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Lord of
the Hunt
IT’S not often that Her Majesty’s
Ship Cattistock hoists the fl ag of
the First Sea Lord.
But she did as Britain’s ranking
sailor, his men and women
and the good folk of Guernsey
honoured the wartime generation.
The Hunt-class warship
served as Admiral Sir Jonathon
Band’s flagship during the annual
ceremony for the dead of HMS
Charybdis and Limbourne, lost
during a sortie to intercept a
German surface raider in 1943.
Dead from the two ships
were washed up on Guernsey,
where islanders defied the Nazi
authorities and attended the
men’s funerals.
Cattistock provided a Guard
of Honour for the memorial
parade, then hosted a reception
and a briefi ng for members of
TThe seven ages of Arkhe seven ages of Ark
the Charydis Association and
SEVEN decades after they fi rst touched down on the interspersed with visits to Lisbon and doesn’t quite lie where the records of the day suggest)
community leaders to explain
hallowed deck of HMS Ark Royal, 820 Naval Air Air GibraltarGib . and since then has, understandably, become a
what the minehunter – and the
Squadron returned. In the latter, the airmen took part in place of pilgrimage for Ark Royal V.
RN – can do.
Admittedly the squadron’s been back to Ark a k a a Remembrance Day parade, but even a R The ship’s company and embarked squadron
Temporary fl agship duties
few times in the intervening years, but it’s still not not mormo e poignant was a ceremony 30 miles personnel gathered on the fl ight deck for a
complete, Cattistock left the
a bad anniversary to commemorate. away – over the wra eck of Ark Royal service of commemoration, before CO Capt
Channel Islands for the western
Back in November 1938, the squadron III. John Clink cast a wreath into the ocean.
shores of England and Wales on
joined the new carrier as its punch: torpedo The carrier was torpedoed “It was a moving ceremony, made more so
fi shery protection duties.
strike courtesy of its Fairey Swordfi sh by Kapitänleutnant Friedrich by being so close to Remembrance Sunday
She’s now undergoing a short
bombers. Guggenberger in U81 in and the anniversary of the sinking,” said
spell in dry dock in Portsmouth
In the years since, technology has moved November 1941 and despite Capt Clink.
for essential maintenance and
on a little… a concerted effort to save Ark “The ship’s company of the third Ark were
some equipment upgrades.
Today the Merlin helicopter is the latest (and an equally concerted effort well known to have a fantastic attitude and
aircraft in the squadron’s inventory. to sink U81), the ship was lost (and will to win, known at the time as ‘the Spirit
771 NAS, the
Three Merlins from the Culdrose-based d U81 escaped).U of the Ark’ – and this is still alive today in the
squadron joined Ark (the fi fth) for anti-submarine The wreck wasn’t discovered until 2002 amazing people that I am proud to command.”
exercises in the Atlantic off the coast of Portugal, (like the fi nal resting place of many a great ship, Ark Picture: LA(Phot) Gregg Macready, HMS Ark Royal
long rangers
TWO Sea Kings were scrambled
on a rescue mission at extreme
range – in extreme conditions.
More than 200 miles off You’re hot then you’re cold...
Land’s End, the 14,000-ton
merchantman Best Star issued
an SOS: a 48-year-old crewman
NO TWO ways about
in the South Atlantic. Iron
had an open fracture to his
it, HMS Iron Duke
Duke finally returned home to
thigh after falling through a vent
experienced the highs
Portsmouth seven days shy of
shaft in the engine room.
771 NAS at Culdrose sent
and lows of naval life in Heading in the opposite
two of its Search and Rescue
direction is RFA Largs Bay (plus a
aloft, one to rescue, the second
We’re talking temperatures, of
Lynx Mk3 from 815 NAS), paying
to provide top cover; both
her inaugural visit to Falklands.
would operate at the limit of
Just a few months ago, they
The landing support ship is
their range.
It took the first SAR
were in the 30s, now they’re lucky
another vessel going from hot to
helicopter, Rescue 193, two
if they reach double figures.
cold – although it wasn’t quite
hours to reach the Best Star,
South Georgia isn’t at the
as hot in the Caribbean when
having stopped on the Scilly
opposite end of the earth from
she arrived (November) for a
Isles to refuel, and having
the Caribbean, but it’s not far
brief visit or quite as cold in the
battled through Force Eight
from it.
Falklands by the time she reached
winds with gusts of 40mph
For a start, you won’t find bergs
there (mid-December).
buffeting the Sea King.
around the Indies – something
It’s not merely the first time the
The rescuers found the
you will find when you enter the auxiliary has been to the South
merchant ship moving wildly
Antarctic Convergence Zone. Atlantic islands, it’s the first time
in 40ft seas (in time-honoured
To prevent any mishaps (iceberg she’s been across the Equator –
SAR understatement this was
+ hull = bad), the frigate sent up and that, of course, demanded
“not an easy rescue”),
her Lynx Mk3 to scout for hazards King Neptune hold court.
