1900-1919 Torpedomen

Updated 06-04-17

 

The Battle of Beagle Channel, 1914 : Fugue and Onset;

 A Fuegan Marine torpedoman stood ready beside a mine-trigger, as his commanding Lieutenant phoned the control room at Ushuaia.

https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/british-tierra-del-fuego.160650/page-18

This stage describes the battle and its initial course. Both sides face surprises.

The 'Penguin' had been expected to be late, or never to arrive at all, so the watchers on the Fuegan island coast had not expected her to be on time. There was some relief when she was sighted off the Pasteur Peninsula of Hoste, but also concern; 'Penguin' normally went in with a pilot through the Cook Bay entrance between Hoste and Gordon Islands, or the narrow and dangerous Murray Channel between Hoste and Navarino. Instead, she plodded onwards towards the Picton Passage, merchant Red Ensign with Fuegan fire symbol at her stern, apparently unconcerned, but with her course revealing the truth; the artistically stained, salt-marked and pencil-marked charts prepared for Captain Brown by the Academy cadets, had been designed to lead Von Spee astray.

Even before she reached Picton, the Land Guard reservists manning the defences had gone to action stations, whilst the Fuegan Marine was raising steam in its vessels. 'Canopus', steam raised in its working boilers, headed across to hide beside one of the islands, lying ready to ambush and to provide fire-support to either Wulaia or Ushuaia. The Penguin' steamed steadily onwards past Bull Landing and Picton Island, entering the Beagle Channel and turning to port to head down the Beagle Channel towards Harbourtown Narrows.

The approach to the Beagle Channel apparently clear, the 'Leipzig' headed inshore from where she had been loitering in the murk of a Cape Horn rainstorm, being sighted from Navarino and Picton as she headed at full speed in the wake of the ridiculous little collier, now miles ahead as she plodded on towards her target. In Navarino, a troubled Fuegan Marine Reserve lieutenant picked up his binoculars and studied the cruiser, well aware of what she was and the dangers ahead.

"Do we blast that Hun to heaven?" A Fuegan Marine torpedoman stood ready beside a mine-trigger, as his commanding Lieutenant phoned the control room at Ushuaia. "No - to let them into the trap, the Guv'nor says." The Lieutenant frowned. "More here than meets the eye, Peter... 'Penguin' isn't flying the right recognition signal..." He rang the control room again. "Aye, aye, sir... More of them on their way, you say? Aye, sir, all mines green on the board. Ready."

A gun fired abruptly from Bull Landing, opposite Picton, an ancient Dahlgren firing its first shot in anger for many years. The APDS shell hit the forward hull of the 'Leipzig' with a resounding 'clang' and actually pierced the Krupp armour belt, even at a range of two miles. But it did little damage, although it made the cruiser discharge a salvo from its side quickfirers at Bull Landing, demolishing buildings along the waterfront. The Dahlgren had a companion on Picton heights that sent an APDS round high into the air, to fall like a lethal dart amidships, the cruiser actually shaking, but she carried on at a slightly reduced speed. Below decks in the engine-room, the APDS penetrator had scored a lucky hit on a boiler, the rupture causing a nasty explosion that killed a dozen stokers. The main turrets turned to blast the heights and silence the impudent Dahlgren, which appeared to have literally shot its bolt.

New 06-04-17

 

Lost Boats— USS S-4 (SS-109)

Sailors Rest Your Oars

May They Rest In Peace

http://www.ncsubvets.org/pperiscope/1212.pdf

Torpedoman's Mate Russell A. Crabb

Torpedoman's Mate Roger L. Short

New 06-04-17

Craig Johnson

May 13 at 1:26pm

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1587753598146945/?multi_permalinks=1908361219419513&notif_t=group_activity&notif_id=1494707162752054
 

This is how EOD got it's start, first safety comment in the manual!

New 06-03-17

 

Records of WW1 Submariner: Where Can I Find Them?

Joseph Sherlock

Joseph Sherlock was rated Ordinary Seaman on 1st Jul 1902 and Able Seaman (Torpedoman) on 1st Aug 1903.

