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Author Topic: This Day In 'Boating' History  (Read 159793 times)

ardarossan

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #325 on: May 21, 2013, 06:30:49 PM »

A couple of clickable images to accompany the previous post by 'Nordsee', ref; The sinking of the "Maid of Kent"

     
(Left) HMHS 'Maid of Kent' in her hospital ship livery, and (Right) the wrecked HMHS 'Maid of Kent' in Dieppe harbour, beside a burned out hospital train, on the morning following the air-raids.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - May 21st
« Reply #326 on: May 21, 2013, 07:19:30 PM »

May 21st...

1502: The island of Saint Helena is discovered by the Portuguese explorer João da Nova, and named after Saint Helena of Constantinople. Uninhabited when discovered, and one of the most isolated islands in the world, it was for centuries an important stopover for ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa.

1542: Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto, aged 45 or 46 years, (believed to be the first person to cross the Mississippi River) died of a semi-tropical fever on May 21st, (possibly) in the native village of Guachoya on the western banks of the Mississippi (near present-day McArthur, Desha County, Arkansas).
Since de Soto had encouraged the local natives to believe that he was an immortal sun god (a not wholly convincing ploy to gain their submission without conflict), his men had to conceal his death.
According to one source, de Soto's men hid his corpse in blankets weighted with sand and sank it in the middle of the Mississippi River during the night, whilst another possible location for his corpse is within Lake Chicot near present-day Lake Village, Arkansas.


Depiction of the burial of Hernando de Soto

1878: Glenn Hammond Curtiss is born in Hammondsport, New York to Frank Richmond Curtiss and Lua Andrews.
Curtiss would become an aviation pioneer, particularly notable for his experiments with seaplanes, which would lead to significant advances in naval aviation.

1879: The Battle of Iquique occurs off the then-Peruvian port of Iquique during the naval stage of the War of the Pacific (a conflict between Chile and Peru and Bolivia), when two Chilean ships blocking the harbour are confronted by two Peruvian vessels. After four hours of combat, the Peruvian ironclad 'Huáscar', commanded by Miguel Grau Seminario, sank the 'Esmeralda', a Chilean wooden corvette captained by Arturo Prat Chacón.


The sinking of Esmerelda at the Battle of Iquique, by Thomas Somerscales

1894: The Manchester Ship Canal in England is officially opened by Queen Victoria from her position on the deck of the royal yacht 'Enchantress'.
During the ceremony she knighted the Mayor of Salford, William Henry Bailey, and the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Anthony Marshall. Not long after the official opening, the canal's designer, Edward Leader Williams was also knighted in recognition of his devotion to the project.
An earlier opening had taken place on New Year's Day of the same year, in which a procession of vessels had sailed the length of the Canal.


Queen Victoria knights the Mayors at the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal.

1941: Despite a pair of Bf 109 fighters circling overhead to protect 'Bismarck' from British air attacks, Flying Officer Michael Suckling sights the German battleship in a Fjord near Bergen in Norway and flies his RAF photographic reconnaissance Supermarine Spitfire directly over the German flotilla at a height of 26,000 ft to snap several photos of 'Bismarck' and her consorts.


Aerial reconnaissance photograph of 'Bismarck' in Norway, 21st May 1941.

1941: Around 700 miles off the west coast of Africa, the U.S.-flagged steamship 'Robin Moor' was stopped by German submarine U-69 (before the U.S. had entered World War II).
After allowing the passengers and crew to disembark, the U-boat sank the ship with a stern torpedo and 30 rounds from the deck gun. The Germans provided the survivors with some rations and reportedly promised to radio their position. The U-boat then left the area.

The survivors of three of the lifeboats were eventually picked up on 2nd June by a British merchant ship and landed at Capetown. The eleven occupants of the fourth lifeboat were picked up on 8th June by the 'Ozório' and landed at Recife, Brazil.
This sinking of a neutral nation's ship in an area considered until then to be relatively safe from U-boats, and the plight of her crew and passengers, caused a political incident in the United States.

1996:  The overloaded MV 'Bukoba', a Lake Victoria ferry that carried passengers and cargo between the Tanzanian ports of Bukoba and Mwanza, sank 30 nautical miles off Mwanza in 14 fathoms of water on 2st May 1996.
While the ship's manifest showed 443 aboard in her first and second class cabins,
her cheaper third class accommodation had no manifest. It is estimated that around 800 people died in the sinking, inclding Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri, who was then second in command of Al Qaeda.

2001: The movie 'Pearl Harbor' is released and premiered at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, several days before it's U.S. release on 25th May 2001.
Described as a 'Waste of Film'; 'A two-hour movie, crammed into three-hours'; and 'A gross mis-telling of the story of Pearl Harbor and the Doolittle Raid', the $140 million film manages to justify it's 're-imagining' of the events of 7th December 1941 when it returns $450 million in worldwide box office receipts. Thus proving the Hollywood adage, that it isn't necessary to let the truth spoil a good story.


Theatrical Poster for 'Pearl Harbor' (2001).
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - May 22nd
« Reply #327 on: May 22, 2013, 05:46:22 PM »

May 22nd...

853: The Sack of Damietta in 853 was a major success for the Byzantine Empire. On 22nd May, the Byzantine navy attacked the port city of Damietta on the Nile Delta, whose garrison was absent at the time. The city was sacked and plundered, yielding not only many captives but also large quantities of weapons and supplies intended for the Emirate of Crete.

1819: Built as a sailing ship, then modified to incorprate paddle-wheels, the SS 'Savannah' leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first 'steamship' to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The American-built hybrid arrived at Liverpool, England on June 20th - having made most of the crossing using sail power.


'Savannah' - Hybrid sailing-ship/side-wheel paddlesteamer, 1819.

1826: H.M.S. 'Beagle' embarks on first voyage, setting sail from Plymouth under the command of Captain Pringle Stokes. The mission was to accompany the larger ship H.M.S. 'Adventure' (380 tons) on a hydrographic survey of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, under the overall command of the Australian Captain Phillip Parker King, Commander and Surveyor.

1838: Brunel's paddle-steamer 'Great Western' completes her first eastbound transatlantic crossing at an average speed of 9.14 knots, arriving in Avonmouth less than 15 days after she left New York.


A static model of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's paddle-steamer 'Great Western'.

1849: Abraham Lincoln is issued with a patent for his invention of a device to lift boats over shoals and obstructions in a river. It is believed to be the only United States patent ever registered to a President of the United States. Lincoln conceived the idea for his invention when, on two different occasions, the boat on which he traveled got hung up on obstructions. Documentation of this patent was discovered in 1997. (Patent filed on 10th March 1849; Issued 22nd May 1849)


Patent model of Abraham Lincoln's boat lifting mechanism.

1863: The Siege of Port Hudson begins when Union Army troops assault and then surround the Mississippi River town of Port Hudson, Louisiana, during the American Civil War. In cooperation with Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's offensive against Vicksburg, Mississippi, Union Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's army moved against the Confederate stronghold at Port Hudson. On 27th May, after their frontal assaults were repulsed, the Federals settled into a siege that would last for 48 days.


Confederate batteries fire down onto Union gunboats on the Mississippi.

1897: The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames is officially opened by the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) on 22nd May 1897.
The tunnel was built between 1892 and 1897, using tunnelling shield and compressed air techniques; the shield pioneer James Henry Greathead was a consultant. Sir Joseph Bazalgette, the architect of the London sewerage system, was also involved in the original planning of the project. To clear the site in Greenwich, more than 600 houses had to be demolished, including one reputedly once owned by Sir Walter Raleigh.

