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Kenya and Charybdis

Great Glen dash

I SENT in what I think is a Mystery Ship answer, HMS Brereton; whether it is or not, I thought a few details might be of interest!

Lt Cdr Nick Barker was the captain when I joined as an AB and we learnt that he wouldn’t have the ship with an open bridge and insisted it was topped off to enclose it properly. At one stage we were up the

west coast of Scotland when a message was received that Polish trawlers were operating inside the UK fishing limits on the east coast of Scotland. For timing reasons the decision

was made to go through the Caledonian Canal to get to the

poachers as quick as possible. Unfortunately we damaged a propellor during the journey, which didn’t go down too well, and the timing for the crossing was, I believe, 23 hours – and I believe the RN decided no more ships would go through as a result. I have enclosed a copy of a photo up the top of the locks with Ben Nevis in the background. Nick Barker provided the crew with Breton-style soft hats in navy blue and orange for the officers; I don’t think anyone else had ever done that. It was a good ship’s company

and we had a hard but good time. – Roy Blackman (Ex AB & L/Seaman), Bottesford, Notts

Heroic tug rescue READING about HMS

Formidable’s kamikaze attacks not mentioned in some The Royal Navy Day by Day editions, (January), I too was involved in an incident that is not in the latest edition of The Royal Navy Day by Day.


On Boxing Day 1955, in Sliema Malta, a north-easterly

‘gregale’, a severe local gale, blew up.

The 6th Frigate Squadron was ordered to sea to ride out the gale. As HMS Undine left Sliema Creek to turn toward the sea she was hit by heavy seas. The sea washed four sailors off

the foc’s’le into the sea. At this time we, minesweeper HMS Leverton, were ordered

MANY of us are concerned about the size and shape of the modern Royal Navy, and now another nautical icon is under threat! The battleship token, part of the Monopoly board game since 1935, may be discarded by the makers in favour of a new token. Your readers have until February 5 to vote for the battleship


to slip our moorings to look for survivors, but we were useless and became a victim of the weather because of our high freeboard. It took us the rest of the day and

part of the evening to secure to our bow and stern buoys. We did not have a full ship’s company on board because of the RAs. The food we had that day

was pot-mess and corned beef sandwiches.

The hero of the day was the

large RMAS tug Sea Giant; a crewman jumped into the water and saved a sailor.

The crewman received the BEM whilst the Sea Giant’s Master received the MBE.

Vote for the battleship!

stay – go to Monopoly and help to keep the battleship afloat. Who ever selects the wheelbarrow, anyway? One vote may be cast every

day and, among the alternatives offered as a new token, is a helicopter.

– Lester May, Camden Town, London

– E Booker Southsea, Hampshire

the vanguard of this squadron, side-by-side fighting off these last heavy bombing and torpedo boat attacks.

Also on the return journey to Gibraltar, Charybdis and Kenya side-by-side under a heavy attack are seen in a stunning picture on page 193 in the book Pedestal by Peter C Smith. PS:

mentioned in the last five editions of Navy News!

– James Duckworth

Ex Sec, Charybdis Survivors’ Association

Ulster’s busy programme

I REFER to Eddie Summerfold’s letter (December), in which he refers to HMS Ulster’s island- hopping as

whilst on the West Indies station. He might be interested in HMS

‘dogsbody duties’

Ulster’s June 21 1957 programme for Hurricane Guardship Cruises: July 30 – Bermuda; August 2 – St Kitts; August 5 – Anguilla; August 9 – Tortola, Virgin Islands; August 12 – San Juan, Puerto Rico; August 17 – St John and English Harbour, Antigua; August 21 – Portsmouth, Dominica; August 24 – Bridgetown, Barbados; August 29 – Kingstown, St Vincent; September 2 – Union Island, Grenadines; September 5 – St George, Grenada; September 9 – Port of Spain, Trinidad. Showing the flag and providing much-needed assistance

island unfortunate enough to be devastated by a hurricane was certainly never considered to be ‘dogsbody’ duty. I can, if requested, forward details of the ‘cruises’ following Port of Spain.

– J Gordon Jones, Wenvoe, Cardiff

When Peacocks flew the nest

and Starling were sold to the Philippines and departed Hong Kong on the colony’s hand-over to the Chinese. I have cap tallies for Plover and


Tamar, if anyone is interested. – Barry Cuckow

Worthing, West Sussex FEBRUARY 2013 : 25 to any 020 7407 8658 Charybdis has been

The last passage to Malta also included the Dido-class cruiser HMS Charybdis. Kenya and Charybdis were at

IN THE January issue, Lt Cdr C F T Poynder states in his letter My pride in Pedestal that the only cruiser in Force X was HMS Kenya.

E-mail correspondents are also requested to provide this

information. Letters cannot be submitted over the telephone. If you submit a photograph which you did not take yourself, please make sure that you

LETTERS to the editor should always be accompanied by the correspondent’s name and address, not necessarily for publication.

have the permission for us to publish it. Given the volume of letters, we cannot publish all of your correspondence in Navy News, nor can we reply to every one. We do, however, publish many on our website,, accompanied by images. We look particularly for correspondence which stimulates debate, makes us laugh or raises important issues. The editor reserves the right to edit your submissions.

CAN I respond to Jim Jarvie’s letter (January)? HM ships Peacock,

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