 

http://www.worldnavalships.co m/forums/showthread.php?t=11475

 

Joseph Sherlock did not serve in E11 but he did serve in Submarine E14 at the Dardanelles. He may have served in Submarines between 1905 and 1908 but the bulk of his submarine service was after he was recalled for service after the outbreak of WWI. I have produced the following interpretation of his naval service which I believe to be accurate.

 

Joseph William Alfred Sherlock, DSM O/N 206579 (Po) (RFR/Po/B.6930)

Joseph Sherlock was born in Birkenhead in Cheshire on 22nd Jun 1884. On leaving school he trained as an electrician. He joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class at HMS CALEDONIA (the Boys Training Ship) at Queensferry in Fife on 4th Oct 1899 signing on for a twelve year Continuous Service engagement commencing on 22nd Jun 1902. He was rated Boy 1st Class on 12th Jul 1900 before being drafted to the old HMS MINOTAUR on 3rd Aug 1900. He served in this ship until 13th Feb 1901 when he joined HMS AGINCOURT although this was only a short draft as he was further drafted to the 3rd Class, Twin Screw Protected Cruiser HMS PEGASUS on the Australia Station.

 

Joseph Sherlock was rated Ordinary Seaman on 1st Jul 1902 and Able Seaman (Torpe doman) on 1st Aug 1903.

 

He was drafted ashore to HMS PEMBROKE (the Royal Naval Depot) at Chatham on 23rd Sep 1903 (where he qualified Seaman Torpedoman on 8th Apr 1904) and then to HMS VERNON (the Torpedo School) at Portsmouth on 26th Nov 1904 ‘for the Leading Torpedo Operators Course’ which he completed on 22nd Sep 1905.

 

His next draft was to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS THAMES at Portsmouth on 1st Oct 1905 although it is not yet certain whether he joined for submarine service.

 

A draft to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS FORTH at Devonport followed on 30th Jan 1906 before further drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS MERCURY at Portsmouth on 3rd Sep 1906. He was reclassified as a Seaman Torpedoman on 1st Oct 1907 having failed to re-qualify Leading Torpedo Operator.

 

He continued to serve in HMS MERCURY until 25th Aug 1908 when he returned to HMS PEMBROKE at Chatham before returning to HMS VERNON on 3rd Oct 1908 to re-qualify Leading Torpedo Operator which he did on 25th Nov 1908. After a brief period in HMS PEMBROKE from 5th Dec 1908 to 18th Jan 1909 Joseph Sherlock was drafted to the 2nd Class Twin Screw Protected Cruiser HMS SAPPHO in the Home Fleet. This draft lasted for about six weeks before he was again drafted to the 3rd Class, Twin Screw Protected Cruiser HMS PEGASUS on the Australia Station where he was rated Leading Seaman on 10th May 1910. He returned home on 4th May 1911 and joined the 7,350 ton 1st Class Twin Screw Protected Cruiser HMS EDGAR in the Home Fleet.

 

After only two and a half months in HMS EDGAR he returned to HMS PEMBROKE for five weeks before joining the 1st Class Twin Screw Torpedo Gun Boat HMS SHARPSHOOTER (Home Fleet) at the Nore on 31st Aug 1911. This ship was detailed for service with Submarines. On 8th March 1912 he again returned to HMS PEMBROKE for five weeks before re-joining HMS VERNON at Portsmouth ‘for the Torpedo Gunners Mate Course’ which he completed on 10th March 1913. A draft to the 15,000 ton Battle Ship HMS IRRESISTIBLE -2nd Fleet, Home Fleet ‘on Commissioning’ followed on 26th March 1913 and he was rated Petty Officer on 1st Jan 1914. On 19th Jun 1914 Joseph Sherlock joined HMS VICTORY (the Royal Naval Barracks) at Portsmouth from where he was discharged on 20th Jun 1914 on completion of his twelve year engagement. He was transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve on 21st Jun 1914 and was given a new Official Number of RFR/Po/B.6930.