1902: The White Star liner, SS 'Ionic' is launched at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. The steam-powered ocean liner was the second White Star Liner to be named 'Ionic' and would serve on the United Kingdom-New Zealand route. Her sister ships were the SS 'Athenic' and the SS 'Corinthic'.


White Star ocean-liner SS 'Ionic', launched 22nd May 1902.

1941: A Martin Maryland photographic reconnaissance aircraft of No.877 Squadron Fleet Air Arm confirms that the 'Bismarck' and  'Prinz Eugen' have left Bergen.

1941: While in the Kithera Channel, H.M.S. 'Gloucester', forming part of a naval force acting against German military transports to Crete, was attacked by German Ju.87 'Stuka' dive bombers. She sank about 14 miles north of Crete having sustained (at least) four heavy bomb hits and three near-misses. Crew-members who were able to escape the sinking ship were then heavily machine-gunned in the water. Of the 807 men aboard at the time of her sinking, only 85 survived. The loss H.M.S. 'Gloucester' is considered to be one of Britain's worst wartime naval disasters.


A watercolour of the attack on H.M.S. 'Gloucester'. Painted by Jack Croasdaile from a magazine photo, whilst being held in the same POW camp as Lt. Cdr. Roger Heap, a survivor of the sinking.

1958: On National Maritime Day (U.S.A.), a ceremony is held in Yard 529 of the 'New York Shipbuilding Corporation' at Camden, to mark the laying the first keel plate of the NS 'Savannah', the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, and demonstration project for the potential use of nuclear energy.


Keel plate laying ceremony for NS 'Savannah', 22nd May 1958.

1968: Scorpion (SSN-589), a Skipjack-class nuclear-powered submarine, sank with 99 men on board, on 22nd May, 460 miles southwest of the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean, apparently due to implosion upon reaching its crush depth. What caused the 'Scorpion' to descend to its crush depth is unknown at the present time.
'Scorpion' is one of two nuclear submarines the U.S. Navy has lost, the other being U.S.S. 'Thresher' (SSN-593).
In November 2012, the U.S. Submarine Veterans, an organization with over 13,800 members (all former submariners) asked the U.S. Navy to reopen the investigation on the sinking of U.S.S. 'Scorpion'.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - May 23rd
« Reply #328 on: May 23, 2013, 06:48:09 AM »

May 23rd...

1500: On 23rd or 24th May, the eleven ship fleet of Pedro Alvares Cabral encountered a severe storm in the South Atlantic's high-pressure zone as they were sailing from Brazil to the Cape of Good Hope, en route to India. Three naus and a caravel, commanded by Bartolomeu Dias - the first European to reach the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 - foundered, and 380 men were lost. The exact location of the disaster (and associated incidents) is unknown. Hindered by the rough weather and damaged rigging, the remaining seven ships were became separated.


A drawing from Memória das Armadas (c.1568), shows many of Cabral's fleet as either lost or damaged.

1701: After being convicted of piracy and the murder of William Moore, Scottish sailor Captain William Kidd is hanged on 23rd May 1701, at 'Execution Dock', Wapping, in London. During the execution, the hangman's rope broke and Kidd was hanged on the second attempt. His body was gibbeted over the River Thames at Tilbury Point for three years, as a warning to future would-be pirates.

1790: Jules Sébastien César Dumont d'Urville is born at Condé-sur-Noireau. He would go on to become a French naval officer, and explorer of the south and western Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica.

1834: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): The 'Adventure' joined up with the 'Beagle' and assisted in the survey of the Strait of Magellan.

1939: The U.S. Navy submarine U.S.S. 'Squalus' sinks off the coast of New Hampshire during a test dive, causing the death of 24 sailors and two civilian technicians. The remaining 32 sailors and one civilian naval architect are rescued the following day.

1967: Egypt announced that the Straits of Tiran had been closed and warned Israeli shipping that it would be fired upon if it attempted to break the blockade. The next day, Egypt announced that the Straits had been mined.

2010: The sad news starts to spread throughout the modelling world that the designer of the much-loved Veron range of model kits, Mr Phil Smith, had passed away during the early hours of 23rd May.
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Nordsee

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #329 on: May 23, 2013, 11:36:37 AM »

 Thanks so much, the second photo is the one he has, he has loaned so many pictures to various people and not got them back that he is now very wary!!
A couple of clickable images to accompany the previous post by 'Nordsee', ref; The sinking of the "Maid of Kent"

     
(Left) HMHS 'Maid of Kent' in her hospital ship livery, and (Right) the wrecked HMHS 'Maid of Kent' in Dieppe harbour, beside a burned out hospital train, on the morning following the air-raids.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - May 24th
« Reply #330 on: May 24, 2013, 07:25:57 PM »

May 24th...

1218: The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre, bound for Egypt. The immediate objective would be Damietta, a town in the Nile delta that guarded the main route up river to Cairo, the ultimate objective.


Frisian crusaders confront the Tower of Damietta, Egypt.

1543: Nicolaus Copernicus, aged 70 years, died in Frombork, Royal Prussia, Kingdom of Poland. He is remembered as the Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a heliocentric model of the universe which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the centre.
The publication of Copernicus' book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), just before his death, is considered a major event in the history of science.
It began the Copernican Revolution and contributed importantly to the rise of the ensuing Scientific Revolution.

1792: George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney, KB, aged 74 years, died at Hanover Square, London. He is best known for his commands in the American War of Independence, particularly his victory over the French at the Battle of the Saintes in 1782. It is often claimed that he was the commander to have pioneered the tactic of "breaking the line".


Admiral Lord George Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney, (1719-1792).
Portrait by Jean-Laurent Mosnierc, painted c.1791.

1819: Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent is born. Just over eighteenth years later, she would replace her uncle as monarch, and become Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

1844: Samuel Morse sends the message "What hath God wrought" (a biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland to inaugurate the first telegraph line.

1881: One of Canada's worst marine disasters occurred on the Thames River, London, Ontario, as people celebrated Queen Victoria day, in recognition of Queen Victoria's (62nd) birthday.
The (aptly-named) 'Victoria', a small, double-decked stern-wheeler commanded by Captain Donald Rankin, was conducting holiday excursion trips between London and Springbank Park.

On a return trip to London the boat was dangerously overcrowded with more than 600 passengers. Oblivious of the danger, the crowd repeatedly shifted from side to side, resulting in flooding and a precarious rocking motion of the boat. It finally heeled over and the boiler crashed through the bulwarks, bringing the upper-deck and large awning down upon the struggling crowd. The 'Victoria' sank immediately and at least 182 people, the majority from London, lost their lives.

1882: Ninety-eight after sailing from New Zealand, the first cargo of frozen meat arrives in London aboard the refrigerated clipper 'Dunedin'. She sailed with 4331 mutton, 598 lamb and 22 pig carcasses, 250 kegs of butter, as well as hare, pheasant, turkey, chicken and 2226 sheep tongues.
The produce was found to be in excellent condition, selling at the Smithfield market over the next two weeks (with just a single carcass being condemned). The event would lead to the establishment of  New Zealand as an international exporter of meat and dairy produce, and as a permanent supplier to the UK.


Photograph of the "Dunedin", loading at Port Chalmers, New Zealand, in 1882.

1939: The Fleet Air Arm reverts to Admiralty control.

