12 NAVY NEWS, MARCH 2010
QQuorn beefed up for 2010uorn beefed up for 2010
THIRTEEN’S unlucky for some.
spell of minehunting in European waters,
Despite being ship number 13 – the
following one of the longest passages in
very last – of the Hunt-class to be
the class’ history.
delivered to the Royal Navy in the late
To avoid autumn storms, a passage
1970s and throughout the ’80s, we’re
from Bermuda to the Azores became a
not aware of any ill stars dogging HMS
passage from Bermuda to La Coruña
– 2,725 nautical miles during a 13-day
Indeed, her ship’s company might
consider themselves to be very fortunate.
The NATO deployment also saw the
North Sea ................1941-44
Last year they enjoyed the No.1 run
ship pass over the resting place of the
English Channel ......1942-44
ashore in the world (New York, although
previous vessel to carry the name.
Normandy .................... 1944
we believe Newcastle-upon-Tyne runs it
The second HMS Quorn, also a Hunt-
a close second...). And this year they’re
class, but this time a destroyer, served
Class: Hunt-class mine
enjoying some quality time at home.
her nation with distinction for four years.
That does not mean the ship’s
She survived three serious encounters
Pennant number: M41
company are putting their feet up.
either with time-delayed bombs or
Builder: Vosper Thornycroft,
No, after five months attached to
mines, one of which blasted a hole 9ft
NATO’s Standing Mine Countermeasures
by 15ft in her port side.
Launched: January 23 1988
Group 1, their vessel is in need of a little
She scored her greatest success
Commissioned: April 21
bit of attention (plus some additions and sinking the German commerce raider
alterations to existing kit to enhance her Komet in the autumn of 1942 in company
Displacement: 750 tons
minewarfare capability). with four other destroyers.
Length: 197ft (60 metres)
She’s in Portsmouth for a ‘mini refit’ Her luck finally ran out in the small
Beam: 33ft (10 metres)
which should allow her to return to sea in hours of August 3 1944. Quorn had been
Draught: 10ft (2.9 metres)
June with thorough training for ship and assigned to the fleet safeguarding the
ship’s company beginning in September Normandy invasion.
Complement: 45 es
so Quorn will be ready to deploy once She was struck amidships – either
Propulsion: 2 x Ruston-
more come 2011. by a German human torpedo (Neger) or
Paxman 9-59K Deltic
Last year was among the busiest in by a motorboat packed with explosives
diesels generating 1,900hp;
Quorn’s 22-year career. It began with a (Linsen).
1 x Deltic 9-55B diesel
party to mark the ship’s ‘coming of age’, The blast tore Quorn in two. She sank
generating 780hp; 1 x bow
and ended with 11,000 miles added to rapidly, taking four officers and 126 men
down with her.
Sensors: Sonar 2193
the odometer and a Christmas welcome
No such fate befell the first Quorn.
from friends and family at the end of that
The lineage began in 1916 with a
Armament: Seafox mine
minesweeper built on the Clyde, one of a
disposal system; 1 x 30mm
In between, a new affiliate – Ipswich
gun with a range of 5½
– was added (the ship’s already bound class of more than 150 sloops – capable
miles; 2 x Oerlikon 20mm
with Melton Mowbray, the borough ships but renowned for needing high-
guns; 1 x minigun
which includes Quorn Hunt for which grade coal and leaving huge trails of
the vessel is named), there were five smoke across the water (such that men
Facts and figur
weeks in Scotland in the hands of FOST, dubbed the class ‘Smokey Joes’).
visits to Canada and the USA (where Like most of the initial batch of 20
the ship was dwarfed by the carrier Hunts, Quorn was no longer needed
USS Harry S Truman during exercises after the Great War and was sold for
off the Eastern Seaboard) and a final breaking up in Southampton in 1922.
HEROES OF THE ROYAL NAVY No. 71 – Lt Richard Aitken Waters RNVR GM
THIS remarkable series of images – recently The remains of the two salvaged boats often made life unbearable for crew on he arrived on the Domburg sands.
unearthed in the photographic archive of would serve as the inspiration for the surface, while temperaturth es He found the Seal’s two torpedoes
the Imperial War Museum – catalogues a desperate attempt by Germany plummeted when the boat dived and plum still attached. Both had to be rendered
one of the longest, most diffi cult and most to turn the tide in the war at sea. the two men inside could sufthe fer from impotent and removed before the
dangerous salvage operations in World The Kleinkampfverbände hypothermia.hyph Admiralty could inspect its prize.
War 2. (small combat units) – frogmen, Despite these shortcomings, D And so began a three-week recovery
A team of mine clearance experts, led midget submarines, ‘human the thet Seehund was feared. Its size operation. Waters had to dig out sand
by Lt Richard Aitken Waters RNVR, pose torpedoes’ and the like – would and the little noise it generated and before he could tackle the port torpedo
proudly next to their unique prize – a harry and harass Allied shipping when submerged made it almost whew pistol – using a chisel and hammer.
German Seehund (seal) midget submarine and help defend the shores of impossible to detect.immpompm o Now, the salvage team could begin
on a Dutch beach in early 1945. Hitler’s vaunted Fortress Europe. The weather prTh oved a far more excavating the Seal, attaching fl oats so it
It was an operation which took the There would be one-man nn dangerdandaanngeg ous adversary for the two crew. could be righted at high tide.
men three weeks, but the story begins submarines, the Neger (negro), Biberbeer Most of the thrMosMost otot ee dozen Seals lost fell And then Waters could grapple with
12 months earlier on a bitter Baltic night (beaver), Marder (marten) and Molchh victim to bad weathervicvvictimtim . the starboard torpedo – which proved
in Lübeck Bay, as two midshipmen were (pike), but the true successors Yet the two torpedoes strapped to equally diffi cult to defuse. The offi cer
ushered into a heavily-guarded hut. of the Kleinkampfverbände’s the outside of the hull would help theth worked in two feet of icy water, again
Already veterans of S-boat patrols, Karl- captured X-craft was the Type the small craft sink eight Allied theth with a hammer, to free the fi ring pistol.
Heinz Pettke and Karl-Heinz Potthast had XXVII U-boat, better known as ships and cripple thrshs ee more. The Even then it was not safe, for the pistol’s
volunteered for special duties. the Seehund. Royal Navy needed to fiRo nd an detonators and primers needed removing
The hut held the key to those special Its speed was sedentary – antidote.an
– a dangerous task which took the offi cer
duties. Inside were the remnants of two seven knots on the surface, just The North Sea weather came to T more than three hours; at any moment
midget submarines, HM Ships X6 and X7, three submerged. Its range was asas its assistance. In mid-January 1945, itstst asa the charges could have exploded.
recovered from the fjords in the wake of limited to no more than 270 nautical miles. a Seehund was found stranded on a And so the fi rst intact Seehund fell into
the attack on the Tirpitz. The heat generated by the diesel engine sandbank in Domburg, Holland. British hands. The salvage mission was
‘Stranded’ was perhaps a little captured on camera by a Lt Cdr Halliday
misleading. ‘Buried’ would be more of Naval Intelligence in this fascinating
accurate as mine clearance series of images, while Lt Waters was
expert Lt Richard Waters decorated with the George Medal for
discovered when his efforts. (HU 97476)
With thanks to Ian Proctor.
■ THIS photograph – and 9,999,999 others from a century of war
and peace – can be viewed or purchased at www.iwmcollections. photographic
, by emailing photos@IWM.org.uk
, or by phoning 0207 416
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