28 NAVY NEWS, FEBRUARY 2010
Deep diving duck
IN RESPONSE to Derek Lawbuary’s You have brought back many many y y
query about ‘Philipp the Duck’ (Ask Jack, happy memories with thishisiss
November), the duck was obtained by story. I am still in contact ctt
I HAVE read the various, almost
AB Mick Daish and a few others serving with Buster Brown, whoo
self-congratulatory letters about
on HMS Anchorite in Singapore as part retired from the RCN asass
the ‘young’ Chief Petty Offi cers.
of the 7th Submarine Division. Senior Servicemen of the whole hole
Well, congratulations to them
Along with myself and L(M)E Buster of the Canadian Services.
of course, but let us not forget,
Brown, (on detached duty from the And of course, ‘Mad Mick’ Mick’
none of them were real Chiefs,
Royal Canadian Navy) Philipp, who had Daish who was an AB (UC) UCC))
they were artificers, which is not
been adopted at the boat’s mascot, most of his service.
quite the same thing.
did indeed sail to Subic Bay on the There were others involved, d,
Ask any ex-Chief Stoker or
Anchorite. Taff Davies, sadly noo
Seaman Chief or Chief Cook!
Unfortunately Philipp did not survive longer with us, and Georgie e
They were given three buttons
the trip back to Singers. Largue, who seemed able to too
because of their skills and
I’m afraid the combination of too converse with Philip (after tot tot ot
responsibility and rightly so.
many late nights ashore and the four-on time). A £25 Amazon voucher
But Chief Petty Officers, no
and four-off watches put paid to what – Ronnie ‘Jock’ to the letter which
way. Not straightaway, anyway.
would have been a wonderful career. McAlpine, amuses, impresses or
However, I did not do too
Philipp was well-loved by all the sub- East Kilbride, Scotland enlightens us the most.
badly myself. I was a POEL at 22
mariners in the squadron, and indeed
and a CPOEL at 29 followed by
all the families who attended at the
FCOEL at 34.
● L(M)E Buster Brown (left) and Ronnie ‘Jock’ McAlpine holding Philipp the Duck in June 1964.
Armada Pavilion (Boats Section) always Ronnie said: “Philip was a healthy, happy duck and was well-looked-after by AB William Oliver,
I was not exceptional but was
left a jar or two for Philipp. Benjamin ‘Mick’ Daish and me in his absence.”
in the right place and branch at
the right time.
– Paul Fitzgerald,
...I CLAIM to be probably the
THE PICTURE you show on
AT THE risk of starting an ship’s crest as a memento, and
unseemly argument, I rather he duly produced a beautifully
youngest CPO. I joined the RN
page 19 of the December edition
at 18, my birthday is on February
is even more unusual than the text
think that Cdr Greenish may be painted crest on a polished base.
After training for ten weeks
If the caption is to be believed,
mistaken in saying that George By way of a thank you, I
Parker transferred from St Kitts to offered him a pack of his favourite
FURTHER TO Shipmate Dr we chased had been holed abaft
at HMS Collingwood I was
and it says that HMS Express is
Camperdown as early as 1953. Woodbines, but these were
Brian Baker’s letter (January) her anchor by an Israeli patrol
transferred to RNB.
entering the historic docks, then
When I was a baby sub lieutenant gracefully turned down with “It is
HMS Whimbrel became the boat and given up there and then.
I took the trades test for
she must be doing so in reverse – a
in St Kitts in the summer of not necessary, sir.”
Egyptian ship Tarig. I remember seeing a picture of the
ERC at HMS Sultan and was
most unusual event.
1956, George was still her buffer’s This crest, together with a
I joined HMS Undine in Malta holed ship, which the Israelis used
transferred to HMS Hornet as
Normally when entering the
yeoman – and his caboose was as number of others that I collected
in March 1956, she had returned as their own afterwards.