1941: The German battleship 'Bismarck' and 'Prinz Eugen' are engaged in surface action by the British battlecruiser H.M.S. 'Hood' and H.M.S. 'Prince of Wales'. During the engagement H.M.S. 'Hood' is sunk with the loss of all but three of her 1,418 crewmen, and 'Prince of Wales' is damaged'

'Bismarck' is also sufficiently damaged to require her to break off her attempt to enter the North Atlantic and head for Brest on the Atlantic coast of France. Shadowing British warships subsequently lose contact with the 'Bismarck' off Greenland.


Eyewitness sketch of the explosion of H.M.S. 'Hood' by the Captain of the H.M.S. 'Prince of Wales'.

1962: A targeting mishap during reentry results in Mercury spacecraft 'Aurora 7', piloted by astronaut Scott Carpenter, splashing down several hundred miles from U.S.S. 'Intrepid' - the primary recovery vessel.
Minutes after he was located by land-based search aircraft, two helicopters from 'Intrepid', carrying NASA officials, medical experts, Navy frogmen, and photographers, were airborne and headed to the rescue. One of the choppers picked him up over an hour later and flew him to the carrier which safely returned him to the United States


A U.S. Navy Sikorsky HSS-2 'Sea King' recovers astronaut Scott Carpenter from the 'Aurora 7' capsule.

1968: 'K-27', the only Project 645 submarine, equipped with a liquid metal cooled reactor, was irreparably damaged by a reactor accident (control rod failure) on May 24th, 1968. 9 were killed in the reactor accident. After shutting down the reactor and sealing the compartment, the Soviet Navy scuttled her in shallow water (108 ft) of the Kara Sea on September 6th, 1982, contrary to the recommendation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

2002: The Falkirk Wheel (below), a rotating boat lift in Scotland connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II as part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations.
The structure, which was built as part of a scheme to regenerate central Scotland's canals, is located sits near the Rough Castle Fort, near the village of Tamfourhil, and the nearby town of Falkirk. The site also includes a visitors' centre containing a shop, café, and exhibition centre.

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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - May 25th
« Reply #331 on: May 25, 2013, 04:24:57 PM »

May 25th...

1420: Henry the Navigator (aka Infante Henry, Duke of Viseu) is appointed governor of the very rich Order of Christ, the Portuguese successor to the Knights Templar, which had its headquarters at Tomar. Henry would hold this position for the remainder of his life, and the order was an important source of funds for Henry's ambitious plans, especially his persistent attempts to conquer the Canary Islands, which the Portuguese had claimed to have discovered before the year 1346.

1555: Gemma Frisius (born Jemme Reinerszoon), aged 46, died in Leuven, Belgium. He was a physician, mathematician, cartographer, philosopher, and instrument maker. He created important globes, improved the mathematical instruments of his day and applied mathematics in new ways to surveying and navigation. Most notably, he described for the first time the method of triangulation still used today in surveying, and was the first to describe how an accurate clock could be used to determine longitude.
The lunar crater 'Gemma Frisius', is named after him.


Gemma Frisius (9th December 1508 - 25th May 1555).

1878: Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore (aka, The Lass That Loved a Sailor) opens at the Opera Comique in London. The production (in two acts) ran for 571 performances, which was the second-longest run of any musical theatre piece up to that time. H.M.S. Pinafore was Gilbert and Sullivan's fourth operatic collaboration and their first international sensation.
The opera's  popularity has led to it's continued widespread and diverse reference in books, films and TV, including (but not limited to); Jerome K. Jerome's 'Three men in a Boat' and  'I, Robot' by Isaac Asimov; 'Chariots of Fire' (1981); Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981): The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992); 'Wyatt Earp' (1994); Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), 'House'; 'The Simpsons'...


A theatre poster and playbill for the original production of H.M.S. Pinafore at the Opera Comique, London, in 1878.

1939: Sir Frank Watson Dyson, KBE, FRS, aged 71, died while travelling from Australia to England in 1939 and was buried at sea.
He was an English astronomer and Astronomer Royal (and director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory) from 1910 to 1933. In 1928, he introduced in the Observatory a new free-pendulum clock, the most accurate clock available at that time and organised the regular wireless transmission from the GPO wireless station at Rugby of Greenwich Mean Time. He is remembered today largely for introducing time signals ("six pips") from Greenwich (via the BBC), and for the role he played in testing Einstein's theory of general relativity.
He was for several years President of the British Horological Institute and was awarded their Gold Medal in 1928.

The crater Dyson on the Moon is named after him, as is the asteroid 1241 Dysona.


Sir Frank Watson Dyson, (8th January 1868 - 25th May 1939)

1962: The Old Bay Line, the last overnight steamboat service in the United States, goes out of business after the stockholders of the Baltimore Steam Packet Company vote to liquidate the 122-year-old corporation. Thus, ending forever the melodious whistles of Old Bay Line steamboats on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.


The Baltimore Steam Packet Company's 'City of Richmond' steamboat. c.1949.

1973: At midday, whilst participating in a NATO exercise between Italy and Sardinia, 85 nautical miles (SW of Rome), Captain Nikolaos Pappas and the officers of HNS Velos (D-16), learned by radio that fellow naval officers had been arrested and tortured in Greece. In order to protest against the dictatorship in Greece, Captain Pappos left the NATO formation and sailed for Rome. Refusing to return to Greece, they anchored at Fiumicino, Italy from where they contacted the international press to motivate global public opinion.


Destroyer Velos D16 (formerly U.S.S. 'Charrette'), now a museum ship in the Gulf of Faliron in Athens.

1977: Written and directed by George Lucas, 'Star Wars' (Episode IV: A New Hope) is released in movie theatres. Groundbreaking in its use of special effects, unconventional editing, and science fiction/fantasy storytelling, the original 'Star Wars' would become one of the most successful and influential films of all time.


A long time ago...   Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.

1982: H.M.S. 'Coventry', a Type 42 (Sheffield-class) destroyer of the Royal Navy was sunk by bombs dropped by Argentine Air Force A-4 Skyhawks during the Falklands War. The subsequent damage was so severe that within 20 minutes of being hit, 'Coventry' was abandoned and had completely capsized - she sank shortly after.
Nineteen of her crew were lost and a further thirty injured.
After the ship was struck, her crew, waiting to be rescued were reportedly singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian.


British destroyer H.M.S. 'Coventry' (D118) underway. In the background is the U.S.S. 'Bagley' (FF-1069).
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - May 26th
« Reply #332 on: May 26, 2013, 08:09:21 PM »

May 26th...

1500: After encountering a storm in the South Atlantic on 23rd or 24th May, four ships of Pedro Alvares Cabral's fleet are lost, whilst the remaining seven ships, hindered by rough weather and damaged rigging, became separated.
One of those ships, commanded by Diogo Dias, wandered onward alone, although the other six ships were able to regroup, sailing east, past the Cape of Good Hope. Fixing their position and sighting land, they turned north and eventually landed somewhere in the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago, off East Africa and north of Sofala, where they stayed for several days to make repairs.


1573: A naval engagement known as the Battle of Haarlemmermeer was a  fought during the Dutch War of Independence on the waters of the Haarlemmermeer - a large lake which at the time was a prominent feature of north Holland (it would be drained in the 19th Century).
A Spanish fleet, commanded by the count of Bossu, fought a Dutch fleet of rebellious Sea Beggars, commanded by Marinus Brandt, who were trying to break the Siege of Haarlem. After battle continued for several hours until the Sea Beggars were forced to retreat.

Sailing before the wind from the right are the Spanish ships, identified by the flags with a red cross. Approaching from the left are the ships of the Sea Beggars.