Joseph Sherlock was recalled for further service on 9th Aug 1914 on the outbreak of World War One and was drafted to the Submarine Base HMS DOLPHIN on the same day. He was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS MAIDSTONE (8th Submarine Flotilla) at Harwich on 11th Aug 1914 and, on 1st Apr 1915 he was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS ADAMANT as that ship was sent to the Mediterranean to form the Special Service Flotilla I based at Mudros Harbour on the Greek Island at Lemnos to support the Dardanelles campaign.

 

He was awarded the DSM – see London Gazette dated 13th Sep 1915 for the completion of successful patrols in the Sea of Marmora in Submarine E14. He was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS EUROPA on 1st Apr 1916 and served in that Ship until 30th Nov 1916 before being drafted back to HMS ADAMANT on 1st Dec 1916 and ‘for Submarine E14’ on 1st Jul 1917. He returned home on 1st Jan 1918 with a draft to HMS DOLPHIN at Gosport and this was followed by a draft to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS AMBROSE (Ambrose Flotilla) ‘for Submarine L8’ on 16th Mar 1918. He was drafted to the 15,000 to Battle Ship HMS IMPLACABLE for two weeks from 15th Sep to 1st Nov 1918 before returning to Submarine L8 – now based on the Submarine Depot Ship HMS VULCAN on 2nd Nov 1918. Submarine L8 was transferred back to the Ambrose Flotilla) on 19th Nov 1918. On 12th Jan 1919 Joseph Sherlock was drafted to HMS DOLPHIN and, on 11th Feb 1919 he was demobilised from his war service.'

 

On 21st October 1920 he re-joined the Royal Navy ‘to complete his Continuous Service time for pension’ and he joined HMS VICTORY I (the Royal Naval Barracks) at Portsmouth on the same day and was further drafted to HMS VICTORY III ‘for the Torpedo Boat Destroyer HMS TRUANT’ on 18th Nov 1920. He was drafted back to HMS VICTORY I on 27th Oct 1921 and, on 12th Jun 1922 he was ‘Discharged Shore’ in accordance with Admiralty Fleet Order 1359/22 with a reduced pension as part of the reduction in size of the Royal Navy. He was again transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve on 13th Jun 1922 with a new Official Number of RFR/Po/A.6264.

 

Joseph Sherlock was remobilised on 28th Apr 1938 and the time of the Munich Crisis and was drafted to HMS VICTORY on the same date although he was again demobilised on 1st Oct 1938. No further information is currently available.

New 06-03-17

Training Ship Mercury Roll of Honour - 1914-1918

Steere, Archibald George Able Seaman Torpedoman

http://www.ww1britainssurvivingvessels.org.uk/data/files/Gannet/Training%20Ship%20Mercury%20Roll%20of%20Honour%201914-1918.pdf

Roll of Honour World War I

No.1014

Steere, Archibald George

Joined the Royal Navy at HMS Impregnable in August 1910 and was an Able Seaman Torpedoman in the 'K' Class destroyer HMS Lynx when she struck a mine in the Moray Firth on 9th August 1915. His name is on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial.

New 06-03-17

Torpedomechaniker Otto Moch

http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=193127

The sinking of HMS Avenger

It was just after midnight, when Stephan felt a hand on his shoulder. He opened his eyes, only to see Wolf towering above his bunk.

“Radio message from the BdU, Stephan” his second in command whispered, handing him a piece of paper. Stephan rose from his bunk, blinked hard in an effort to focus his eyes and took the decoded message from Wolf’s hands.

“I guess that this just came in” he enquired after reading the report of a small Allied task force moving west at medium speed, making a pass through U53’s patrol grid.

“Yes sir. I have just checked our current position with Franz. If they keep their current course, there is a very good chance that we will be able to intercept and position ourselves for an attack” Wolf said leaning on the cabin’s wall.

“I will be in the Zentrale. Please give a shout to Herbert and Otto to meet us there in two minutes” Stephan replied, making his way to the command room while buttoning his shirt.

Five minutes later, in the command room, Stephan invited the Chief, Wolf and Otto to take a look at the map table. He took of his cap and pointed towards the estimated position of the Task Force.

