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NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2007 29
Landings
LETTERS to the editor should letters, we cannot publish all of your
always be accompanied by the correspondence in Navy News.
correspondent’s name and We look particularly for corre-
mystery
address, not necessarily for spondence which stimulates
publication. debate, makes us laugh or raises
E-mail correspondents are important issues.
unsolved
also requested to provide Please try to keep your
this information. submissions as brief as
Letters cannot be possible – our space is
THE letter from R J B Kenna
submitted over the limited.
(April) about HMS Thane solves telephone. The editor reserves
a matter that has intrigued me for
Given the impres- the right to edit your
60 years.
In 1947, I was serving in HMS
sive volume of submissions.
Mull of Galloway alongside at
Faslane.
Astern of us was what was
referred to as ‘the Woolworth car-
rier” and this was HMS Thane,
which had quite a large hole in
her side.
Astern of her, upside down in
a floating dock, was the WW1
German battlecruiser Derfflinger,
salvaged from Scapa Flow
and being broken up by Metal
Industries Ltd.
We always assumed that HMS
Thane was next in the queue.
Obviously, it was not to be, ● Detail of a 19th-Century print showing treatment in Haslar
but I am puzzled as to why it
Haunted Haslar
was returned to the USN when it
would have been more economic
for Metal Industries to deal with
WITH the NHS taking over Haslar, I trust that it will be prepared to face
her. And why was it kept classified
the hospital ghosts.
for so long?
I was a patient there for nearly six weeks in 1948 when many of the
– Pat Brannen, Worthing,
nursing staff were VADs and, on two separate occasions during my time,
West Sussex
there were ‘apparitions’ to two nurses of such intensity that each was
…MR Kenna states that U1172
granted a week’s leave to recover from their traumas.
was responsible for the torpedo-
I was also told that phantom footsteps were frequently heard along ing of HMS Thane on January 15
some of the corridors – especially on the top fl oor. 1945, not so!
Good luck, NHS! U482 (CO Kapitan Lt Graf
– J M Huntington-Whiteley, London W14 von Matuschka) was the culprit
and they were sunk on January 16
by RN ships from the 2
nd
Escort
Zulu fires
Group.
Despite that glitch it was an
interesting article, giving much
useful information.
– John Keating, WO(UWSM)
(Retd) ex-RN/RAN, Australia
parting shot
…MR Udell asked (May) about
the R4 landing on HMS Campa-
nia in 1943.
He admits he is confused about
the issue – so am I, as according
HMS LONDON’S broadside of December 1981 was not the “fi nal to records, the first landing by an
broadside” of the Royal Navy, as your Falklands supplement (April) R4 helicopter on board a British
states. There is at least one other claim to that fame. ship was the SS Dagheston during
In 1982, HM ships Zulu, Tartar The bemused after flagman was
an Atlantic convoy in early 1944,
and Gurkha were recommissioned, briefed that if the gun was trained
by pilots from the RN Evaluation
having already been paid off for to starboard, he had to stand on
team.
disposal, and in a sorry state. the port side of the ship and wave
The Sikorsky XR4 first flew in
Following two years’ excellent a green flag (and vice versa if the
January 1942. The USN began
service HMS Zulu was the last gun was trained to port)!
evaluating the use of helicopters
to finally decommission, and on The position and colour of the from October 1943 followed by
31 March 1984 she fired her final flag was reported to the OOW by a joint USN/RN evaluation unit
broadside from her two 4.5in guns a second observer on the bridge in 1944.
in A (fwd) and Y (aft) mountings. wing – who also had to make sure The RN were the first to order
This took place in the he was on the right (wrong?) side the type for use in the anti-subma-
Portsmouth exercise areas. I was of the ship in order to see the rine role and attempted trials on
Officer of the Watch and I remem- after flag. the Dagheston but resulted in only
ber the complicated system of Following the inevitable delays one take-off and landing.
flags to indicate the position of and confusion that this process The R4 entered service with
the after mounting, which could involved, I believe I was the last 771 Squadron in February 1945
not be seen from the bridge (and person in the RN to report “A and and I think this picture was prob-
which had in previous years shown Y mountings …correct” ably taken after this date.
a tendency to fire in the opposite – Cdr Mike Riley, – Alan Key
direction to that indicated in the Victory Building, HMS (former CPOAEA)
ops room). Naval Base, Portsmouth Waterlooville, Hants
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