The Battle of Haarlemmermeer (c.1621) by Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom.

1703: Samuel Pepys' FRS, MP, JP, aged 70 years, died at his home in Clapham (Now part of Gtr. London, at the time, Clapham was in the countryside).
Remembered now more for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man, Pepys was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament. Although Pepys had no maritime experience, he rose by patronage, hard work and his talent for administration, to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and subsequently King James II.
His influence and reforms at the Admiralty were important in the early professionalisation of the Royal Navy.
The detailed private diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first published in the 19th century, and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London.


Samuel Pepys (23rd February 1633 - 26th May 1703).
Portrait painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller in 1689.

1787: A collier named 'Bethia', a relatively small sailing ship built in 1784 at the Blaydes shipyard in Hull, is bought by the Royal Navy for £2,600 on 26th May 1787 (Some sources suggest 23rd May). The ship had been purchased for a single mission in support of an experiment. The Royal Navy wanted a ship to travel to Tahiti, pick up breadfruit plants, and transport them to the West Indies in hopes that they would grow well there and become a cheap source of food for slaves. To enable her to accomodate this role, 'Bethia' would be refitted, and renamed H.M.S. 'Bounty'.

1940: The evacuation of British and French forces from Dunkirk begins (Operation Dynamo), with around 700 privately owned vessels (which became known as the 'Little Ships') sailing from Ramsgate to rescue Allied troops trapped on the beach at Dunkirk, France. As the beach at Dunkirk was a long shallow slope, the 'Little Ships' were necessary to ferry troops from the shallow approach of beach to larger boats waiting in deeper water off shore. By the end of the operation on the 4th June, 338,226 Allied troops were brought back to the United Kingdom.


An image taken during the evacuation of Dunkirk, May/June 1940.

1941: The German battleship 'Bismarck' is sighted by Ensign Leonard B. Smith of the United States Navy, approximately 550 miles west of Lands End. Although the United States is not yet at war with Germany, Ensign Smith is flying as a member of the crew of a Consolidated Catalina of No.209 Squadron piloted by Pilot Officer D.A. Briggs. Fairey Swordfish aircraft from the carrier H.M.S. 'Ark Royal' later cripple the Bismarck in a torpedo attack.


British aircraft carrier H.M.S. 'Ark Royal' with a flight of Fairey 'Swordfish' overhead, c.1939

1969: The Apollo 10 astronauts return to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing. The Command Module, "Charlie Brown", splashed-down at 16:52:23 UTC, about 400 miles east of American Samoa in the South Pacific, just over a couple of miles from her predicted landing point and the primary recovery ship, helicopter-carrier U.S.S. 'Princetown' (LPH-5).
The astronauts were picked up by a U.S. Navy 'Sea King' helicopter with assistance from U.S. Navy underwater demolition team swimmers, who also attached a flotation collar to the spacecraft.


U.S.S. 'Princeton' at sea during the operation to recover the Apollo 10 spacecraft. The rounded structure on the forward part of the flight deck is for use in housing the space capsule.

2002: The I-40 bridge disaster occurred at 07:45hrs on 26th May southeast of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, when the captain of the towboat 'Robert Y. Love', Joe Dedmon, experienced a blackout and loses control of the tow. This, in turn, causes the barges he was controlling to collide with a bridge pier. The result was a 580-foot section of the Interstate 40 bridge plunging into Robert S. Kerr Reservoir on the Arkansas River. Fourteen people died and eleven others were injured when several automobiles and tractor trailers fell from the bridge.

Rescue efforts were complicated when William James Clark, impersonating a U.S. Army Captain, was able to take command of the disaster scene for two days. Clark's efforts included directing FBI agents and appropriating vehicles and equipment for the rescue effort, before fleeing the scene. Clark, already a two time felon, was later apprehended in Canada.


The collapsed section of the Interstate 40 bridge, Webber Falls, Oklahoma, on 31st May 2002.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - May 27th
« Reply #333 on: May 27, 2013, 09:03:49 PM »

May 27th...

1821: On 27th May, during the Greek War of Independence (also known as the Greek Revolution), the Greeks use a fire ship under Dimitrios Papanikolis against an Ottoman frigate, which is successfully destroyed in the Gulf of Eressos near the Greek island of Lesvos. 


The attack on the Turkish flagship by a fire ship commanded by Dimitrios Papanikolis

1905: The naval Battle of Tsushima, (aka the 'Sea of Japan Naval Battle' and the 'Battle of Tsushima Strait' ) begins in the Tsushima Strait between the Japanese fleet under Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō and the Russian fleet, under Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky, which had traveled over 18,000 nautical miles to reach the Far East.

1941: With her steering gear rendered inoperable, the German Battleship 'Bismarck' comes under a relentless bombardment from a British fleet. By 10:00hrs 'Bismarck' had been reduced a shambles; aflame from stem to stern; suffering from a 20° list to port, and; was low in the water by the stern.

Whilst the barrage continued, an order was given for the crew on 'Bismarck' to open the watertight doors, set scuttling charges and prepare to abandon ship.

Around 10:35hrs, the combination of battle damage and scuttling charges resulted in 'Bismarck' capsizing to port and sinking slowly by the stern, disappearing from the surface at 10:40hrs.

Most experts agree that the battle damage would have caused her to sink eventually, and the scuttling only accelerated the inevitable. Out of a crew of over 2,200 men, aboard 'Bismarck', there were just 114 survivors.


'Bismarck' down by the stern, moments befores sinking (As seen from H.M.S. 'Dorsetshire').

1958: Originally developed for the U.S. Navy by McDonnell Aircraft, the F-4 Phantom II makes its maiden flight with Robert C. Little at the controls. A hydraulic problem precluded retraction of the landing gear but subsequent flights went more smoothly.
Early testing resulted in redesign of the air intakes, including the distinctive addition of 12,500 holes to 'bleed off' the slow-moving boundary layer air from the surface of each intake ramp.


The first U.S. Navy McDonnell YF4H-1 Phantom II (seen here in 1959) made its first flight on 27th May 1958.

1967: The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'John F. Kennedy' (CVA-67) is launched by Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter Caroline, two days short of what would have been Kennedy's 50th birthday.
The carrier was the only ship of her class, a subclass of the Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carrier, and the last conventionally powered carrier built for the United States Navy.


Jacqueline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy, Jr. watch Caroline Kennedy break a bottle of champagne against the hull of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier named after her father in May 1967.

1986: The ferry, MV 'Shamia' capsized and sank during a storm on the Meghna River in southern Barisa, Bangladesh. An estimated 600 people died.

2001: Arriving in two boats, members of an Islamist separatist group seize twenty hostages from an affluent resort in Honda Bay to the north of Puerto Princesa City on the island of Palawan in the Philippines - the hostage crisis would not be resolved until June 2002.
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Neil

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 27th
« Reply #334 on: May 27, 2013, 10:02:34 PM »



1941: . Out of a crew of over 2,200 men, aboard 'Bismarck', there were just 114 survivors.

'Bismarck' down by the stern, moments befores sinking (As seen from H.M.S. 'Dorsetshire').

It's often quoted that the survivors were picked up by the Dorsetshire, but most indeed were picked from the water and transferred to the Dorsetshire by the crew of the  Tribal class destroyer Maori.
 
