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Author Topic: This Day In 'Boating' History  (Read 159857 times)

ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - 27th March
« Reply #250 on: March 27, 2013, 08:15:17 PM »

27th March...

1794: President Washington signs the Naval Act of 1794, to establish the first permanent naval force of the United States of America with "the acquisition, by purchase or otherwise, of four ships to carry forty-four guns each, and two ships to carry thirty-six guns each."

1890: (Admiral Sir) Frederick Hew George Dalrymple-Hamilton (KCB) was born. The son of Col Hon. North de Coigny Dalrymple-Hamilton, MVO, of Bargany, Girvan, Ayrshire, and the grandson of the 10th Earl of Stair.
Frederick Dalrymple-Hamilton would go on to join the Royal Navy in 1905 and serve in World War I and World War 2. During WW2, he would be involved with both the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck, and the D-Day landings.

1899: Inventor. entrepreneur, and businessman Guglielmo Marconi demonstates the first international radio transmission across the English Chanel from Wimereux, France to the South Foreland Lighthouse, England.


Guglielmo Marconi with early apparatus in England, 1896.

1941: The naval 'Battle of Cape Matapan' is fought from 27th - 29th March 1941 off the southwest coast of Greece's Peloponnesian peninsula, when a force of British Royal Navy ships accompanied by several Royal Australian Navy ships, under command of British Admiral Andrew Cunningham, intercept and sink or severely damage ships of the Italian Regia Marina under Admiral Angelo Iachino. The opening actions of the battle are also known in Italy as the 'Battle of Gaudo'.
             

Italian Battleship 'Vittorio Veneto' fires her 15in guns on British cruisers, before being torpedoed by RN aircraft.

1943: In the Firth of Clyde, between Brodick on the island of Arran, and Ardrossan on the mainland, escort aircraft carrier H.M.S. 'Dasher' was engaged in deck landing exercises when she was rocked by a tremendous explosion. Further explosions and an intense fire on the hangar deck, resulted in the rapid sinking of the vessel.
Those that could reach an exit had jumped overboard, where they were now at risk from the burning fuel oil & aviation fuel that was floating on the surface of the freezing water, or (ironically) from hypothermia.
No absolute cause for the explosion(s) was determined at the time, which was responsible for the loss of 379 crew from a complement of 528.
Speculation exists that one corpse from the sinking was used during the British deception operation 'Mincemeat'...


The newly commissioned H.M.S. 'Dasher' with Fairey 'Swordfish' of 837 squadron, in late July 1942.

1943: On the morning of 27th March, the 'Battle of the Komandorski Island's occurs in the North Pacific area of the Pacific Ocean, when United States Navy forces intercept a Japanese convoy attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska. Because of the remote location of the battle near the Soviet Komandorski Islands, neither fleet had air or submarine support, making this one of the few engagements exclusively between surface ships in the Pacific Theatre and one of the last pure gunnery duels in naval history

1945: Twenty Avro Lancasters of No. 617 Squadron attacked the Valentin submarine pens, near Bremen, Germany. The huge, nearly-ready structure with a concrete roof up to 23 ft thick in places, was hit by two Grand Slam bombs which penetrated parts of the pen with a 14ft 5 inches thick roof, rendering the shelter unusable. No aircraft were lost.


Grand Slammed! - A 15-ft thick reinforced ferro-concrete U-Boat pen roof,
penetrated by a 22,000lb MC Grand Slam bomb.

1964: Radio Caroline began test broadcasts during the evening of 27th March 1964, from a former Danish ferry, the 'Fredericia' renamed MV 'Caroline', anchored three miles off the coast of Felixstowe, just outside British territorial waters. Regular programming commenced at noon the following day (28th March).


'Pirate'-radio ship MV 'Caroline' (formerly Fredericia) off Ramsey, Isle-of-Man.

1980: During a storm in the North Sea, early in the evening of 27th March, more than 200 men were off-duty on the Norwegian accomadarion platform 'Alexander L. Kielland' when it suffered a catastrophic failure to one of the support legs, causing it to collapse before capsizing.
Although some of the crew-members managed to get to the lifeboats before the platform flipped completely over, others had already been thrown into the sea when the rig first began to tilt. of the 212 crew-members on board the platform at the time of the accident, 123 were killed.


Oil-rig 'Edda 2/7C' on the left, and the Flotel 'Alexander L. Kielland' on the right.

2004: After being left in a state of disrepair since decommissioning in 1993, Royal Navy Leander-class frigate H.M.S. 'Scylla' (F71) was sunk off Whitsand Bay, Cornwall to form an artificial reef; the first of its kind in Europe.


The moments before H.M.S. 'Scylla' began her new role as 'Scylla Reef' off Cornwall, England.
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Capt Podge

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #251 on: March 27, 2013, 10:52:18 PM »

Thursday, 27th March 1941   
'SS Faraday' (5,533t) a cable ship was ½ a mile off St Abbs Head when she was attacked by German aircraft, she caught fire and sank twelve hours later. Sixteen of her one hundred and twenty-five crew were killed. Ninety miles of cable have been salvaged from the wreck. She was built in 1923.
'SS Isorna' (6,809t) was wrecked on the Collith Hole, north of Beadnell Point.
'SS Somali' (6,809t) was bombed yesterday by German aircraft off Blyth, she was taken in tow by the tug 'Sea Giant', when off Beadnell Point near Seahouses, fire broke out and after a tremendous explosion she sank in 110ft of water. She was located at 55°33'09"N - 01°36'04"W in 1973, her forward section was missing but she was upright, her after gun deck was intact with the deck fittings still in place. Much has been salvaged for souvenirs, including many lead soldiers. It was rumoured that she was carrying explosives, which would then explain the huge -explosion, though her manifest only listed a general cargo of shoes, gas masks and batteries etc. She was built in 1930.
'SS Koranton' (6,695t) cargo ship, Philadelphia to Hull was sunk by U 98 in the North Atlantic.
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - March 28th "The Greatest Raid"
« Reply #252 on: March 28, 2013, 05:04:57 AM »

March 28th...

1942: At 23:30hrs on 27th March, five RAF squadrons (comprising 35 x Whitleys and 27 x  Wellingtons) started a series of bombing runs over a harbour-town on the west coast of France.
By staying above 6,000ft, only bombing clearly identified military targets and dropping only one bomb at a time, they managed to prolong their attack, in an attempt to draw attention towards themselves and away from the sea.
The air-raid had been a diversion; the harbour-town was Saint-Nazaire; the real raid was just about to begin...
 
The Saint-Nazaire Raid aka 'Operation Chariot' was a successful British amphibious attack on the heavily defended Normandie dry dock at Saint-Nazaire in German-occupied France during the Second World War. The operation was undertaken by the Royal Navy and British Commandos under the auspices of Combined Operations Headquarters on 28th March 1942.

Saint-Nazaire was targeted because the loss of its dry dock would force any large German warship in need of repairs, such as the Tirpitz, to return to home waters rather than having a safe haven available on the Atlantic coast.


H.M.S. 'Campbeltown' being converted for the Saint-Nazaire Raid. There are twin lines of armour plate down each side of the ship and the Oerlikon mountings. Two of her funnels have been removed, with the remaining two cut at an angle.

The obsolete destroyer H.M.S. 'Campbeltown', disguised as a German Mowe-class destroyer and accompanied by 18 smaller craft, crossed the English Channel to the Atlantic coast of France and was rammed into the Normandie dock gates. The ship had been packed with delayed-action explosives, well hidden within a steel and concrete case, that detonated later that day, putting the dock out of service for the remainder of the war and for several years after.


British Motor Gun Boat No.314.

A force of commandos landed to destroy machinery and other structures. Heavy German gunfire sank, set ablaze or immobilised all the small craft intended to transport the commandos back to England; the commandos had to fight their way out through the town to try to escape overland. They were forced to surrender when their ammunition was expended and they were surrounded.


Vosper 70ft MTB No.74, specially modified for Saint-Nazaire raid.

After the raid 228 men of the force of 622 returned to Britain; 169 were killed and 215 became prisoners of war. German casualties were over 360 dead, mostly killed after the raid when 'Campbeltown' exploded.
Eighty-nine decorations were awarded to members of the raiding party, including five Victoria Crosses. After the war Saint-Nazaire was one of 38 battle honours awarded to the Commandos. The operation has since become known as...
"The Greatest Raid"


H.M.S. 'Campbeltown' wedged in the dry-dock gates at Saint-Nazaire,
prior to the detonation of her hidden high-explosive cargo.