LMM in February 1941.
docks the lifting bridge and the
cluttered as ever. over the years, is now with the sea
from Cyprus patrols for R&R, we We were later placed as police
I was rated Acting CHMM
control cabin are to starboard, the
His very long service in her, cadets of TS Euryalus in Oxford.
returned to patrol and were due to ship anchored mid-stream of the
February 1 1942, CHMM 4
top of Gloucester cathedral can
and what would now be called his – Rear Admiral John Myres,
return to the UK around the end mouth of the canal, we had a
February 1 1943 and CHMM 3
just be seen on the starboard bow,
‘corporate memory’ were often Dorchester-on-Thames,
of October. laugh at one of our sister ships
February 1 1944.
and the historic ships with their
We arrived into Grand Harbour of the 6th frigate squadron, as
I was a seagoing Chief of most
tall masts are to port.
One story relates to a strange
...IT IS certainly true that George
around 0200hrs, and moored up a minesweeper playing postman
of my time on MTBs – MTB
I suspect that she is exiting
shortage of awning stanchions
Parker left instructions for a recall
on the trot behind a darkened caught her hook in the navigator’s
18, MTB 79, PT 423 D Boats
the main basin prior to coming
whilst we were lying in Sliema
telegram to be sent two days after
destroyer. We were then told cabin scuttle and tore it back
alongside at Llanthony Quay,
Creek, and George asked whether
he went on leave.
to turn in and return to normal several feet and she was taken
– J H Lee, Nuneaton
which would be to her starboard
on the way down the canal, with
he might take the skimmer round
Early in the 1960s I was on
watches. alongside Forth for repairs. ...I WOULD like to join the
the new High Orchard Bridge
to Grand Harbour.
Christmas retard leave and we
At around 0400 all our action Several days later we were contest.
ahead of her.
On return a couple of hours
were alongside a ‘Ca’ boat that
station bells went off, as we were relieved in order to return to the Looking at my service
– Lt Cdr Michael Wainwright,
later, with the skimmer filled with
George was on.
used to them we all tumbled out UK, many weeks overdue, as we certificates now, I can recall
RNR (Ret’d) Christchurch,
the required stanchions, George
I was doing temporary postie
and set sail, about an hour out lifted our motor boat the derricks that I was rated Engine Room
was heard to remark that he
duties and he left a telegram
of Malta the skipper came on tore out of the deck and it all went Artificer 1st Class and Chief
recalled them being landed in the
with me to send on the Monday
the intercom and told us that the over the side. Petty Officer on October 16
You are indeed entirely correct.
dockyard there for repair many
destroyer that had been moored No-one hurt but we ended 1960. I was born in July 1938,
Even the digital picture itself is
And yes, he had the ball
ahead of us was an Egyptian up alongside our sister ship for so I was then 22 years and three
named ‘Express passing out of
George was the epitome of an
displayed on the mainmast.
warship and had slipped out of repairs. months old.
Gloucester docks’. So there is
old-fashioned three-badge AB.
– D J Clayton, ex Ro2 1958-
harbour when it had learned of We eventually got back to Young maybe, but I don’t
no defence at all we can offer for
Before I left her, I asked him
67, Chittaway Point, New South
the UK operation Musketeer to Malta where the Mediterranean think this was particularly
the offending caption. Other than
whether he could find me a small
retake the Suez canal. Our job was Fleet was preparing to return to unusual at that time.
incompetence... – Ed
to capture/sink the ship. the UK. – S M Johnson, Ch ERA
We gave chase for a few days The whole fleet left Malta (Retd) Burntwood, Staffs
Island Diverse family
but lost her up among the Greek together, at sea the order was
islands, we were then directed to given form line abreast, then it
start A/S from the Bosphorus area was heard that ‘at best speed’
towards the invading fleet that meet in Gibraltar, last one in Final fling
I WAS extremely impressed designs and are worn by some
was at sea by now, this we did as stands the drinks.
by the article on page 13 of of our most distinguished mem-
it was suspected that the Russians We were second ship in, having
YOU REFERRED to South
January’s edition We still make bers, but we have no objection
might try to interfere with the UK/ lost sight of HMS Manxman
French/Israeli plans for Suez. within hours of taking off.