When I moved into my first house in Fleetwood after flying the nest, there was an old chap living next but one.
As I moved my stuff in he came to the door and asked myself and my mate if we fancied a G & T as it looked hard work.....couldn't pass up on a kind gesture like that and so went inside....and he introduced himself as "Barney's my name and the doctor has given me six months to live......so I make hay whilst sun shines"
 
He proceeded to tell us as he let the gin flow, all about his life..............an amazingly interesting chap, and hanging on his wall was his  R.N. hat band and medals................I asked him what he had served in and his photo album came out..........WOW!!!!..........not only was he a gunner on the Maori, but an official Photographic War correspondent.....and it was then that he showed us his series of photos of the HMS Maori picking up the Bismarck survivors, the way they were graciously treated and cared for and shots of the survivors below decks.......................a collection of photos I will never ever see again.
 
Sadly old Barney died some years ago, and I went to his funeral. Apparently he had suffered from dementia after I had left the area, and the whereabouts of his records and war memoirs seemingly had been skipped by those who had looked after him in his final years..............what a waste and a shame..............as they were just wonderful memories and stories..........he kept us entertained on many a rainy night.
 
A lonely man but a mighty man...........and God bless them all who serve, like him..........he will not be forgotten.
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ardarossan

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #335 on: May 27, 2013, 11:04:47 PM »

May 27th 1941...

With regards top the survivors of the Bismarck, I came across some information and images (below) at http://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/crew/bismarck_survivors_list.html, which may be of interest. However, in trying to keep individual events reasonably concise, I had 'filed' this for 27th May next year!

"After the sinking of the Bismarck, the Dorsetshire was ordered to pick up survivors. The heavy cruiser slowly sailed into the mass of humanity in the water where the Bismarck went down. Ropes were thrown over the side for the survivors to climb up, with the assistance of the British seamen. The Dorsetshire had taken on board 86 German sailors, and the destroyer Maori had picked up another 25 sailors when suddenly there was a submarine alert.

The Dorsetshire immediately got underway followed by the Maori, leaving hundreds of survivors behind, some still clinging to the ropes along her side before they dropped off.

The reasonableness of leaving the area depends most likely on the eyes that sees it, but the abrupt departure of the British ships sounded the death knell for nearly all of the several hundred German survivors left behind in the water.

Later the German submarine U-74 rescued three more sailors. The next day, the German weather ship Sachsenwald rescued two more. Out of her total complement of more than 2200 men, there were 115 survivors (originally 116 were saved but Gerhard Lüttich died due to his wounds on board Dorsetshire on 28. May 1941).

On 30 May 1941, the Dorsetshire landed her Bismarck survivors at Newcastle and the Maori landed hers at a base on the river Clyde. From there, the survivors went to London for interrogation, and they were then sent to sit out the war in prisoner of war camps in Canada..."



"This photograph shows a sea of heads floating in the oily water just after the Bismarck sank. For some reason the British censor has blotted out most of the faces."


"Survivors from the Bismarck struggled to reach the safety of the Dorsetshire. Most of the survivors didn't make it as the Dorsetshire suddenly left the area because of a possible U-boat sighting."


It's unfortunate that if it hadn't been for the U-Boat alert, there would have been significantly more survivors from the 'Bismarck'.
Do either of these two photos look like the ones that were taken by your neighbour, Neil?
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - May 28th
« Reply #336 on: May 28, 2013, 09:43:51 AM »

May 28th...

1588: The Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon (Portugal) and headed for the English Channel. The fleet was composed of 151 ships, 8,000 sailors and 18,000 soldiers, and bore 1,500 brass guns and 1,000 iron guns. The full body of the fleet took two days to leave port. It contained 28 purpose-built warships: twenty galleons, four galleys and four (Neapolitan) galleasses. The remainder of the heavy vessels were mostly armed carracks and hulks; there were also 34 light ships.


The Invincible Spanish Armada sails from Lisbon, 28th May 1588.

1833: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): The 'Adventure' was heaved onshore at Maldonado on 28th May and was prepared to receive a new copper hull. The 'Beagle' stayed at Maldonado with the Adventure during all of June, probably because most of the crew was needed for the refit. About a week later Capt. FitzRoy heard that a packet ship was due at Montevideo, and on 8th July he sailed there to await the ship which arrived on the 18th of July.

1905: The two-day Battle of Tsushima, in the Tsushima Strait between Korea and southern Japan, comes to an end after two-thirds of the Russian Baltic Fleet is destroyed by the Imperial Japanese fleet under Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō.
This was naval history's only decisive sea battle fought by modern steel battleship fleets, the first naval battle in which wireless telegraphy played a critically important role, and has been characterised as the "dying echo of the old era - for the last time in the history of naval warfare ships of the line of a beaten fleet surrendered on the high seas."


Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō's Battleship 'Mikasa', c.1905

1959: Two monkeys became the first living creatures to survive a space flight. Able, a seven-pound female rhesus monkey, and Baker, an 11-ounce female squirrel monkey, were launched to an altitude of 59 miles in the nose-cone of a Jupiter missile AM-18 from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

They withstood accelerations 38 times the normal pull of gravity and were weightless for about nine minutes, during the 16-minute flight which reached a top speed of 10,000 mph and travelled 1,500 miles from the launch site. The Jupiter nosecone carrying Able and Baker splashed down in the South Atlantic near Puerto Rico and was recovered by the Navajo-class fleet ocean tug U.S.S. 'Kiowa' (ATF-72).


Space-monkey 'Baker' sits on a life-ring aboard recovery ship 'Kiowa'.

1967: Francis Chichester arrived back in Plymouth, England, aboard his yacht, 'Gipsy Moth IV', to become the first person to sail single-handed around the world by the clipper route - with one port of call at Sydney, Australia. He also became the fastest circumnavigator, crossing the finishing line at 20:58 hrs, nine months and one day after setting off from the historic port.
In July 1967, Francis Chichester was dubbed with Sir Francis Drake's sword by the Queen at Greenwich.


Francis Chichester arriving back in Portsmouth, May 28th 1967.

2001: Divers recovered what they believe to be the body of Donald Campbell from the bottom of Coniston Water in the Lake District. Thirty four years after his water speed record attempt ended in disaster, remains were found in blue nylon overalls near where his boat 'Bluebird K7' had been discovered.
There was no skull among the remains, which were taken to a hospital for a post-mortem and police DNA tests to be carried out.


Donald Campbell sitting in the cockpit of 'Bluebird K7', 1967.

2007: Following a camaign in 2003 by Paul Gelder, editor of Yachting Monthly magazine, to sail 'Gipsy Moth IV' around the world a second time in observance of the 40th anniversary of Sir Francis Chichester's epic voyage, funds were raised to rebuild the seriously neglected yacht. In September 2005, 'Gipsy Moth IV' began a  21-month educational journey around-the-world with the Blue Water Round the World Rally.

On this day in 2007, accompanied by a flotilla of boats, 'Gipsy Moth IV' sailed into Plymouth again docking at West Hoe Pier, as she had done exactly 40 years earlier, to complete her second voyage around the world.

The yacht's restoration and the second circumnavigation are described in Paul Gelder's 2007 book, "Gipsy Moth IV: A Legend Sails Again".


Restored 'Gipsy Moth IV' completed her second global circumnavigation, 28th May 2007.

"What I would like after four months of my own cooking is the best dinner from the best chef in the best surroundings and in the best company" - Francis Chichester, May 1967.
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Neil

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #337 on: May 28, 2013, 11:50:55 PM »

they are not ones I remember Andy........but if you ever come across any acredited to a Stanley Barnes....that was he.
 
neil.
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This Day In 'Boating' History - May 29th
« Reply #338 on: May 29, 2013, 08:27:20 PM »

May 29th...

