Diary of Squandered Valor: First Convoy to Murmansk

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While this diary does an excellent job of giving a deck hand's perspective of life and service aboard the South Dakota Robert shows an enthusiasm for the ship and his service not always seen among the 'lower' decks; the journal begins we believe on the th day of his service in the Navy as he runs a dual number system on the pages of the lined book he has used. Along with the many, many dozens of original photos he has tipped in; some of his family back home as a reminder but many more of his mates, ship and other ships and more there are two official performance reports tipped in with his own comments on the distance covered; a super, typed four paragraph sheet tipped in titled 'Why didn't you wait to be drafted?

Likely Robert stopped telling the story of his service upon the news the war was over. Here is his final entry which reveals the man: 'Still out on the range tonight we had night firing with the searchlight playing on the target the shells fired had the tracers on them and it sure was a pretty sight to see them tearing their way thru the air light a ball of fire No news about when we will leave the old SD yet.

On offer is a sensational archive of three [3] original World War I , and still serving his country manuscript diaries handwritten by Marine Marconi Operator E. Cyril Smith making for a fascinating, historic first hand account of the dangers of the British Navy in the 'Great War' and also insight of a young man's experience serving in the convoys. Smith has even been torpedoed and rescued after hours in the water.

He describes rescue and other brave and fearsome adventures. July 26th mentions receiving news of torpedoing of H. Barunga and S. Carpathia Titanic's rescuer. Policeman calls to see why he has not serving with the colours.

Full text of "Irving, David - The Destruction of Convoy PQ 17 ()"

Ship leaking badly - Azores. It should be noted that the diary is incredibly interesting as he is still in radio service but many of the notes in the diary catalogue a list of ailments and physical and mental concerns we assume related to his service record. Smith has indeed sacrificed for his country. Size: 32mo - over 4" - 5" tall. Item added to your basket View basket. Proceed to Basket. View basket.

Convoy To Russia (1942)

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For a great part of the route there were up to eight submarines operating against them, and the necessity for conserving fuel did not permit pro- tracted anti-submarine chases; the submarines could be put down and harassed, but seldom destroyed. So although it was adequately recognized that the cruiser forces could provide effective cover only if in the immedi- ate vicinity of the convoy, it was here that the cruisers were most endangered by enemy submarines. Admiral Tovey went so far as to recommend that unless the enemy airfields in northern Nor- way could be neutralized, or until the months of darkness returned, the convoys should be stopped altogether.

The Russians are in heavy action, and will expect us to run the risk and pay the price en- tailed by our contribution.

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The United States ships are queuing up. My own feeling, mingled with much anxiety, is that the convoy [PQ. The operation is justified if a half gets through. But they were overruled — the convoy operations were pressed to the inevitable climax which forms the central subject of this book. By the beginning of May, the offensive build-up ordered by the Fiihrer two months before was taking effect: the Navy how had one battleship of no mean capabilities, two heavy cruisers, eight destroyers and twenty sub- marines stationed along the Norwegian coast at Trondheim, Narvik, and Kirkenes. Of the twenty submarines, twelve had been allocated to the anti-con- voy operations, the remainder being defensively deployed.


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By the second half of the month the German build-up was complete. All the German fleet units available were thus assembled there, waiting for the order from their Commander-in-Chief to mount the first all-out attack on an Allied eastbound convoy. Despite the fact that this was the least favourable period of the year for convoys in the Arctic, PQ.

A contemporary description by one of the American seamen sail- ing in this convoy gives the full flavour of the hazards of northern convoy duties: his ship was the elderly American freighter Carlton, laden with a cargo of explosives, tanks and tank ammunition and bound for Murmansk with a crew of forty-five seamen.

The name Carlton was to hover over the disaster of PQ. One of her seamen was James E. Her bows reared a hundred feet out of the sea like some ugly sentinel, marking the start of the 6,mile voyage to Russia. Off Halifax the Carlton lay idle for seven days. Then she left as part of an Atlantic convoy of sixty-five ships, some heading for Iceland and some for English ports.

On 20 May, the Carlton sailed as part of PQ. The convoy was given a large escort — five destroyers, four corvettes, four trawlers, one minesweeper and an anti- aircraft ship, and there was a Sea Hurricane fighter-plane waiting on the CAM ship. One plane flew close to Carl- ton and her gunners opened fire with their machine-guns, putting about five hundred rounds into the aircraft before it caught fire. There were three or four bombs within three feet of us, one by the poop deck, one by No. They sank about fifty feet and then went off one at a time.

opportunities squandered Manual

He admitted breaking all speed records himself in reaching his lifeboat station. When he arrived there, everything was blanketed in steam issuing from the engine-room. They reported that all the steam pipes were broken. Akins claimed to have beaten the boatswain back on to deck by thirty feet. Captain Hansen asked the chief engineer whether the damage could be repaired; the engineer replied that given about two hours he felt it could be done.

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Hansen requested an escort to stay with him, as the con- voy proper had now vanished. The escort commander gave him a trawler, Northern Spray, to tow them back to Iceland.

watch The trawler opened fire at the German aircraft and the Carlton fired eighteen rounds from her 4-inch gun. The bomber dived too soon and its bombs fell some way short. As the aircraft flew over the freighter, it strafed them with machine-gun fire; the Americans claimed to have hit the plane. Soon after, one of the warships sent off a plane, and the seamen saw to their relief that it had British roundels.

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