This post gives a very basic account of the raid at Saint-Nazaire. I've added the links below which tell the incredible story and provide all the details which can't realistically be included above.
http://www.historynet.com/raid-on-st-nazaire-operation-chariot
http://www.stnazairesociety.org/Pages/index.html
http://www.jamesgdorrian.com/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Nazaire_Raid
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - March 28th
« Reply #253 on: March 28, 2013, 07:34:30 PM »

March 28th...

845: Arriving in a fleet of 120 ships, Viking invaders (probably) under Ragnar Lodbrok, sacked the city of Paris, and held it to ransom. Charles the Bald, the King of West Francia, agreed to pay the bounty in exchange for sparing the city.
According to Viking stories, Ragnar Lodbrok and his warriors left with no less than 7,000 pounds of silver.
Repeated invasions forced Parisians to build a fortress on the Île de la Cité.


A Norse, a Norse, my Kingdom for...    ...7000lbs of Silver actually, s'il vous plaît.

1814: H.M.S. 'Phoebe' and H.M.S. 'Cherub' capture U.S.S. 'Essex' off Valparaiso, Chile, as she attempted to break out of the harbour. 'Phoebe' and 'Cherub' also captured 'Essex's' tender, 'Essex Junior', the ex-British whaler 'Atlantic'.
U.S.S. 'Essex' was sailed to England, where the Admiralty had her repaired and taken into the Royal Navy as H.M.S. 'Essex'. She served as H.M.S. 'Essex' until sold at public auction in June 1837.


Illustation of U.S.S. 'Essex' (1799).

1910: Henri Fabre becomes the first person to fly a seaplane, the 'Fabre Hydravion', after it took off from the surface of the Etang de Berre and flew for a distance of 1500ft on 28th March 1910 at Martigues, France.
Apart from the achievement of being the first seaplane in history, Fabre had no flying experience before that day. He flew the floatplane successfully three more times that day and within a week he had flown a distance of 3.5 miles.


Henri Fabre on his 'Fabre Hydravion', named The Duck (Le Canard).

1967: Facing increasing criticism for delays in dealing with the worlds first 'Supertanker' disaster, that of the 'Torrey Canyon' lying broken and aground off Cornwall, the British government decide their best option is to destroy the ship and burn off what remains of its leaking cargo.
On 28th March, the Fleet Air Arm sent eight Blackburn Buccaneer from RNAS 'Lossiemouth' to drop forty-two 1,000 lb bombs on the ship. Then, RAF Hawker Hunters from RAF 'Chivenor' dropped cans of aviation fuel to make the oil blaze - a spectacle many flocked to the coast to watch.
However, with the ship refusing to sink, the mission was called off when particularly high spring tides put the fires out.


The column of thick black smoke billowing into the sky from the burning wreck
of 'Torrey Canyon', could be seen upto 100 miles away, March 1967.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - March 29th
« Reply #254 on: March 29, 2013, 10:24:54 AM »

March 29th... The 'Terra Nova' Expedition - Return from the South Pole.

1912: Lieutenant Henry Robertson "Birdie" Bowers, RIM, died on or around 29th March 1912*, in the company of Robert Scott and "Uncle Bill" Wilson, whilst sheltering from a fierce blizzard, encountered as they returned from the South Pole as part of the British Antarctic Expedition under the command of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, C.V.O., R.N.

On 20th March, Scott, Wilson and Bowers had struggled on to a point just 11 miles south of 'One Ton Depot', but were halted by a fierce blizzard. Each day they attempted to advance, but were prevented by the extreme conditions outside their tent.
Now weak, cold and hungry, their food and fuel supplies ran out, leaving them little option other than to await their seemingly inevitable demise.
"As the troubles have thickened about us his dauntless spirit ever shone brighter
and he has remained cheerful, hopeful, and indomitable to the end"



Lieutenant Henry "Birdie" Bowers (29th July 1883 - 29th March 1912*).

* Robert Scott's last diary entry, dated 29th March 1912, is the presumed date of death.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - March 29th
« Reply #255 on: March 29, 2013, 03:18:06 PM »

March 29th... The 'Terra Nova' Expedition - Return from the South Pole.

1912: Dr. Edward Adrian Wilson, FZS, (aka "Uncle Bill") died on or around 29th March 1912*, in the company of Robert Falcon Scott and "Birdie" Bowers, whilst sheltering from a a fierce blizzard, encountered as they returned from the South Pole as part of the British Antarctic Expedition under the command of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, C.V.O., R.N..

Affectionately nicknamed 'Uncle Bill' by the men of the expedition, Wilson was probably Scott's closest companion.
Scott wrote "Words must always fail me when I talk of Bill Wilson. I believe he really is the finest character I ever met."
When Scott's final camp was discovered by a search team in November 1912, Bowers and Wilson were found frozen in their sleeping bags. Scott's bag was open and his body partially out of his bag - his left arm was extended across Wilson.

"A brave, true man - the best of comrades and staunchest of friends"


Edward A. "Uncle Bill" Wilson (23rd July 1872  - 29th March 1912*).

* Robert Scott's last diary entry, dated 29th March 1912, is the presumed date of death.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - March 29th
« Reply #256 on: March 29, 2013, 04:48:52 PM »

March 29th... The 'Terra Nova' Expedition - Return from the South Pole.

1912: Captain Robert Falcon Scott, C.V.O., R.N., died on or around 29th March 1912*, in the company of "Uncle Bill" Wilson and "Birdie" Bowers, whilst sheltering from a fierce blizzard, encountered as they returned from the South Pole as part of the British Antarctic Expedition.

During his last few days, as supplies ran out, with frozen fingers, little light, and storms still raging outside the tent, Scott wrote the final entry in his diary on 29th March;

“Since the 21st we have had a continuous gale from W.S.W and S.W. We had fuel to make two cups of tea apiece and bare food for two days on the 20th.
Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for better things now.
We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far.

It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more,  R. Scott - For God's sake look after our people"



Captain Robert Falcon Scott (6th June 1868 – 29th March 1912*).

* Robert Scott's last diary entry, dated 29th March 1912, is the presumed date of death.
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Capt Podge

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #257 on: March 29, 2013, 08:43:51 PM »

Saturday, 29th March 1941   'SS Hylton' (5,197t) cargo ship, Vancouver to the Tyne with timber, was sunk by U 48, S of Iceland.
 
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - March 29th
« Reply #258 on: March 29, 2013, 09:16:06 PM »

March 29th...

1825: One of the last successful Caribbean pirates, Roberto Cofresí, better known as "El Pirata Cofresí," was defeated in combat and captured by authorities between 2nd-5th March and executed by firing squad on 29th March 29th, along with other members of his crew.
Cofresí's life story, particularly in its Robin Hood "steal from the rich, give to the poor" aspect, has become legendary in Puerto Rico and throughout the rest of Latin America. It has inspired countless songs, poems, books and films. The entire town of Cofresí, near Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, was named after him.


Puerto Rican hero of the people, "El Pirata Cofresí".

1848: An enormous ice dam formed at the source of the Niagara River on the eastern shore of Lake Erie. Just after midnight, the thunderous sound of water surging over the great falls at Niagara came to a halt as the flow of water became severely restricted due to the ice jam. The eerie silence persisted throughout the day and into the next evening until the waters of Lake Erie broke through the blockage and resumed their course down the river and over the falls.

1912: Stranded in his tent due to the horrendous conditions outside, and suffering from the effects of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold, Captain Robert F. Scott writes the last entry in his diary and prepares several letters for the families of himself and his two companions.

1930: On 28th March, submarine H.M.S. 'L-1' broke free from her tow as she was being taken from Chatham to Newport to be scrapped. She eventually drifted ashore at Penawell Cove, Cornwall, on the 29th March 1930.


H.M.S. 'L-1' lying on the beach At Penawall Cove, Cornwall.

1967: 'Le Redoutable' (S611), the first ballistic missile submarine (SNLE) of the French Navy is launched. It will be another four and a half years before she is commissioned (Dec 1971).
In 2002, now decommissioned, she opened as a museum ship at the Cité de la Mer naval museum in Cherbourg, France. She is Believed to be the largest submarine open to the public and the only complete ballistic missile submarine hull open to the public.