1453: The 'Fall of Constantinople' was the capture of Constantinople (the Byzantine capital), after a siege by the Ottoman Empire, under the command of 21-year-old Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos.
The siege lasted from Friday, 6th April 1453 until Tuesday, 29th May 1453 (according to the Julian calendar), when the city was conquered by the Ottomans armies, and ended the last remnant of the Roman Empire - an imperial state which had lasted for nearly 1,500 years.


The Ottoman army of Mehmet II attacking Constantinople in 1453.

1692: The related naval battles of Barfleur and La Hogue took place between 29th May and 4th June 1692 (19th -24th May in the Old Style/OS Julian calendar then in use in England).
The first action took place near Barfleur when a French fleet of 44 ships of the line (carrying a Franco-Irish invasion force), under Comte Anne Hilarion de Tourville, boldly engaged an Anglo-Dutch fleet of 82 ships of the line, under Edward Russell.

After a fierce but indecisive clash of many hours, which left many ships on both sides damaged (albeit none lost), Tourville was able to disengage. He slipped off into light fog, and for several days tried to escape the pursuing superior forces. Scattered and in disaray, some of the French fleet managed to reach the safety of home ports, but not all of them.

On 3rd June, three French ships were lost to Dutch at Cherbourg, and on the following day, a dozen ships thought to be safe at La Hougue (under the protection of the assembled land forces and a battery), were attacked the Dutch and English using long boats.
By this time the French crews were exhausted and disheartened. The allies successfully deployed shore parties and fire ships which burned all twelve French ships of the line which had sought shelter there. This last action became celebrated in England as the Battle of La Hogue.


The Battle of Barfleur, 19th May 1692. An 18th century painting by Richard Paton.

1652: On 29th May (19th May in the Julian Calendar then used in England), The Battle of Goodwin Sands (aka the Battle of Dover) became the first engagement of the First Anglo-Dutch War, due to an unfortunate encounter which occurred in the English Channel near Dover, between a Dutch convoy escorted by 40 ships under Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp and an English fleet of 25 ships under General-at-Sea Robert Blake.

An ordinance of Oliver Cromwell required all foreign fleets in the North Sea or the Channel to dip their flag in salute (reviving an ancient right the English had long insisted on), but when Tromp was tardy to comply, Blake fired three warning shots. When the third shot hit his ship, wounding some sailors, Tromp replied with a warning broadside from his flagship 'Brederode'. Blake then fired a broadside in anger, and the five-hour Battle of Goodwin Sands ensued. Tromp lost two ships but escorted his convoy to safety.


A painting of the Dutch flagship 'Brederode' off Hellevoetsluis, by Simon de Vlieger.

1792: George Vancouver's expedition, aboard H.M.S. 'Discovery' (accomanied by H.M.S. 'Chatham'), enters the Strait of Juan de Fuca, between Vancouver Island and the Washington state mainland.
His orders included a survey of every inlet and outlet on the west coast of the mainland, all the way north to Alaska. Most of this work would be done in small craft propelled by both sail and oar as manoeuvering larger sail-powered vessels in uncharted waters was generally impractical and dangerous.

1914: The ocean liner R.M.S. 'Empress of Ireland', which operated on the North Atlantic route between Quebec and Liverpool in England, sank in the Saint Lawrence River after being struck amidships by the Norwegian collier, SS 'Storstad', in foggy conditions during the early hours of 29th May 1914.
The 'Empress' had just begun her 96th sailing when she sank, claiming the lives of 1,012 (840 passengers, 172 crew) of the 1,477 persons on board. The number of deaths is the largest of any Canadian maritime accident in peacetime.


R.M.S. 'Empress of Ireland', c.1908.

1940: The first flight of the Chance-Vought XF4U-1 'Corsair' prototype (BuNo 1443) is made, with Lyman A. Bullard, Jr. at the controls. The maiden flight proceeded normally until a hurried landing was made when the elevator trim tabs failed because of flutter.


The XF4U-1 'Corsair' prototype in flight. The cockpit would be relocated further aft on the production version.

1950: Having already become the first vessel to negotiate the Northwest Passage in both directions, the 'St. Roch', a Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner, becomes the first ship to circumnavigate North America (via the Panama Canal), when she arrives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The 'St. Roch' is now on display at the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


'St Roch' -A 1:72 scale display model by Billing Boats.


Happy 70th Birthday to Mayhem member 'trawlerman', aka Rod - Born on this day in 1943.
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This Day In 'Boating' History - May 30th
« Reply #339 on: May 30, 2013, 11:03:53 AM »

May 30th...

1815: The East Indiaman 'Arniston' is wrecked during a storm at Waenhuiskrans, near Cape Agulhas, South Africa. She had been requisitioned as a troopship and was on a journey from Ceylon to England  to repatriate wounded soldiers from the Kandyan Wars when the tragedy happened. 372 lives were lost, with ust 6 survivors.

Controversially, the ship did not have a marine chronometer on board - a comparatively new and expensive navigational instrument that would have enabled her to determine her longitude accurately. Instead, she was forced to navigate through the heavy storm and strong currents using older, less reliable navigational aids and dead reckoning.[3] Navigational difficulties and a lack of headway led to an incorrect assumption that Cape Agulhas was Cape Point. Consequently, the ship was wrecked when the captain headed north for St Helena with the incorrect belief the ship had already passed Cape Point.

After spending several days stranded on a nearby beach, the six survivors of the sinking were eventually discovered by a local farmer´s son.


The 'Arniston' - A heavily armed East Indiaman, equivalent to a Royal Navy fourth-rate ship of the line.

1832: The Rideau Canal (aka the Rideau Waterway) is officially opened to traffic, connecting the city of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on the Ottawa River to the city of Kingston, Ontario, on Lake Ontario.
The canal remains in use today (primarily for pleasure boating) and is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America. In 2007 it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1914: Under the command of Captain W.T. Turner, the new, and then the largest, Cunard ocean liner R.M.S. 'Aquitania', 45,647 tons, sets sails on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, to New York City. Unfortunately, the event is overshadowed by the tragic news of the sinking of the Canadian Pacific liner 'Empress of Ireland' in Quebec the previous day with over a thousand drowned.


Cunard liner R.M.S. 'Aquitania' leaves Liverpool on her maiden voyage, 30th May 1914.

1959: The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, is officially opened by Governor-General, His Excellency Lord Cobham, whose car made the first crossing that day. The ceremony was held on the Toll Plaza, at Sulphur Beach, with about 1000 guests in attendance.
The Bridge Superintendent, Mr DG MacPherson made the first entry in the daily log book on opening day: “11.10 Bridge open. Good luck to you and God bless. May it never close”.


Present-day Auckland Harbour Bridge - Note: If you look closely near the top of the left-hand concrete support, there is a small blue & white boat suspended just below the steelwork...

1990: Israeli soldiers thwart a terror attack on Nitzanim beach, near Tel Aviv, by a group of PLF guerrillas using speedboats armed with a variety of assault weapons. Israeli ships and aircraft intercepted the raiders, killing four of the militants and capturing twelve.
A captured speed boat is later put on display at the Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum, Haifa, Israel.


A modified speedboat used in an attempted attack against Israeli targets, on 30th May 1990.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - May 31st
« Reply #340 on: May 31, 2013, 11:31:13 AM »

May 31st...