Georgia (There is lightness,
the long, lonely walk... to younger members or their
December) as a “paradisal
I joined the Clearance Divers kith and kin wearing them, as
As we all know the landings went Oh, but what an unforgettable
ahead as planned on November 5 sight, to see as far as the eye could
A CORRESPONDENT in
in 1949 and I issue the badges, it perpetuates the link with the
onwards with the bombardment see to port and starboard that line
your December issue wrote that
I’m left wondering what you
round and shield shape, and daring deeds of the past and
by the French battleship Jean Bart of RN ships at full speed ahead!
neither the Royal British Legion
meant by this. South Georgia isn’t
also the tie on behalf of the keeps alive the esprit de corps.
plus RN ships. – Chris Roddis, ex L/S,
nor Naval Associations had any
really an archipelago, it’s an island
branch. – Gerald Morris,
We heard later that the destroyer Southern Spain
regulations about the wearing of
These are the original WW2 RN Diver no 338, Waverton
As for “paradisal”, I found it far
Although there is nothing in
from that on my visits. Of course,
the RNA Guide to Ceremonial
ideas of paradise do differ from
about this the RBL Ceremonial
person to person but my idea of
Handbook says quite clearly:
paradisal archipelago would be
‘The official rules for wearing
Hawaii, not South Georgia.
medals allow only official awards
And this from a journal that
to be worn.
boasts a Plain English award!
‘Unofficial purchased medals
– Andrew Tarrant, Yeovil,
and foreign medals which do not
have the Sovereign’s permission
to be worn are not allowed.’
It is not therefore the
correct procedure, as your
correspondent thought, to wear
IN THE article about Fleet Air
them on the right side.
Arm celebrations in Liverpool
They should not be worn at
you wrongly state that HMS
Biter is the city’s university boat,
I hope this will be the final
when in fact although it is based
fling for bling in your columns.
in Liverpool, it is the boat of the
– Bob Griffiths, Abingdon,
University of Manchester and it
is HMS Charger that is the city’s
– Mike Hill
THE letter about the late Hoagy
Carmichael (October) is spot on,
as regards a very popular offi cer,
who as our fl ying postman on the
REFERRING to the claim of
HMS Kingfi sher to be the highest
warship (December) I remember Hedgehog shows its prickles
Bulwark in his Avenger always
delivered the goods.
I was chief QM on that first
visiting Karlstad on Lake Vanern
commission with a standing
in the early 1960s onboard
FOLLOWING the letters (January) about Modeste shared the dry dock with Crane, we welcome change from the frozen cardboard middle, and when Hoagy was duty
a minesweeper from HMS
the fitting of the Hedgehog anti-submarine carried out post-refit trials which included normally supplied from the galley in the Lt Cdr or DLC as Daily Orders
weapon I can confirm that both HMS Crane the only occasion on which the Hedgehog guise of fish. put it, we could always rely on the
We were berthed near a coffee
and HMS Modeste, modified Black Swan- was fired during the commission. Attached are two photos which I took, wardroom galley being open and
factory, the smell was lovely,
class frigates, were fitted with this weapon. The chosen target was a well-known reef one showing the fall of shot (I missed the bacon sarnies, or even a fried egg
and being on a fresh water lake
I was an Ordnance Artificer on Modeste near Hong Kong. explosions), the other showing the catch to go with the pusser’s kye.
it cleaned out the sea water
during 1955-57, when stationed in the Far Following the explosions of the live on display. Happy memories of a man the
East. weapons, the sea boat was launched to – Keith Reedman, ex Chief Ordnance Andrew could be proud of.
– Jack Lamb
After an extensive refit in Hong Kong when collect the harvest of stunned fish – a Artificer, Long Eaton, Derbyshire – Spike Wheeler, Wokingham
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