1967: It was decided at first light this morning to carry on bombing the 'Torrey Canyon', aground and broken off the coast of Cornwall. Holiday makers gathered on the cliffs to watch the spectacle as she was attacked by 'Sea Vixens' from the RNAS 'Yeovilton', 'Buccaneers' from the Naval Air Station at Brawdy, and RAF 'Hunters' carrying liquified petroleum jelly (not napalm, as HMG denied that the UK forces had stocks of Napalm), to ignite the oil.

'Torrey Canyon' finally sank after the RAF and the Royal Navy had dropped 62,000lbs of bombs, 5,200 gallons of petrol, 11 rockets and large quantities of a 'Napalm-like substance' (not Napalm though!) onto the ship.

This was not to quite the end of the matter, as the government was strongly criticised for its handling of the incident, which was (at that time) the costliest shipping disaster ever.
The environmental disaster had been made far worse by the heavy use of detergent to disperse the slick. A marine-environment report concluded that the detergent killed far more marine life than the oil.
The RAF and the Royal Navy received both criticism and ridicule for the fact that a quarter of the bombs they dropped, failed to hit a 975-feet long, stationary target.


A 'Sea Vixen' taking off from RNAS 'Yeovilton', c1972.
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BrianB6

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #259 on: March 29, 2013, 09:34:14 PM »

Captain Scotts last letter has now been published;-
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-21963722
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Capt Podge

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #260 on: March 30, 2013, 12:23:16 AM »

Sunday, 30th March 1941   'SS Coultarn' (3,759t) cargo ship, Hull to Texas sunk by U 69, SW of Iceland.
 
 Friday, 30th March 1945   'SS Jim' (833t) bound for Dieppe was sunk, possibly, by a German midget submarine off Aldeburgh.
 
 
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
 
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - March 30th
« Reply #261 on: March 30, 2013, 08:39:07 PM »

March 30th...

1899: English passenger ferry 'Stella' a passenger ferry in service with the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) was travelling to the Channel Islands with 147 passengers and 43 crew on board.
Many of the passengers were travelling to the Channel Islands for an Easter holiday or returning home there during the Easter break. '

'Stella' departed from Southampton at 11:25hrs for St Peter Port, Guernsey. After passing The Needles, she proceeded at full speed across the Channel until some fog banks were encountered and speed was reduced twice while passing through these.
Approaching the Channel Islands, another fog bank was encountered, but speed was not reduced. Shortly before 16:00hrs, the fog signal from the Casquets Lighthouse was heard and the Casquets came into view directly ahead. Captain Reeks ordered the engines full astern and attempted to turn away from the rocks, but 'Stella' scraped along two rocks, and her bottom was ripped open by a submerged granite reef.

'Stella' sank in eight minutes. Four lifeboats were successfully launched, while a fifth capsized. The Women and children first protocol was observed, although one stewardess, Mary Ann Rogers, gave up her lifejacket and refused a place in a lifeboat. The capsized lifeboat was later righted by a freak wave and 12 people managed to climb into it. Four of these died of exposure during the night. The eight remaining survivors were rescued by the French Naval tug 'Marsouin'.

One lifeboat, with 38 survivors on board, had a cutter in tow with 29 survivors on board. These two boats were sighted at 07:00hrs on 31st March by the LSWR steamship 'Vera'. They were picked up and landed at St Helier, Jersey. The other cutter, with 24 survivors on board, had a dinghy in tow with 13 survivors on board. They were picked up by the Great Western Railway (GWR) steamship 'Lynx', sailing from Weymouth to St Peter Port. In all 86 passengers died, along with 19 crew.


Photograph of the London and South Western Railway steamship SS 'Stella,
launched 1890', wrecked 1899.

1914: During a seal hunt in Newfoundland, the SS 'Newfoundland' had become jammed in the ice. However, when the captain of the 'Newfoundland' saw signals from the SS 'Stephano' indicating that there were seals several miles away, he sent his crew in that direction to begin killing seals, under command of his first mate.

That afternoon a storm began, and both ship's captains thought that their respective crews were safely aboard the other man's vessel - unfortunately this was not the case. It could not be confirmed due to the fateful decision made before the fleet sailed to the hunting grounds, to remove the wireless set and operator from the SS 'Newfoundland', in order to cut costs

Consequently, 'Newfoundland's' captain, believing that the men were aboard 'Stephano', did not blow the ship's whistle to signal his location which would have allowed his men to find the ship in the darkness and rain. The sealers endured two nights without shelter on the ice, first in a freezing rain storm and then in a snow storm, with predictable consequences.

When the dead and survivors alike were picked up approximately 48 hours later by another ship in the fleet, the SS 'Bellaventure', under Captain R. Isaac. Of the 132 men that set out aboard the SS 'Newfoundland', 78 died, and many more were seriously injured.


A superb scale model of the SS 'Newfoundland'.
See the 'Age of Sail' website for more images.

1918: Off the coast of Ireland near Helvick Head, the SS 'Lough Fisher' was attacked by the German submarine SM U-101. The submarine opened fire with her deck gun, sinking 418-ton coaster with thirteen crew (possibly 14).


The SS 'Lough Fisher'

1945: Three days after the RAF had severely damaged the U-Boat Pens at Valentin with 'Grand Slam' bombs, the U.S. Eighth Air Force attacked Valentin with 'Disney' bombs - These were large (4,500 lb) bombs with hard steel casings, and rocket-assistance to increase their penetrating power.
Sixty were launched but only one hit the target, causing little damage. However, considerable damage was done to installations surrounding the bunker.

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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - March 31st
« Reply #262 on: March 31, 2013, 09:07:52 PM »

March 31st...

1520: 'Magellan's Voyage around the World (1519-1522): Having sailed down the east coast of South America from Rio de Janeiro, Magellan's fleet of five ships arrive at Puerto San Julian, where they anchored and prepared to establish a settlement for overwintering.


1774: The Boston Port Act (or Trade Act), being an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain, became law on 31st March 1774, and was to take effect from 1st June. It was a response to the Massachusetts colony's protests of British taxes, most notably the incident that become known as the Boston Tea Party of 1773.
The act closed the port of Boston through a blockade by the Royal Navy. This was an attempt to coerce the repayment of customs and restitution to the East India Company for their lost revenue, and to re-exert British control of the colonies.

Long Title: "An act to discontinue, in such manner, and for such time as are therein mentioned, the landing and discharging, lading or shipping, of goods, wares, and merchandise, at the town, and within the harbour, of Boston, in the province of Massachusetts Bay, in North America."

Royal Coat of Arms of Great Britain, 1714 -1800.

1838: The 'Great Western' sailed for Avonmouth (Bristol) to start her maiden voyage to New York. Before reaching Avonmouth, a fire broke out in the engine room. During the confusion Brunel fell 20 feet, and was injured. The fire was extinguished, and the damages to the ship were minimal, but Brunel had to be put ashore at Canvey Island. As a result of the accident, more than 50 passengers canceled their bookings for the Bristol-New York voyage and when 'Great Western' finally departed Avonmouth, only 7 passengers were aboard.


The 'Great Western', by Samuel Walter.

1909: The Port of London Authority (PLA) is founded, when it becomes necessary to bring order to the chaos and congestion that prevailed on the Thames as rival wharfs, docks and river users battled for business in the late 1800's

1909: At Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, the first keel plate is laid for a ship with the designated yard number '401'. The plate is, 52" wide, 1.5 inches thick, and weighs over 3 tons. The ship won't be given a name until the hull is completed and launched. Then she will be called 'Titanic'. 

1914: The 'Southern Cross', a steam-powered sealing vessel that operated primarily in Norway, Newfoundland and Labrador, was lost in stormy seas off the Newfoundland coast sometime between 31st March and 3rd April, as she was returning from the same seal hunt that had already cost the lives of 78 crewman from the SS 'Newfoundland' (on 30th March).
Believed to have gone down in the vicinity of Cape Pine, the disappearance of the 'Southern Cross' remains largely unexplained as all 174 men aboard were lost and no record of the voyage survived.
The combined tragedies of the 'Newfoundland' and the 'Southern Cross' came to be known as the "1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster".


Expedition ship SS 'Southern Cross' in the Derwent, Tasmania. Previously used on The British Antarctic Expedition, 1898–1900, she was built in Norway in 1886 as whaling ship 'Pollux'.

1968: 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea', the 1960's American science fiction television series based on the 1961 film of the same name, ended it's first full run. Comprised of 110 episodes across 4 seasons, the first two seasons took place in the then future of the 1970's, and the final two seasons took place in the 1980's. 'Voyage' was the decade's longest-running American science fiction television series with continuing characters.


