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NAVY NEWS, MAY 2002 7 Letters

Singapore gun lore

IN ANSWER to the letter from Dr Kark Hack about the 15in Naval guns mounted on Singapore Island and the myths about them, the most repeated myth is that they could only be fired out to sea. In his book Shenton of Singapore, Brian Montgomery says the civilian Defence Secretary L. A. Vlieland expressed the view that the Japanese would not attempt to capture Singapore by direct sea-borne attack. Later events proved him right.

Triplane monster was one of a kind

He did not join in the later accusa- tions that the 15in guns could only be fired out to sea. He knew that they had a 360 degree traverse - the fault lay in the ammunition, which was all armour piercing shell for use against warships and not suitable for the land battle. - K. E. Boddy Scarborough

Pith-poor discovery

issued with a pith helmet. I never did wear mine. When we were swinging round the buoy at Trincomalee I took it out of its bag and found it brim-full of cock- roaches. I dropped it out of the porthole

and it was last seen heading for the open sea.

Bracknell. Berks.

Hood's helping hand

THE ENCLOSED post- card may be of interest to some of your older readers. It was bought in Crete on our way to Greece in 1940 before the country was invaded. We, as 'Royal Engineers Kent Corps Troops' were run

Mediterranean to Greece to carry out demolitions and made our escape in Greek caiques. Having had two broth-

through the

ers in the Hood I had intended posting the card to them but then she was sunk. - K. Phillips, Kent

Harrietsham, N6arpoup

IN N. McCart's letter regarding HMS Sepoy he refers to the fact that all the men were in tropical rig and even wearing pitch hel- mets. In 1944, as an air fitter, I was

WITH reference to the Caproni Ca4 triplane (Aircraft of the Royal Navy No 62) my uncle Bob Hester was an engine fitter/mechanic in the RNAS in 1918 and I have found this photo of what looks like the float plane conversion of it. - R. H. Walker, Swindon.

Of the six Liberty-powered Ca4s bought from Italy for the RNAS, only one was converted as a sea- plane. So far as is known, none of them were ever employed opera- tionally and they were returned to Italy after the war. A 23- passen- ger civil conversion made a notable flight from Milan to London in 1919. - Ed

D. Silverton,

Superb flew flag for future monarch

AS WE celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee I am reminded of the time in 1946 when, as Princess Elizabeth, she first flew her personal standard on board one of HM ships. I was a Chief Stoker serving in the cruiser HMS Superb at anchor just

off Greenock on the Clyde when I was sent for by our engineer officer and told we had a VIP on board who would like a walk around the engine room. I had the honour of leading her round the department. Shortly afterwards we sailed for Belfast where Princess Elizabeth was

Kipling. In May 1942, during the Battle of Crete, in between German air attacks I was at the starboard waist lending a hand with survivors. One was Lord Louis Mountbatten, Captain 'D', whose ship HMS Kelly had just been sunk. I helped him try to find his Maltese servant among the bodies lying on the upper deck, without success. Later, as we crawled slowly alongside at Alexandria there was a young

Naval lieutenant standing on the jetty with an outfit of clean clothing for his uncle - it was Prince Philip. - J. B. Sinclair, Rotherham

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The Adri itic Mare Nostrum affimtas looking out for you

to launch the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle in the yard of Harland and Wolff. A few years earlier I was a leading stoker in the destroyer HMS


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