face a court-martial, and then ordered Cochrane to begin preparations for the attack. Gambier also issued Cochrane with Methodist tracts to distribute to his crew. Cochrane ignored the order, but sent some of the tracts to his friend William Cobbett with a letter describing conditions with the fleet. Cobbett, a Radical journalist, wrote articles in response which later inflamed religious opinion in Britain against Cochrane during the scandal which followed the battle.


Private Francis X. McGraw AK-241 - History

Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! USNS Private Francis X. McGraw (T-AK-241) was a Boulder Victory-class cargo ship built at the end of World War II and served the war and its demilitarization as a commercial cargo vessel. From 1946 to 1950 she served the U.S. Army as a transport named USAT Private Francis X. McGraw. In 1950 she was acquired by the United States Navy and assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service. In 1974 she ended her career and was scrapped. Books Technology

Lambert-M-Surhone Betascript Publishing High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! USNS Private Francis X. McGraw (T-AK-241) was a Boulder Victory-class cargo ship built at the end of World War II and served the war and its demilitarization as a commercial cargo vessel. From 1946 to 1950 she served the U.S. Army as a transport named USAT Private Francis X. McGraw. In 1950 she was acquired by the United States Navy and assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service. In 1974 she ended her career and was scrapped.

High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! USNS Private Francis X. McGraw (T-AK-241) was a Boulder Victory-class cargo ship built at the end of World War II and served the war and its demilitarization as a commercial cargo vessel. From 1946 to 1950 she served the U.S. Army as a transport named USAT Private Francis X. McGraw. In 1950 she was acquired by the United States Navy and assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service. In 1974 she ended her career and was scrapped. Bücher, Hörbücher & Kalender / Bücher / Sachbuch / Herstellung & Technik / Elektro- & Kommunikationstechnik

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