The TV-series version of S.S.R.N. 'Seaview' - The movie version had eight forward windows.

1992: The U.S.S. 'Missouri', the last active United States Navy battleship, is decommissioned in Long Beach, California. 'Missouri' remained part of the reserve fleet at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, until January 1995, when she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register.

1995: The U.S. Coast Guard Communication Area Master Station Atlantic sent a final message by Morse code and then signed off, officially ending more than 100 years of telegraph communications.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 1st
« Reply #263 on: April 01, 2013, 09:07:18 PM »

April 1st...

1520: 'Magellan's Voyage around the World (1519-1522): During Easter (1st - 2nd April) at Magellan's 'Puerto San Julian' overwintering settlement, a mutiny broke out involving three of the five ship captains.
Magellan took quick and decisive action, resulting in the recovery of the 'Victoria' and her captain being killed; The mutineers aboard 'Concepcion' surrendered to the well-armed 'Trinidad' and were later executed; and the head of the mutineers on the 'San Antonio' subsequently gave up and was left marooned with a priest named Padre Sanchez de la Reina.
Men that were needed were forgiven.
Reportedly those killed were drawn, quartered and impaled on the coast. Years later, their bones were found by Sir Francis Drake.


One of several full-size replica's of the nao (aka a carrack) 'Victoria'.

1836: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): 'Beagle' arrived at the Keeling Islands. They put in at Port Refuge first and then sailed to Direction Island under very high winds.
Composed entirely of coral, the Keeling Islands were discovered by Capt. William Keeling in 1608 (they are now called the Cocos Islands). Darwin surmised that they were once part of a large submerged coral reef. 'Beagle' would spend several days here, surveying the islands.


1918: The Royal Air Force (RAF) is formed on 1st April 1918 by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, and is the oldest independent air force in the world.
The design for the RAF Ensign (below) was approved by King George V in 1921, after much opposition from the Admiralty, who have the right to approve or veto any flag flown ashore or on board ship.


The RAF Ensign is flown from the flagstaff on every RAF station during daylight hours.

1941: The 'Blockade Runner Badge' was instituted on 1st April 1941. The WW2I German military decoration was awarded for service on warships or merchant vessels (also allied) that attempted or managed to break the Allied sea blockade of Germany. It was first awarded on 1st July of the same year. A smaller half-size version was awarded for use by civilians and members of the merchant marine.


German Blockade Runner Badge from 1941.

2000: A rare 'Abwehr' Enigma machine, designated G312, as used by the Germans to encode messages during World War II was stolen from the Bletchley Park Museum in Buckinghamshire, south-east England.
The machine's whereabouts remained a mystery until in September 2000, police began receiving letters from a man saying he was acting on behalf of someone who had bought it. The letter writer demanded £25,000 for its safe return.
Two weeks later, BBC television presenter Jeremy Paxman opened a parcel at his office at Television Centre, London. It contained the missing Enigma machine.
The machine was missing three of its four encryption rotor wheels, but they were later also returned safely.

2001: An aerial collision between a United States Navy EP-3E ARIES II, a signals reconnaissance version of the P-3C, and a People's Liberation Army Navy J-8IIM fighter results in an international incident between the United States and China. The J-8IIM crashed and its pilot was killed. The EP-3 came close to becoming uncontrollable, at one point sustaining a near inverted roll, but was able to make an emergency landing on Hainan. The crew and plane were subsequently detained by Chinese authorities, accused of "killing the Chinese pilot".


A Lockheed EP-3 Orion of fleet reconnaissance squadron VQ-1 World Watchers.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 2nd
« Reply #264 on: April 02, 2013, 10:12:44 PM »

April 2nd...

1595: The 'Compagnie van Verre' (Company of Distant Lands), a forerunner to the Dutch East India Company, set up by nine citizens of Amsterdam to break Portugal's monopoly on the pepper trade, sends an expedition of three heavily-armed ships and a pinnace, under the leadership of Cornelis de Houtman with orders to break into the trade.
On 2nd April 1595 the ships set off from Texel, with 248 officers and men on board. The expedition (which became known as the First Schipvaart) followed the routes described by Jan Huygen van Linschoten after he had made the journey in the pay of the Portuguese.

1801: The Battle of Copenhagen sees a British fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker fight and strategically defeat a Danish-Norwegian fleet anchored just off Copenhagen on 2nd April 1801.
Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson led the main attack. He famously is reputed to have disobeyed Sir Hyde Parker's order to withdraw by holding the telescope to his blind eye to look at the signals from Parker. But Parker's signals had given him permission to withdraw at his discretion, and Nelson declined. His action in proceeding resulted in the destruction of many of the Dano-Norwegian ships before a truce was agreed. Copenhagen is often considered to be Nelson's hardest-fought battle.


The Battle of Copenhagen, as painted by Nicholas Pocock. The British line is diagonally across the foreground, the city of Copenhagen in the background and the Danish line between. The ships in the left foreground are British bomb vessels.

1908: H.M.S. 'Berwick', a Monmouth-class armoured cruiser of the Royal Navy, collided with the destroyer 'Tiger' when the destroyer crossed 'Berwick's' bows during an exercise in the English Channel, south of the Isle of Wight. 'Tiger' was sliced in two and sank with the loss of 28 lives.
H.M.S. 'Berwick' survived the collision and went on to serve throughout the First World War with most of her sisters, eventually being sold for scrap in 1920.


H.M.S. 'Berwick', a Monmouth-class Amoured Cruiser

1942: Accompanied by Task Force 18, aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Hornet' departs from the Naval Air Station at Alameda, with 16 specially modified B-25 bombers lashed to her deck. A few days later, the 'Hornet' would rendezvous with Task Force 16, commanded by Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., the carrier U.S.S. 'Enterprise' and her escort of cruisers and destroyers in the mid-Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii, before sailing towards Japan to launch the 'Doolittle' air-raids on the Japanese home islands.


View from the island of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Hornet' (CV-8), while en route to the "Doolittle Raid" mission's launching point. The light cruiser U.S.S. 'Nashville' (CL-43) is in the distance.

1966: At 2900 feet beneath surface of the Mediterranean Sea, off the Spanish coast from the small fishing village of Palomares, Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) 'Alvin' relocates the 1.45 megaton hydrogen bomb, that it originally located on 15th March at a depth of 2,550 feet, until it was temporarily lost again after being dropped by the U.S. Navy during the attempt to recovery it.


DSV 'Alvin'.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 3rd
« Reply #265 on: April 03, 2013, 08:11:49 PM »

April 3rd...

1792: Admiral Sir George Pocock, KB, aged 86 years, died at Curzon Street, Mayfair, London.
Pocock was from Chieveley in Berkshire, the son of Thomas Pocock, a chaplain in the navy. George Pocock entered the Royal Navy in 1718, serving aboard H.M.S. 'Superb' under the patronage of his maternal uncle, Captain Streynsham Master. He became lieutenant in April 1725, commander in 1733, and post-captain in 1738.
After serving in the West Indies he was sent to the East Indies Station in 1754 as captain of the 58-gun H.M.S. 'Cumberland' with Rear-Admiral Charles Watson. Watson's squadron co-operated with Clive in the conquest of Bengal.
In 1755 Pocock became rear-admiral, and was promoted to vice-admiral in 1756. In 1761 was made a Knight of the Bath and admiral.


Vice-Admiral George Pocock (6th March 1706 – 3rd April 1792).
Portrait by Thomas Hudson.

1832: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): The 'Beagle' arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the crew received its first mail from England. Darwin learned that his former girlfriend, Fanny Owen, was now married (last May) to a wealthy politician named Robert Biddulph. He stayed onshore, perhaps to recover from his sea-sickness, while the Beagle surveyed around Cape Frio. While surveying a small cove, eleven of the crew went onshore to explore the Rio Racacu. At some time during this inland trek Charles Musters (volunteer 1st class), Morgan (seaman) and Jones (a boy) came down with malaria and died a short time later.

