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6 NAVY NEWS, MAY 2002 letters

Confused over rum

THE PICTURE showing submar- iners in HMS Sceptre drinking what you say is a tot of rum (March issue) has got me confused. I have a plaque which I got in Singapore which shows the last day of issue Navy rum was 31 July 1970, when I served in HMS Blake. With my connection to the

establishments and so far I haven't seen rum issued. Have they started to issue it again? As far as I can see, there is no one in the Navy now who ever got the tot. - J. Johnson, Bcdworth, Warks

HMS Glory Association, I have been

to various Naval

occasions. There are no plans to reissue the tot on a regular basis, but there must be one or two still serving who remember it. - Ed

been retained

Zuider wider

REGARDING the letters about the White Ensign being flown in the Zuidcr Zee, I have just confirmed with my then Captain, I having been his Coxsain, that we traversed it in our ML in late 1949. I am led to believe that a vast

amount of the Zuider Zee has been reclaimed since then and I seem to recall that the navigation of

straightforward as one might have thought. I think its area was about 80X35

it was not quite so

miles then. I remember securing alongside a small underway Dutch coastcr-cum-bargc and with our additional power assisted its progress, to the delight of the Dutch skipper who. like us, was heading for Lorcnz Sluizcn and on to Harlingcn. - M. S. Austin, Hartwell, Northants

Letters to the Editor should always be accompanied by the correspondent's name and address, not nec- essarily correspondents are also requested to provide this information.

for public- 'News avy No. 574 48th year

Editorial & Business address: Leviathan Block,

HMS Nelson, Portsmouth, Hants, PO1 3HH

Editor: Jim Allaway

Deputy Editor: Mike Gray Assistant Editor: Helen Craven

Business Manager: Glen Gould

Some original Navy rum has for


Driving home the point on friendly fire

THE ARTICLE which deals with the introduction of the Mantle Hall Close Range Gunnery simulator at HMS Collingwood (March issue) brings back memories of 58 years ago when a far less sophisticated device was in operation at HMS Glendower.

provided and the accuracy of gunfire was indicated by yellow dots appearing at the appropriate place on the screen. There was no gun as such, but

operated by a Wren. Sound effects of gunfire were

as the Dome Teacher. The interior roof was curved and acted as a screen upon which films of incoming aircraft were shown through a projector

There was a building known

I WAS a merchant seaman during the war and until 1950. In 1940 when I was 16 a group of lads in HMS Highlander pulled me out of the Atlantic. In 1942 I went to HMS Eaglet

was supervised by a very ancient CPO, one of many recalled from the Reserve for training purposes. As each trainee prepared to

the shoulder rests and firing mechanism of a 20mm Oerlikon AA were present. The whole training operation

and came within range the firing would commence, but this was usually accompanied by a gasp of pain as the screwdriver descended on the operator's head for mistakenly firing at an Allied aircraft. This treatment certainly helped

take his turn, the Chief would explain aiming points etc and then take up position behind the individual whilst holding a fairly large screwdriver by its blade. When an aircraft was projected

us to improve on our aircraft recognition. - A. R. Salter, Ilkley

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identical to the way I remember it in 1942, yet you say it is a new way of learning. - J. M. Simpson, Prenton, Wirral

for my gunnery training at Salthouse Dock. It was called 'The Dome', painted white, and in the centre was a twin machine gun on a pedestal. Suddenly a voice came on screaming with shouts of 'Stukas!' and battle noises. Planes were coming from all directions. I used this gun a few times and received a gunner's ticket. The layout now is almost

Crossing the Ts

IN THE article '50 not out for 750' (March issue) the information regarding the Jetstream aircraft is not all correct.

750 roster - XX481 '560' was a T2 and this was the first aircraft to arrive. Also the T2s have continued to albeit

Jetstream TIs were never on the this day,

numbers. The T3 aircraft - four in number - have operated mainly as transports and for years have operated as Heron Flight at Yeovilton.

in reduced Cambornc, Cornwall J. B. Coad,

FURTHER to Mr Bailey's letter (February issue) about the Glostcr Meteor T7, my logbook shows that T7s numbered 415, 418, 428, 429, 430 and 431 (the list may not be exhaustive) were being operated out of RNAS Brawdy in March 1954 by the Jet Conversion Unit. The JCU appears not to have

been part of a squadron, as it was staffed by civilian pilots of Airwork Ltd. Its function was to convert pilots from propellers (in my case the single-engined Sea Fury FBXI) to jets. As the Meteor had two engines

additional experience to some convertccs. - Dick Williamson, Ycovil

its use brought an

Forerunner of Fearless did sterling service

claims to have invented the LSD and when the Admiralty showed little interest he took his design to Washington. Following the visit of Winston Churchill in December 1941, the design was adopted by the US Navy. The first LSD to enter the

Royal Navy was originally named Battleaxe but was renamed Eastway and was built at Newport News, Virginia in 1943. She was followed by HMS Highway, Northway and Oceanway. The LSDs were 457ft long with a

written about this class of ship - and yet from it has sprung one of our most formidable, durable and distinguished Naval vessels. - J. D. Eccles, Redhill, Surrey.

beam of 72ft and displaced 7,498 tons. Armed with 16 Oerlikons, four pompoms and a 3in gun and with a maximum speed of 17 knots, they could transport 32 LCPVs or three LCTs. HMS Eastway did sterling service in the Atlantic, at Normandy and then in the South of France invasion and was returned to the US in 1947. Nothing seems to have been

THE CLOUDS rolled in bringing the rain and from my perch high on Portsdown Hill, with my binoculars I could just see the outline of the grand old lady of the Navy

time I had spent waiting in the cold on her deck with wind, rain and sleet as we prepared to enter the Russian port of Sevastopol ten years earlier. But as we crept alongside and

Harbour. My thoughts went back to the

entering Portsmouth

Telemachus ends her ten year odyssey

IN the photograph of the Queen's visit to HMAS Penguin in 1954 (March issue) the submarine in the background was HMS Telemachus, which with Thorough and Tactician formed the RN 4th Submarine Squad- ron. I can remember the

seen here at Aden in November 1959 on her way home after ten years'

Australia Zealand.

of pride and patriotism - and likewise the last ship's company of HMS Fearless won't have cared whether it was raining or sunny as they came home to their loved ones at last. As I watched, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the

heard the band of the Royal Marines (who had been flown in ahead of us) on the jetty and saw the huge crowd of people gathered there to greet us, it didn't matter. We were overcome with a sense


steamed 276,742 miles since her completion in 1943 and had visited most of the ports in the Far East. In 1949 she had been

and New She


member of the 4th Squadron and was the last of the three T-class submarines to return. In that time she had run for five commissions and completed four major refits at Singapore. - Ed

the founder in

Royal Visit very well as I was one of the crew standing on the casing as the Royal Barge passed. - B. Gerrish, Sussex Inlet, New South Wales. HMS Telemachus is

AT LAST our oldest warship is home and apparently destined for the breaker's yard. HMS Fearless has had a long and distinguished career and I am very proud of her. I am even prouder, however, of having served in the ship that was her forerunner - HMS Eastway, LSD(Landing Ship Dock), the first of her class. I believe that Sir Rowland Baker

sun shone through the gap as she came in, her eight landing craft entering ahead of her. I served in her in 1983-84 and 1991-94. Farewell old girl, and thanks for the good times. - S. Bradbury, Southsea, Hants.

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