Paramedic CPO Dave
on twilight patrols, helping to Neptune (Std – yes they’re
Rigg was nevertheless safely
ensure safe passage for the Iron still stewards in the Royal Fleet
winched down to the ship,
Duck and her escorting tanker Auxiliary – Tony Smyth) was not
and the Filipino casualty safely
RFA Black Rover. in a benevolent mood.
winched aboard Rescue 193,
The warship patrolled Leith, Not content with dunking CO
before the senior rate was
Husvik and Stromness, before Capt Ian Johnson, Neptune and his
recovered – via a dunking from
rejoining the tanker to enter court also gave thorough soakings
a 40ft wave.
Cumberland Bay on the island’s to the Judge (WO John Kelly),
The injured sailor was flown
north coast. Davy Jones (XO Simon Cox) and
to hospital in Truro where he’s
Iron Duke’s bridge team then navigator 2/O Ben Richards (to
decided to make a close approach ‘celebrate’ promotion).
to Nordenskold glacier; the rocky
need yet another picture of us with a warship in the background... Iron Duke
Neptune wasn’t all nasty,
● C’mon lads, Navy News
Duncan has the
shores around it ensured the ship’s
nestles between the bergs and mist-shrouded peaks of South Georgia
however, permitting the flight
passage was, in time-honoured deck to be used for a celebratory
RN tradition, ‘challenging’. was aloft again, this time assisting “My ship’s company have skills such as those that provide barbecue.
bow factor
After the stress of sailing around South Georgia’s British Antarctic worked incredibly hard over the reassurance to the Falkland Now patrolling the islands,
the bay, what better than to relax Survey team conducting a study last seven months. Islands is a big task and they have Largs is gearing up to support
around Grytviken, the island’s of the island from the air. He continued: “To expect a responded magnificently. Exercise Cape Bayonet in mid-
FOR the sixth and fi nal time ship
‘capital’ and enjoy the wildlife and “Patrolling South Georgia young sailor to have one job in “To have been able to bring January – a major war game testing
enthusiasts in Portsmouth and
scenery. has been wonderful. It is truly our disaster relief organisation them to South Georgia is a the ability of all three Services
on the Clyde have witnessed the
It was not a complete break a magical place,” enthused Iron operations, a second role when wonderful reward for all their deployed in support of Britain’s
strange sight of a bow without a
from the rigours of deployment Duke’s Commanding Officer Cdr conducting counter-drugs patrols, efforts.” South Atlantic commitments to
warship passing them.
for the frigate, however: her Lynx Mark Newland. and at the same time retain Black Rover remains on station work together.
The bow section of the sixth
and last Type 45 destroyer, HMS
Duncan, has been completed –
and moved by barge from the
Solent to the Clyde.
Also making its way on the
IIt’t’ss not an illusion, it’ not an illusion, it’ss a Mirach a Mirach
same barge from BVT’s yard in
Portsmouth was Duncan’s main YOU may remember the impressive image of HMS thrust each, plus a small internal jet engine, which
mast (minus the spinning egg, the Manchester’s Sea Dart racing away from the destroyer takes the drone to speeds upwards of 530kts (more
radar which sits on top of it). on our November front cover. than 600mph).
Mast and bow are now at Well, this little beastie was on the receiving end. The ‘pilots’ back at base steer the Mirach through
BVT’s Govan works, waiting This is the Mirach Aerial Target Drone (the Mirage the skies, from altitudes as low as 10ft, skimming the
for the rest of the hull to be 100/5 to be precise) which was launched from the waves, to 40,000ft for up to 90 minutes.
completed. fl ight deck of the Busy Bee by the personnel of the It can carry fl are dispensers to test heat-seeking
Four Ds are now in the water. RN’s least-known squadron, 792. missiles or tow a small target on the end a 100ft
Daring heads for Portsmouth It’s the only RN unit you can fi t in a mini bus, Kevlar cable.
for the fi rst time at the end of comprising a mere 15 men and women. (End of Top Trumps bit.)
this month (see opposite page), And four-fi fths of those deploy every time the Manchester was the most recent benefi ciary of the
Dauntless has conducted initial drones are needed to test part of Britain’s aerial tiny squadron’s expertise as the destroyer tested her
trials, Diamond is being fi tted arsenal: two ‘pilots’ (not pilots in the traditional sense Sea Dart tracking and attacking capabilities, but the
out and Dragon has just been but controllers) and ten engineers to monitor and RN are not the sole users of 792.
launched. Ship No.5, Defender, look after the mini jet. The Culdrose-based unit has also recently been
is now on the Govan slip and (Beginning of the Top Trumps bit.) working on the Benbecula ranges in the Outer
rapidly beginning to resemble her The 13ft missile is launched courtesy of two Hebrides on tests involving the missile systems of the
older sisters. booster rockets which generate around eight tons of RAF’s new Typhoon fi ghters.
0006_NN_Jan.indd 106_NN_Jan.indd 1 99/12/08 16:58:51/12/08 16:58:51
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