1884: White Cross liner SS 'Daniel Steinmann' was part of the company's small fleet of four ships running passenger and cargo service between London and Hull to New York.
On this day in 1884, whilst sailing in heavy weather and fog, the Captain of the SS 'Daniel Steinmann' mistook the Sambro island light near Halifax, Nova Scotia, for Chebucto head.
The ship first grounded and passed Mad Rock shoal before striking on Gardner shoal.
As evacuation began, a rogue wave swept the decks and she slipped off the shoal, sinking almost instantly with only her topsail yards exposed above water.
hen one of 'Daniel Steinmann' own lifeboats came ashore, the lighthouse keepers manned it to rescue those still alive. Of over 130 people aboard, only three passengers and six crew survived. Following hard on the losses of two other vessels, the tragic wreck spelled the end of the White Cross Line.


White Cross liner 'Daniel Steinmann'

1944: On the morning of 3rd April 1944, the Fleet Air Arm attack the German battleship 'Tirpitz' with heavy and medium sized bombs as she was about to move off from her anchorage at Alten Fjord, Norway.
Fairey Barracuda bombers were escorted and covered by Supermarine Seafire, Chance-Vought Corsair, Grumman Hellcat, and Grumman Wildcat fighters from H.M.S. 'Furious' and H.M.S. 'Victorious', which had sailed from Scapa Flow to within 120 miles of the Norwegian coast in the company of a powerful force of battleships and escort carriers, as a part of 'Operation Tungsten' under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Henry R. Moore.
During the attack the battleship suffered multiple bomb hits, over one hundred crew members were killed and over three hundred wounded. The British aircraft failed to sink 'Tirpitz', but inflicted considerable damage which took months to repair. Three British aircraft and nine aircrew were lost during the operation.


The wake of a fast moving motor boat can be seen hurrying away from the battered 'Tirpitz' as a huge cloud rises from an early bomb hit on the German battleship.

1954:Oxford won the 100th Boat Race in rough conditions on the River Thames. The victorious Dark Blues beat Cambridge - known as the Light Blues - by four-and-a-half lengths despite windy conditions and rough waters along the four-and-a-quarter mile course from Putney to Mortlake.


Poster for the 100th Boat Race, 1954,
designed for London Transport by Ian Ribbons.

1973: Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first handheld mobile phone call to Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs, though it took ten years for the DynaTAC 8000X to become the first such phone to be commercially released.

1981: The 'Osborne 1', the first successful portable computer, was unveiled at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco.
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Capt Podge

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #266 on: April 03, 2013, 08:35:14 PM »

Thursday, 3rd April 1941   'SS Alderpool' (4,313t) cargo ship, United States to Hull, sunk by U 48. SW of Iceland.
 


 
 
The Harbour Defence Patrol Craft 'Bahram' was mined off the Humber.
 
 
The auxiliary patrol vessel 'Fortuna' (259t) was also attacked and sunk by enemy aircraft off St Abbs Head. She was built in 1906.
 
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 4th
« Reply #267 on: April 04, 2013, 10:04:35 PM »

April 4th...

1581: Queen Elizabeth awards Sir Francis Drake a knighthood aboard 'Golden Hind' in Deptford on 4th April 1581 following his circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580.
The dubbing was performed by a French diplomat, Monsieur de Marchaumont, who was negotiating for Elizabeth to marry the King of France's brother, Francis, Duke of Anjou. By getting the French diplomat involved in the knighting, Elizabeth was gaining the implicit political support of the French for Drake's actions.


A replica of Sir Francis Drake's ship, the 'Golden Hind' (formerly 'The Pelican').

1789: Following an enforced stop over on the island of Tahiti, H.M.S. 'Bounty' finally weighed anchor and made for the open sea having on board 1015 fine bread-fruit plants, besides many other valuable fruits of that country.

It had been noticed that as the date for departure grew closer, William Bligh's outbursts against his officers became more frequent. One witness reported that "Whatever fault was found, Mr. Christian was sure to bear the brunt." Tensions rose among the men, who faced the prospect of a long and dangerous voyage that would take them through the uncharted Endeavour Strait followed by many months of hard sailing. Bligh was impatient to be away, but in Hough's words he "failed to anticipate how his company would react to the severity and austerity of life at sea ... after five dissolute, hedonistic months at Tahiti".


A replica of H.M.S. 'Bounty'.

1909: built by William Cramp & Sons in 1873, SS 'Indiana' was the third of a series of four Pennsylvania-class passenger-cargo vessels. 'Indiana' and her three sister ships (Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois) were the largest iron ships ever built in the United States at the time of their construction, and among the first to be fitted with compound steam engines. They were also the first ships to challenge British dominance of the transatlantic trade since the American Civil War.

Her long and varied 36-year career came to an end during her period of ownership by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company which utilised her from New York to South America as well as in the Northwest. On April 4, 1909,  in a heavy fog 'Indiana' was grounded off Cape Tosco, Isla Santa Margarita, Mexico. The accident tore out the ship's bottom, flooding her three holds and engine compartment to a depth of about sixteen feet. Fortunately, passengers, cargo and crew were safely removed by the cruiser U.S.S. 'Albany' and the tugs Fortune and Navajo. The vessel's wreckage was subsequently sold for $5,000 salvage.


SS 'Indiana' - c.1889-1893. The ship's stack appears to be painted in the Red Star Line's colour scheme.

1933: At around 12:30hrs on 4th April, helium-filled rigid airship U.S.S. 'Akron' (ZRS-4) was struggling in severe weather conditions near Barnegat Light, New Jersey. A sudden updraft, followed almost immediately by a downdraft, resulted in the nose pitching upwards and the tail rotating down, until the lower fin struck the water and was torn away. The gondola was still hundreds of feet above the water, but control was lost.
ZRS-4 rapidly broke up and sank in the stormy Atlantic. The crew of the nearby German motorship 'Phoebus' saw lights descending toward the ocean and altered course to starboard to investigate, believing they were witnessing a plane crash. At 12:55hrs, an unconscious Commander Wiley was pulled from the water while the ship's boat picked up three more men.

Although the German sailors spotted four or five other men in the water, they did not know their ship had chanced upon the crash of 'Akron' until Lieutenant Commander Wiley regained consciousness half an hour after being rescued. The crew of 'Phoebus' combed the ocean in boats for over five hours in a fruitless search for more survivors. The Navy blimp J-3 was sent out to join the search and also crashed, with the loss of two men.

The United States Coast Guard cutter 'Tucker' arrived at 06:00hrs, and was joined by the heavy cruiser 'Portland', the destroyer 'Cole', the Coast Guard cutter 'Mojave', and the Coast Guard destroyers 'McDougal' and 'Hunt', as well as two Coast Guard aircraft. The F/V Grace F out of Gloucester MA also assisted in the search, employing her seining gear in an effort to recover bodies. Most casualties had been caused by drowning and hypothermia, as the crew had not been issued life jackets, and there had not been time to deploy the single life raft.
The accident left 73 dead, and only three survivors - More than twice the number killed than on the Hindenburg, and remains America's worst airship disaster for loss of life.


U.S.S. 'Akron' (ZRS-4) in flight, 1931.

1942: On 4th April a Consolidated Catalina patrol aircraft of No.205 Squadron RAF reports that a Japanese carrier task force is approaching Ceylon. On the following day, 150 Japanese aircraft attack Colombo harbour in the hope of surprising the Royal Navy's Far Eastern Fleet at anchor. However, the fleet is at sea.
Subsequently, 36 Hawker Hurricanes of No.30 and No.258 Squadrons, together with six Fairey Fulmars of No.803 and No.806 Squadrons, Fleet Air Arm, take off to intercept the enemy over the sea, having been alerted by radar. The British aircraft are outclassed by the Mitsubishi A6M 'Zero' fighters operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy and 15 Hurricanes and 4 Fulmars are shot down.

1949: Twelve nations sign the North Atlantic Treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The countries include the five that signed the Treaty of Brussels, on 17th March 1948, i.e. by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom, plus the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.


Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

2007: 15 Royal Navy personnel from H.M.S. 'Cornwall' who were surrounded by the Navy of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in (what was believed to be) Iraqi waters, and subsequently detained off the Iran-Iraq coast for 13 days were released by the Iranian President on 4th April.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 5th
« Reply #268 on: April 05, 2013, 09:20:43 AM »

April 5th...

1621: 'Mayflower' sails from Plymouth, Massachusetts, on a return trip to England. Her empty hold was ballasted with stones from the Plymouth Harbour shore. As with the Pilgrims, her crew had been decimated by disease, so the return would be  made without her boatswain, his gunner, three quartermasters, the cook, and more than a dozen sailors.


"Mayflower in Plymouth Harbour," by William Halsall, 1882.
Painting at the Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Mass., USA.