1669: English naval administrator, Member of Parliament and diarist, Samuel Pepys, believing that his sight has been affected by the long hours he has worked, writes his last entry dated 31st May 1669. He reluctantly concludes that, for the sake of his eyes, he should completely stop writing and, from then on, only dictate to his clerks.

1853: Led by American explorer Dr. Elisha Kane, the second Arctic expedition financed by Henry Grinnell, leaves New York on board the 144-ton brig 'Advance' to search for Captain Sir John Franklin's lost expedition north of Beechey Island and also a likely open summer Polar sea.

1875: SMS 'Grosser Kurfürst' , an ironclad turret ship of the German Kaiserliche Marine, was sunk on her maiden voyage in an accidental collision with the ironclad SMS 'König Wilhelm'.
The two ships, along with SMS 'Preussen' were steaming in the English Channel when they encountered a pair of sailing boats ahead. Turning to avoid them, 'Grosser Kurfürst' inadvertently crossed too closely to 'König Wilhelm'. The 'ram bow' of 'König Wilhelm' tore a hole in 'Grosser Kurfürst' which sank in about eight minutes, taking around 270* of her crew with her (*sources vary between 269 and 276 fatalities).


Channel watermen and boats from the 'König Wilhelm', rescue survivors from the 'Großer Kurfürst'.

1911: After successfully completing her sea trials, R.M.S. 'Olympic' leaves Belfast bound for Liverpool - her port of registration, on 31st May 1911. As a publicity stunt the White Star Line deliberately timed the start of this first voyage to coincide with the launch of 'Titanic'.


R.M.S. 'Olympic' on her sea trials in Belfast in 1911.

1911: The hull of (what will be) R.M.S. 'Titanic' is launched at 12:15hrs in the presence of Lord Pirrie, J. Pierpoint Morgan and J. Bruce Ismay and 100,000 onlookers. 22 tons of soap and tallow were spread on the slipway to lubricate the ship's passage into the River Lagan. In keeping with the White Star Line's traditional policy, the ship was not formally named or christened with champagne.

'Titanic' being launched at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, May 11 1911.

1942: Three Ko-hyoteki-class midget submarines, each with a two-member crew, entered Sydney Harbour, Australia, avoided the partially constructed Sydney Harbour anti-submarine boom net, and attempted to sink Allied warships.
Two of the midget submarines were detected and attacked before they could successfully engage any Allied vessels, and the crews scuttled their boats and committed suicide. These submarines were later recovered by the Allies.
The third submarine attempted to torpedo the heavy cruiser U.S.S. 'Chicago', but instead sank the converted ferry H.M.A.S. 'Kuttabul', killing 21 sailors. This midget submarine's fate was unknown until 2006, when amateur scuba divers discovered the wreck off Sydney's northern beaches.


A Japanese midget submarine on display at the Australian War Memorial.

2010: In international waters of the Mediterranean Sea, a flotilla of six ships (calling itself the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla") sailing from Cyprus to Gaza with the intention of breaking the Israeli-Egyptian naval blockade, is intercepted by Israeli naval vessels after flotilla skippers ignore IDF requests to change course.

Five of the six activist ships are commandeered by Israeli Shayetet 13 naval commandos without incident. However, when they attempt to board the sixth vessel (the Turkish cruise ship MV 'Mavi Marmara'), they are attacked by a number of activists wielding clubs, metal rods and knives.

During the subsequent confrontation, several Israeli commandos are seriously injured, and nine Turkish activists are killed when the commandos switch from non-lethal to live rounds.


Israeli forces approach one of six ships bound for Gaza in the Mediterranean Sea, 31st May 2010.

2013: Following a celebratory launch day, the museum housing sixteenth century Tudor warship 'Mary Rose' opens fully to the public today, in an elliptical timber-clad building at the Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth.
The new museum reunites the 'Mary Rose' with many thousands of the 19,000 artefacts raised from its wreck, to form what is being described as "essentially a vast and fascinating Tudor time capsule".


The new museum housing the 'Mary Rose', located next to Nelson's flagship, H.M.S. 'Victory'.
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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #341 on: May 31, 2013, 12:57:06 PM »

And the Battle of Jutland, 1916!

Andy
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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #342 on: May 31, 2013, 03:26:17 PM »

And the Battle of Jutland, 1916!

Andy

RIP
Able Seaman Joseph Vaughan Gun layer
HMS Defence.
Went down with his ship.

My Great Uncle.

Ned
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - May 31st
« Reply #343 on: May 31, 2013, 09:07:53 PM »

May 31st...

1916: The British Grand Fleet under the command of Sir John Jellicoe and Sir David Beatty engage the Kaiserliche Marine under the command of Reinhard Scheer and Franz von Hipper in the North Sea at Jutland, Denmark. Fought from 31st May to 1st June, The Battle of Jutland (aka 'The Battle of Skagerrak') would be the largest naval battle, and the only full-scale clash of battleships, of World War I.

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Bob K

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #344 on: June 01, 2013, 12:07:36 AM »

Adross:  I always read your topic first when I visit. What has me concerned is will it all end on December 18, or will you be able to find even more interesting historical items without repeating yourself?
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ardarossan

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #345 on: June 01, 2013, 10:06:24 AM »

Adross:  I always read your topic first when I visit. What has me concerned is will it all end on December 18, or will you be able to find even more interesting historical items without repeating yourself?

Hi Bob,

That's nice to hear, thank you As for December 18th being an 'end' date, it's not something that I have 'scheduled', and as I keep accidentally finding little tid-bits of info (which I've now been saving for a couple of months or so) which are ready for next year!.

The only 'problem' is that this has turned into a bit of a double-edged sword and is taking up more time than I could have imagined. I realise that I have posted most on this thread, but it's not exculsive and I'm really pleased to see other people add info (Capt Podge and Herit... Hertop... Andy, where are you?!), as that was the idea - and if you miss a date - there's always next year.

Andy
 
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This Day In 'Boating' History - June 1st
« Reply #346 on: June 01, 2013, 04:08:47 PM »

June 1st...

1794: "The Glorious First of June" (also known as the 'Third Battle of Ushant' of 1794 was the first and largest fleet action of the naval conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the First French Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars.

The British Channel Fleet under Admiral Lord Howe attempted to prevent the passage of a vital French grain convoy from the United States, which was protected by the French Atlantic Fleet, commanded by Rear-Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse. The two forces clashed in the Atlantic Ocean, some 400 nautical miles west of the French island of Ushant on 1st June 1794.

In the aftermath of the battle both fleets were left shattered and in no condition for further combat, with both sides claiming victory: Britain by virtue of capturing or sinking seven French ships without losing any of her own and remaining in control of the battle site; France because the vital convoy had passed through the Atlantic unharmed and arrived in France without significant loss.


Lord Howe's action, or the Glorious First of June, by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg (1795).


1813: Almost immediately after leaving port on 1st June, the U.S.S. 'Chesapeake' engaged the blockading Royal Navy frigate H.M.S. 'Shannon' in a fierce battle. Although slightly smaller, the British ship disabled 'Chesapeake' with gunfire within the first few minutes.
Captain James Lawrence, mortally wounded by small arms fire, ordered his (famous last words to his) officers, "Don't give up the ship!"
Men carried him below, and his crew was overwhelmed by a British boarding party shortly afterward. James Lawrence died of his wounds on 4th June 1813, while his captors directed the 'Chesapeake' to Halifax, Nova Scotia.


U.S.S. 'Chesapeake'. Painted by F. Muller c.1900.