1722: Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovers Easter Island whilst heading an expedition of three ships (the 'Arend', the 'Thienhoven', and 'Afrikaansche Galey'), to find Terra Australis. The expedition set out in August 1721. Roggeveen first sailed down to the Falkland Islands (which he renamed "Belgia Australis"), passed through the Strait of Le Maire and continued south to beyond 60 degrees south to enter the Pacific Ocean. He made landfall near Valdivia, Chile, and he visited the Juan Fernández Islands, where he spent 24th February to 17th March.

The expedition found Easter Island (Rapa Nui) on Easter Sunday, 5th April 1722 (whereupon he reported seeing 2,000-3,000 inhabitants). He then sailed to Batavia by way of the Tuamotu Archipelago, encountering Bora Bora and Maupiti of the Society Islands and Samoa.


Moai at Rano Raraku, Easter Island. Almost one-thousand monolithic human statues carved from a single piece of stone are scattered over the island.

1769: (Sir) Thomas Hardy (1st Baronet) was born, the second son of Joseph Hardy and Nanny Hardy (née Masterman) at Kingston Russell House in Long Bredy (or according to some sources in Winterborne St Martin).
He would join the navy with his entry aboard the brig H.M.S. 'Helena' on 30th November 1781 as a captain's servant, but would leave her in April 1782 to attend Crewkerne Grammar School, during which time his name would be carried on the books of the sixth-rate H.M.S. 'Seaford' and the third-rate H.M.S. 'Carnatic'.
He would eventually become an English Royal Navy Vice-Admiral and First Lord of the Admiralty, and long remembered as being with Nelson when he was shot and lay dying on the deck of 'Victory' at the Battle of Trafalgar.

1834: Admiral Sir Richard Goodwin Keats (16th January 1757 – 5th April 1834) was a British naval officer who fought throughout the American Revolution, French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic War. He retired in 1812 due to ill health and was made Commodore-Governor of Newfoundland from 1813 to 1816. In 1821 he was made Governor of Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, London. Keats held the post until his death at Greenwich in 1834. Keats is remembered as a capable and well respected officer. His actions at the Battle of Algeciras Bay became legendary.


Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Goodwin Keats (1757-1834).

1877: Hermann Blohm and Ernst Voss form the German shipbuilding and engineering works named 'Blohm & Voss' as a general partnership. A shipyard was built on the island of Kuhwerder, near the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, covering 15,000m² with 250m of water frontage and three building berths, two suitable for ships of up to 100 metres length.

During the latter part of WW2, Blohm & Voss used inmates of its own concentration subcamp at its shipyard in Hamburg-Steinwerder. A memorial stands in the former site of the camp and the company continues to pay an undisclosed amount to the Fund for Compensation of Forced Labourers.

The company has continued to build ships and other large machines for more than 125 years, producing warships for both the Deutsche Marine and for export, as well as oil drilling equipment and ships for numerous commercial customers.


The Blohm & Voss Shipbuilding and Engineering Works, 1877.

1942: The Imperial Japanese Navy launches a carrier-based air attack on Colombo, Ceylon, damaging Port and civilian facilities, although the attackers are frustrated to discover the harbour is virtually empty.
However, Royal Navy cruisers H.M.S, 'Cornwall' and H.M.S. 'Dorsetshire' are discovered 200 miles southwest of Ceylon and sunk by Aichi D3A Val dive bombers. 'Dorsetshire' was hit by 10 bombs and sank stern first at about 13:50hrs. 'Cornwall' was hit eight times and sank bow first about 10 minutes later. British losses were 424 men killed, with 1,120 survivors being picked up by the cruiser 'Enterprise' and the destroyers 'Paladin' and 'Panther' the next day.


H.M.S. 'Dorsetshire' and H.M.S. 'Cornwall' under heavy air attack from Japanese carrier aircraft, 5th April 1942.

1943: Chinese sailor Poon Lim, the sole survivor of the British merchant hip 'Ben Lomond', sunk by two torpedoes from the German U-boat U-172 on 23rd November 1942, was rescued by three Brazilian fishermen on 5th April, 1943, having been adrift for 133 days in the South Atlantic. Following a four-week recovery period in a Brazilian hospital, King George VI bestowed a British Empire Medal (BEM) on him, and the Royal Navy incorporated his tale into manuals of survival techniques.

1958: Ripple Rock, an underwater, twin-peaked mountain and a notorious marine hazard in the Seymour Narrows in Canada, described by the explorer George Vancouver as "one of vilest stretches of water in the world," is destroyed on 5th April by one of the largest non-nuclear controlled explosions of the time.
The blast displaced 635,000 metric tons of rock and water, significantly increasing low tide clearance from around 9 feet to at least 45 feet.
The Ripple Rock explosion was shown live on Canadian TV, and was one of the first live coast to coast television coverages of an event in Canada. CBC Television footage on YouTube.

2063: Earth receives it's first contact by extra-terrestrials (Vulcan), according to Star Trek.
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Capt Podge

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #269 on: April 05, 2013, 03:00:59 PM »

Saturday, 5th April 1941   'SS Ena de Larrinaga' (5,200t) cargo ship, Hull to Buenos Aries with a cargo of coal, was sunk by U 105 near St Paul's Rocks.
 

'SS Ena de Larrinaga'
 
 Thursday, 5th April 1945   'SS Gasray' (1,406t) on a voyage from Grangemouth to Blyth was sunk by German aircraft, off St Abbs Head.
 
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 6th
« Reply #270 on: April 06, 2013, 06:27:28 AM »

April 6th...

1707: Dutch artist, Willem van de Velde the younger, aged 73, died in Greenwich, London, on 6th April 1707, and was buried at St. James's Church.
A son of Willem van de Velde the elder, also a painter of sea-pieces, Willem van de Velde, the younger, was instructed by his father, and afterwards by Simon de Vlieger, a marine painter of repute at the time, and had achieved great celebrity by his art before he came to London.


Willem van de Velde, the younger (1633-1707).
Portrait by Lodewijk van der Helst, c.1672.

By 1673 he had moved to England, where he was engaged by Charles II, at a salary of £100, to aid his father in "taking and making draughts of sea-fights", his part of the work being to reproduce in colour the drawings of the elder van de Velde. He was also patronized by the Duke of York and by various members of the nobility.


An example of van de Velde's work, 'The Gust' depicts a ship on the high seas caught by a squall.
Have you spotted the sea birds skimming the waves?... and the ripped sail?... and what about the men climbing the rigging?...

Van de Velde produced an incredible volume of work, much of it depicting views of Dutch shipping off the coast of Holland. He handled his subjects in a delicate but spirited manner, whilst the drawing of the vessels and their rigging was both detailed and correct. The numerous figures were tellingly introduced, and he was most successful with his renderings of the sea, whether in calm or storm. His ships are portrayed with almost photographic accuracy, and remain the most precise guides available to the appearance of 17th-century vessels.


A closer look at the ship depicted in 'The Gust' reveals more of the exquisite detail.
Notice the people assembled on the deck, as several crew-members are climbing the flailing rigging.

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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 6th
« Reply #271 on: April 06, 2013, 06:46:27 PM »

April 6th...

1652: In 1651 Dutch colonial administrator Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck volunteered to undertake the command of the initial Dutch settlement in the future South Africa.
On 6th April 1652, he landed three ships ('Dromedaris'; 'Reijger' and 'Goede Hoop') at the location which would later become known as Cape Town, and fortified the site as a way-station for the VOC trade route between the Netherlands and the East Indies. The primary purpose of this way-station was to provide fresh provisions for the VOC fleets sailing between the Dutch Republic and Batavia, as deaths en route were very high - The 'Walvisch' and the 'Oliphant' arrived later in 1652, having had 130 burials at sea.
Van Riebeeck was Commander of the Cape from his arrival in 1652 until May 1662.


Jan van Riebeeck arrives in Table Bay in April 1652.

1834: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): The 'Beagle' departed from Berkeley Sound on 6th April 1834, leaving the 'Adventure' to continue the survey around the Falklands.

1941: RAF Flying Officer Kenneth Campbell made a lone assault on the German battlecruiser 'Gneisenau' while it was docked in the port of Brest in France, after the attack-group of which he was a part, became seperated in bad weather whilst crossing the English Channel.
Flying a Bristol Beaufort of No.22 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command, and realising the anti-aircraft defences had not been knocked out, he continued with the attack and launched a torpedo at point blank range, severely damaging the battle cruiser below water line.
The torpedo put the 'Gneisenau' out of operation for six months. Flying Officer Campbell was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross 


Mark XI aerial torpedoes being taken out on trolleys towards a Bristol Beaufort Mark I, L4516 'OA-W', of No. 22 Squadron RAF at North Coates, Lincolnshire.


1945: The Imperial Japanese Navy battleship 'Yamato' (the largest battleship in the world) with Admiral Ito on board, plus the light cruiser 'Yahagi', and eight destroyers, depart from Tokuyama, Japan, at 16:00hrs to begin a mission codenamed Operation Ten-Go - a deliberate suicide attack upon allied forces engaged in the Battle of Okinawa.
The plan called for 'Yamato' and her escorts to fight their way to Okinawa and beach themselves between Higashi and Yomitan, where they would continue to fight as shore batteries until destroyed. Once destroyed, any of the ship's surviving crewmembers were to abandon the ships and fight U.S. forces on land.
Unfortunately for the Japanese, the allies had intercepted and decoded their radio transmissions, and were now fully aware of the particulars of Operation Ten-Go.

1957: Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis buys the Hellenic National Airlines (TAE) and founds Olympic Airlines on 6th April 1957. The new company developed rapidly. To allay the distrust of airborne transport by Greeks, Onassis developed the "aviation days of '57" scheme, providing short, free flights in a DC-3 to demonstrate the reliability of air travel.


The first logo of Olympic, in 1957.

1968: Iowa-class battleship, U.S.S. 'New Jersey' (BB-62), is formally recommissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, for employment in the Pacific Fleet to augment the naval gunfire support force in Vietnam.
Her reactivation had come about as a result of studies which investigated the ways of alleviating the heavy loss rates of U.S. aircraft whilst at the same time delivering the ordnance payloads required by the escalation of the war.
'New Jersey', then the world's only active battleship, departed Philadelphia 16th May, calling at Norfolk and transiting the Panama Canal 4th June before arriving at her new home port of Long Beach, California, 11th June, for final training before her return to combat duty, in Vietnam.


Recommissioned 'New Jersey' (BB-62) off Oahu, Hawaii, 11 September 1968.
'New Jersey' had been laid up with her 40mm mounts in place. They were removed when she was recommissioned for Vietnam, but the foreward gun tubs (on the 01 level), painted white, were used by the crew as swimming pools.

Happy Birthday to Mayhem member 'Norseman', aka Dave - Born on this day in 1957
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 7th
« Reply #272 on: April 07, 2013, 11:55:07 AM »

April 7th...

1520: 'Magellan's Voyage around the World (1519-1522):  With guidance from Rajah Siaiu of Mazaua, Magellan's three remaining ships arrives at Cebu on 7th April.
Rajah Humabon of Cebu was friendly towards Magellan and the Spaniards. Over the coming days, both he and his queen Hara Amihan were baptized as Christians. Afterward, Rajah Humabon and his ally Datu Zula, discussed the possibility of Magellan 'removing' their common enemy, named Datu Lapu-Lapu, on Mactan.

1776: After sailing down the Delaware River, and slipping through the British blockade the previous day, the U.S.S. 'Lexington', under the command of Capt. John Barry, fell in with British sloop 'Edward', a tender to the frigate H.M.S. 'Liverpool'. Following a fierce fight, which lasted over an hour, 'Edward' struck her colors and 'Lexington' took her prize into Philadelphia. As soon as the 'Lexington' was back in fighting trim, Barry put to sea again.


Static model of 'Lexington' from a kit by Mamoli.

1827: English chemist, and inventor of the friction match, John Walker, recorded the first sale of his invention under the name 'Sulphurata Hyper-Oxygenata Frict' at his store in Stockton. The second recorded sale was 7th September 1827 under the more familiar name 'friction lights'. Apart from three recorded sales during 1828 under the name of 'attrition lights' all other recorded sales were for 'friction lights'.

1890: The first Lake Biwa Canal is completed. The waterway in Japan was constructed during the Meiji Period to transport water, freight, and passengers from Lake Biwa to the nearby City of Kyoto. The canal supplied Japan's first public hydroelectric power generator, which served from 1895 to provide electricity for Kyoto's trams.

1945: More than 200 miles north of Okinawa and sailing without air support, the Imperial Japanese Navy battleship, 'Yamato' (and her escorts), come under attack from waves of 386 U.S. Navy carrier aircraft of Task Force 58. Eventually overwhelmed by the relentless onslaught, 'Yamamoto' capsizes having been hit by at least eleven torpedoes and six bombs.
When her roll reached approximately 120° one of the two bow magazines detonated in a tremendous explosion. The resulting mushroom cloud - over 3.7 miles high - could be seen almost 100 miles away on Kyūshū.
'Yamato' sank rapidly, with an estimated 2,055 of her 2,332 crew, including fleet commander Vice-Admiral Seiichi Itō. The few survivors were recovered by the four surviving destroyers, which withdrew to Japan.


Japanese battleship 'Yamato' blows up, following massive attacks by U.S. Navy carrier planes, north of Okinawa.
Photographed from a U.S.S. 'Yorktown' (CV-10) aircraft, 7th April 1945.

During the same action, a torpedo hit the light cruiser 'Yahagi' directly in her engine room, killing the entire engineering room crew and bringing her to a complete stop. Dead in the water, 'Yahagi' was hit by at least six more torpedoes and 12 bombs. Japanese destroyer 'Isokaze' attempted to come to 'Yahagi's' aid but was attacked, heavily damaged, and sank sometime later. 'Yahagi' capsized and sank, taking 445 of her 736 crewmen with her.

1966: At a depth of 2,900ft in the Mediterranean Sea, unmanned Cable-controlled Undersea Recovery Vehicle CURV-III, became entangled in the parachute lines of the1.45-megaton hydrogen bomb it was attemting to retrieve.
A decision was made to raise CURV and the weapon together to a depth of 100 feet, where divers could attach cables to them. The bomb, which had been lost eighty-one days earlier as a result of a U.S.A.F. midair accident over Palomares, Spain, was finally brought to the surface by U.S.S. 'Petrel' (ASR-14).


Aboard U.S.S. 'Petrel', off the coast of Spain, 1966, after successful recovery of "Robert" the H-Bomb (foreground, behind anchor), with Cable-controlled Undersea Recovery Vehicle (CURV) in the background.

1989: 'Dead Calm' is released in the U.S.A. Starring Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane. The 1989 Australian thriller was based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Williams. The film was directed by Australian filmmaker Phillip Noyce and was filmed around the Great Barrier Reef. (Australia release date: 25th May 1989)


Cinema Poster for 'Dead Calm'

1989: K-278 'Komsomolets' was the only Project 685 Plavnik (NATO reporting name of "Mike"-class) nuclear-powered attack submarine of the Soviet Navy. The boat sank in 1989 and is currently resting on the floor of the Barents Sea, one mile deep, with its nuclear reactor and two nuclear warheads still on board. The single Project 685 was developed to test technologies for Soviet 4th generation nuclear submarines. Although primarily intended as a developmental model, it was fully combat capable, but sank after a fire broke out in the aft engineering compartment on its first operational patrol.

The 'Komsomolets' was able to surface after the fire started and remained afloat for approximately 5 hours before sinking. Of the 42 crewmembers who died, only 4 were killed by the fire and smoke, while 34 died of hypothermia and drowning in the frigid waters while awaiting rescue that did not arrive in time.
 

Nuclear-powered attack submarine of the Soviet Navy K-278 'Komsomolets' underway.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 8th
« Reply #273 on: April 08, 2013, 12:13:15 PM »

April 8th...

1740: H.M.S. 'Kent', H.M.S. 'Lenox' and H.M.S. 'Orford', under the command of Captain Colvill Mayne of Lenox, capture the Spanish third-rate 'Princessa' off Cape Finisterre.

She was acquired for service by the Royal Navy, where her design and fighting qualities excited considerable interest, sparking a series of increases in the dimensions of British warships. It was noted that she was larger than any British first rate and carried unusually large guns, many of them brass. She was regarded as being the finest ship in the Spanish Navy, and her high build allowed her to open her lower gunports in conditions that often meant her opponents could not.

Renamed H.M.S. 'Princess,' she went on to serve under a number of commanders in several theatres of the war, during a career in British service lasting 44 years.


Spanish ship-of-the-line 'Princessa', attempts to fend off H.M.S. 'Kent', 'Lenox' and 'Orford',
by Ángel Cortellini Sánchez.