1831: Serving under Sir John Ross (his uncle) on his second Arctic voyage, James Clark Ross discovers the North Magnetic Pole on 1st June 1831 on the Boothia Peninsula in the far north of Canada.

1910: 'Terra Nova' leaves London bound for Cardiff, to make final preparations for Robert Falcon Scott's second (ill-fated) South Pole expedition.


A static scale model of the 'Terra Nova'.

1939: Built by Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, H.M.S. 'Thetis' (N25), a Group 1 T-class submarine of the Royal Navy, sank in Liverpool Bay during her final diving trials, whilst accompanied by the tug 'Grebecock'.
Unfortunately, some enamel paint blocking a test cock (on tube number 5) and a confusing layout of the bow cap indicators resulted in the inner door of the tube being opened and the inrush of water causing the bow of the submarine to sink to the seabed 150 ft below the surface.

Four of the crew managed to escape, but ninety-nine lives were lost. In addition to her normal crew, 'Thetis' also had 9 naval officers, and employees of both Cammell Laird and Vickers-Armstrong on board when the accident occurred.

'Thetis' was later salvaged, repaired and recommissioned as H.M.S. 'Thunderbolt' serving in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theatres until she was sunk with all hands, off the coast of Sicily by an Italian corvette in 1943.


Ship's badge of the submarine HMS Thetis (N25)

1999: Inventor of the Hovercraft, Sir Christopher Sydney Cockerell CBE RDI FRS, died four days before his 89th birhday at Hythe, Hampshire.
Born in Cambridge, where his father, Sir Sydney Cockerell, was Curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Christopher Cockerell went on to study engineering, before moving to the Marconi Company.

In the early 1950s he started to consider the possibility of a vehicle that could move across land or water on a cushion of air. Testing his theories using a vacuum cleaner and two tin cans, his hypothesis was found to have potential. Forced to sell personal possessions to finance his research, by 1955, he had built a working model from balsa wood and was able to file his first patent for the hovercraft - No. 854211.

Four years later, the first fully operational full-scale hovercraft, was unveiled to the public where it showed its capability to cross both land and water.

A memorial to Sir Christopher Cockerell stands on the site at Hythe, where he and his team conducted the early hovercraft development.


Sir Christopher Sydney Cockerell,
(4th June 1910 - 1st June 1999).
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - June 1st
« Reply #347 on: June 01, 2013, 10:16:22 PM »

June 1st... 'Space Shuttle Endeavour'

2011: Space Shuttle 'Endeavour' (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-105) makes it's final landing at the Kennedy Space Centre at 06:34:17 UTC, prior to being decommissioned.

Authorized by Congress in August 1987 as a replacement for the Space Shuttle orbiter 'Challenger', 'Endeavour' was the fifth and final spaceworthy NASA space shuttle to be built, using many structural spares built during the construction of 'Discovery' and 'Atlantis'.


'Endeavour's First Mission Patch: STS-49


'Endeavour's maiden flight (above) was on 7th May 1992, mission designation STS-49. During her flight career, 'Endeavour' would complete 25 missions altogether, covering a distance of 122,883,151 miles and spend 299 days in space.


The orbiter is named after H.M.S. 'Endeavour', the ship which took Captain James Cook on his first voyage of discovery (1768 - 1771) which is why the name is spelled in 'proper' English, rather than Americanised English (i.e. "Endeavor"). The spelling has occasionally caused confusion, most notably when NASA itself misspelled a sign on the launch pad in 2007.


The Shuttle's name also honoured 'Endeavour', the Command Module of Apollo 15, itself also named after Cook's ship.


Illuminated by Xenon lights Space shuttle 'Endeavour' makes its final landing at 06:34 UTC, on 1st June 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility, completing a 16-day mission to the International Space Station.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - June 1st
« Reply #348 on: June 01, 2013, 11:59:11 PM »

June 1st...

1916: The Battle of Jutland (aka 'The Battle of Skagerrak'), fought by the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet (which also included ships and individual personnel from the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Canadian Navy) against the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet, comes to an end when the German Fleet withdraws, however the result would remain inconclusive.


First and second battleship squadrons and small cruiser of the German Navy (in Kiel Harbour, Germany, circa 1911-14)

The Germans would claim that Jutland was a victory for them as they had sunk more capital ships than the British. Jellicoe claimed that the victory belonged to the British as his fleet was still a sea worthy entity whereas the German High Seas fleet was not. The British did lose more ships (14 ships and over 6,700 lives) than the Germans (9 ships and over 3,000 casualties), but the German fleet was never again to be in a position to put to sea and challenge the British Navy in the North Sea.


The British Grand Fleet steaming in parallel columns (at the outbreak of war in 1914).
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - June 2nd
« Reply #349 on: June 02, 2013, 06:50:19 PM »

June 2nd...

1676: The naval Battle of Palermo takes place during the Franco-Dutch War, between a French force led by Abraham Duquesne and a Spanish force supported by a Dutch maritime expedition force. Largely because the Dutch and Spanish ships were at bay making repairs from earlier a battle, the French fleet destroyed four Spanish and three Dutch ships with fireships. This battle secured the supremacy of the French fleet in the mediterranean until 1678.


Antique print, original hand-coloured lithograph of a naval battle: Battle of Palermo, 1676.

1805: Besieged by a Franco-Spanish fleet under orders from Napoleon to recapture Diamond Rock, British defenders (with their ammunition almost exhausted and water supplies running critically short) eventually agree terms to surrender the uninhabited basalt island at the entrance to the bay leading to Fort-de-France, the main port of the Caribbean island of Martinique.


The Capture of Diamond Rock, 2nd June1805.

1943: Whilst on anti-submarine patrol over the Bay of Biscay, a RAAF Short Sunderland of No.461 Squadron, is attacked  by eight Junkers Ju.88s. The ensuing combat last for 45 minutes and sees the Sunderland shoot down three of the attacking Ju.88s. and damage three of the others. The Sunderland is also heavily damaged, with one of its crew killed and three wounded. Nevertheless, the pilot, Flight Lieutenant C.B. Walker, nursed the aircraft back to the Cornish coast, where he managed to land and beach it at Praa Sands. Flt. Lt. Walker was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Order.


A Short Sunderland Flying Boat (Mk.V).

1969: During the night of 2nd/3rd June, whilst participating in SEATO exercise Sea Spirit in the South China Sea, a collision occurred between the the Majestic-class light aircraft carrier H.M.A.S. 'Melbourne' of the Royal Australian Navy and the Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer U.S.S. 'Frank E. Evans' of the U.S. Navy. At approximately 03:00hrs, when ordered to a new escort station, the 'Frank E. Evans' 'sailed under 'Melbourne's bow, where she was cut in two. Her bow section sank and the stern remained afloat. Seventy-four of destroyer's crew were killed.
'Melbourne' had prviously been involved in a similar incident in 1964, earning her the dubious title of the only British Commonwealth naval vessel to sink two friendly warships in peacetime collisions.

1981:The third and final vessel of Invincible-class of light aircraft carriers, H.M.S. 'Ark Royal' (R07) is launched at Swan Hunters shipyard, Wallsend, on the River Tyne on June 2nd 1981, and named by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

Slightly larger than her sister ships, H.M.S. 'Invincible' and 'H.M.S. 'Illustrious', and with a steeper ski-jump ramp, H.M.S. 'Ark Royal' would go into service in 1985.


H.M.S. 'Ark Royal' slides into the River Tyne at her launch ceremony, 2nd June 1981.


  "Zeal Does Not Rest"
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