1832: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): On 8th April Charles Darwin went off exploring in the tropical rain forest with Patrick Lennon, a local English merchant, and five others. They explored about one-hundred miles up the coast from Rio de Janeiro.
Along the way they traveled through several small villages, one of which treated them to a huge feast. Darwin collected many good specimens of plants, insects and animals during this trek. They spent three days at an estate on the Rio Macae where Darwin was again disgusted at the treatment of slaves. Over the next two days they traced their steps back to Rio de Janeiro.

1838: Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, SS 'Great Western', the first steamship purpose-built for crossing the Atlantic, and the initial unit of the Great Western Steamship Company, begins her maiden voyage from Avonmouth, Bristol to New York, with just 7 passengers on board the 1,340-gross ton vessel.

Unfortunately, news had spread of a small fire in her engine room a few days earlier, resulting in the cancellation of 50 of the 57 bookings for the historic first voyage.
In addition, The Great Western Steamship Company’s main competitor in the race to develop a trans-Atlantic steam line (The British and American Steam Navigation Co.) was taking advantage of the publicity being generated and, despite their own liner not being finished, had chartered the 710-gross ton SS 'Sirius', to cross the Atlantic in competition with the 'Great Western'. SS 'Sirius' having departed four-days earlier, from Cork in Ireland, carrying around 40 passengers.


The 'Great Western' off Portishead, April 1838, on Her First Voyage.
Painted by Joseph Walter, 1838.

1940: In heavy fog, H.M.S. 'Glowworm' (H92), a G-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1930's, was on her way to rejoin 'Renown' when she encountered the German destroyers Z11 Bernd von Arnim and Z18 Hans Lüdemann transporting troops to invade Norway in Operation Weserübung. The destroyers attempted to disengage while calling for help from the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. Upon arrival, 'Admiral Hipper' was initially misidentified by 'Glowworm' to be a friendly vessel, which allowed the German ship to close the distance and fire first, scoring several hits. Although 'Glowworm' was heavily damaged by 'Admiral Hipper', she still attempted to torpedo the German ship, before both ships collided. The collision tore off a 40-meter section of 'Admiral Hipper's armoured belt as well as the starboard torpedo launcher, and also caused some minor flooding. 'Glowworm's bow was broken off, and her boilers exploded shortly after the collision. She sank quickly, taking 109 of her crew with her. 40 survivors were picked up by the 'Admiral Hipper'.

'Glowworm's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Roope, who drowned when he could no longer hang on to a rope whilst being pulled up the side of the cruiser, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, thus becoming the first VC recipient of the Second World War.


British destroyer H.M.S. 'Glowworm' at anchor.

1961: During the evening of 7th April, the MV 'Dara' a Dubai based passenger liner with a total of 819 passengers and crew, was unloading cargo at the port of Dubai when a violent storm of wind and rain made further work impossible. The captain decided to take his ship out of harbour and ride out the gale off shore. This was accomplished without further mishap, but while returning to Dubai at about 04.40hrs on the morning of the 8th April there was a very heavy explosion between decks and the ship caught fire.

Fortunately, there were ships close by and help was rendered quickly by British, German, Japanese and Norwegian vessels. Even so, the loss of life was very heavy, 238 being burned or drowned. The remainder, many of whom were suffering from burns and other injuries, were landed at Bahrain a few days later.

Three British frigates and a U.S. destroyer, sent parties on board the 'Dara' and were able to get the fire under control. She was taken in tow by the Glasgow salvage vessel 'Ocean Salvor', but sank three miles off Dubai at 09.20hrs on 10th April.

A British Admiralty court later concluded that an anti-tank mine, "deliberately placed by a person or persons unknown", had "almost certainly" caused the explosion, however, no forensic evidence has ever been provided to prove beyond doubt that a bomb was the cause.


The burned-out MV 'Dara' - Victim of a terrorist bomb? April 1961.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 9th
« Reply #274 on: April 09, 2013, 08:06:46 PM »

April 9th...

1500: Of Pedro Alvares Cabral's 13-ship fleet which left Lisbon, Portugal, on March 9th (with the objective of establishing trade relations in India, and returning with valuable spices), twelve of them crossed equator on April 9th and continued to sail westward, i.e. As far as possible from the African continent to employ what was known as the volta do mar (literally "turn of the sea") navigational technique.

With their knowledge of the trade wind-systems, India-bound Portuguese explorers and traders knew that by sailing westward, they would eventually pick up the counter-clockwise 'wind-wheel' operating in the Southern Atlantic, which would carry them past the entire western coast of Africa.


1806: Isambard Kingdom Brunel is born in Britan Street, Portsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire. The son of French civil engineer Sir Marc Isambard Brunel and Sophia Kingdom Brunel. He had two older sisters, Sophia and Emma.
He would  become the English mechanical and civil engineer who built dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His vision and designs would revolutionise public transport and modern engineering.

1942: The Japanese Navy launches an air raid  on harbour at Trincomalee in Ceylon and the British ships off Batticaloa. H.M.S. 'Hermes', H.M.A.S. 'Vampire' and the Flower-class corvette H.M.S. 'Hollyhock' were sunk. The RAF lost at least eight 'Hurricanes' and the Fleet Air Arm, one Fairey 'Fulmar'. The Japanese lost five bombers and six fighters, one in a suicide attack on the Trincomalee fuel tanks. Seven hundred people lost their lives in the attack on Trincomalee.

1945: A general RAF bombing raid by over 300 aircraft struck the harbour in Kiel. The German pocket battleship 'Admiral Scheer' was hit by five Tallboy bombs and capsized. She was partially broken up for scrap after the end of the war, though part of the hull was left in place and buried with rubble from the attack in the construction of a new quay. The number of casualties from her loss are unknown.


The German heavy cruiser 'Admiral Sheer' capsized in the docks at Kiel after being hit by bombs during a raid by Avro Lancasters of Nos 1 and 3 Groups on the night of 9th/10th April 1945.

1945: Seventeen aircraft of No. 617 Squadron, two with Grand Slams and the remainder with Tallboy bombs successfully attacked the U-boat sheltersat Hamburg. The Grand Slams appear to have missed, but six Tallboy hits caused considerable damage. No aircraft were lost.


A '617 Squadron' Avro Lancaster dropping a Grand Slam bomb (on the Arnsberg viaduct, March 1945).

1951: U.S.S. 'Phoenix' (CL-46), a Brooklyn-class light cruiser and a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pear Harbour, is sold the to Argentina on 9th April 1951.
She would be commissioned into the Argentine Navy in October of the same year as 'Diecisiete de Octubre (C-4)', and renamed in 1956, as ARA 'General Belgrano'.


U.S.S. 'Phoenix' (CL-46) passing 'West Virginia' and 'Arizona' at Pearl Harbor in 1941.

1969: The first British-built Concorde (002) made it's 22-minute maiden flight, taking-off from BAC at Filton near Bristol, and landing at it's test base, RAF 'Fairford' in Gloucestershire.
Test pilot, Brian Trubshaw, emerged from 002's then futuristic cockpit with the words, "It was wizard flight- a cool, calm and collected operation..."


Concorde (002) taking off on it's maiden flight from Filton to RAF 'Fairford' which was 50 miles to the north-east, as the factory runway at Filton was less than 9,000ft long, and too short for test flying of Concorde.


1981: The U.S. Navy nuclear ballistic missile submarine U.S.S. 'George Washington' (SSBN-598) surfaced underneath the 2,390 ton Japanese commercial cargo ship 'Nissho Maru' in the East China Sea about '130 miles south-southwest of Sasebo, Japan. 'Nissho Maru' sank in about 15 minutes. Two Japanese crewmen were lost; 13 were rescued. The submarine suffered minor damage to her sail.

Japan criticized the U.S. for taking more than 24 hours to notify Japanese authorities of the accident , and demanded to know what the boat was doing surfacing only about 23 miles outside Japan's territorial waters. Neither the submarine nor an American Lockheed P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft circling overhead made any attempt to rescue the Japanese crew.

The U.S. Navy initially stated that 'George Washington' executed a crash dive during the collision, and then immediately surfaced, but could not see the Japanese ship due to fog and rain. A preliminary report released a few days later stated the submarine and aircraft crews both had detected 'Nissho Maru' nearby, but neither the submarine nor the aircraft realized 'Nissho Maru' was in distress.


U.S.S. 'George Washington' (SSBN-598).
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