“They are currently some 30km to our South East, on a western course. If we keep surfaced at 14Knots, we can position ourselves here in 2 hours, submerge and wait for them” Stephan announced pointing at his suggested interception point.

“Depth in this position is close to 300m which suits us well. If this task force has any interesting targets, I intent to attack from a long distance in order to put some space between ourselves and the escorts.”

He then turned to Otto. “You have one-and-a-half hours to load our bow torpedo tubes with T1s as we need longer range. In tube 5, I want a T2 electric for stealth firing, just in case we need it against any escorts.”

“Tubes 1 and 3 are already loaded with T1’s Sir. We will load our last T1s in tubes 2 and 4, replacing the existing T2 load. Tube 5 is already loaded with a T2 herr Kaleun” Otto replied.

“Ok Otto, dismissed. Let me know when you are done with reloading” Stephan ordered and turned to the Chief as the experienced torpedoman made his way to the bow.

“Herbert, how is Diesel 1 faring and what is your estimate on batteries, assuming we recharge for another 2 hours?”

“Diesel 1 is having a minor leak again, but we are taking care of it. It’s manageable. Regarding the batteries, assuming another 2 hours at full ahead, we should be more than 90%” Herbert replied.

“Ok Chief, make sure you have your damage team in place the moment we reach our attack position. And please report battery status the moment we submerge.”

“Wolf, new course 150, speed 14 knots. Please assume watch duty with the others and be vigilant until we reach our attack position. Let’s do this gentlemen”.

Wolf acknowledged and made his way up, swiftly climbing up the ladder to the conning tower bridge.
***
Ninety minutes later, Otto Moch entered the command room.

“All forward tubes are now loaded with T1’s Sir. Tube 5 is live with a T2 electric. Please note sir, that the only T1’s left for reloading are the ones in the forward and aft deck casings. Except these, we are all T2’s in reserve, total of six eels” the Torpedo-man reported.

“Thank you Moch, dismissed” Stephan replied. Torpedomechaniker Otto Moch offered a crisp salute, turned and moved towards the U-Boats small kitchen, shouting to Jorg the cook to prepare a cup of tea.

Stephan moved towards the map table. The report suggested that the Task Force, 90 minutes ago, was moving at a speed of 12 knots. Assuming that the task force kept its course and speed, it should reach the intercept point roughly an hour after U53 was in position at its pre-determined attack spot. Stephan checked his wristwatch. Another 30 minutes until their attack position, hence the task force should make a pass in no less that another hour and 30 minutes.

***
“We have reached our attack position”, Franz reported half an hour later. Stephan called for Wolf and the rest of the tower watch to descend and secure the hatch.

“Periscope depth”.

Stephan pressed the intercom button to the engine room. “Silent running, Chief “
He then turned towards the sonar room. “Heinrich, keep sweeping and let me know the minute you spot a contact”

The red-headed sonarman put on his hydrophones and gave thumbs up to the captain, closing his eyes to concentrate.

For the next 5 minutes U53 stood at utmost silence at a depth of 13 meters. As if in a movie theater, the crew sat tight on its combat positions, silently, waiting for Heinrich to report.

Stephan was on his toes as Heinrich remained silent. Had the task force changed its course? Maybe its speed? Or this was just another wild goose chase, like those that he and the crew had been sent into, many times in the past?

BdU reports on convoys and Task forces were not extremely accurate or reliable, unless the source had been another U-Boat which trailed the target and provided intelligence. In this case there was no U-Boat mentioned, so this must have been a report by the Luftwaffe. These were quite untrustworthy most of the times. U-Boat captains had tried many times to subtly suggest to their superiors that these reports were far from being accurate. Following up on Luftwaffe reports was usually a waste of fuel and effort. But one had to be careful not to complain too much or he could find himself in trouble, even court-martialed.

Stephan was checking his wristwatch when the silence was interrupted by Heinrich’s excited voice “Sir. Multiple contacts, warships, bearing 280 medium speed…. There must be at least 3 of them…no, 4 of them. Three screws sound like escorts….the other one sounds like a big fish Herr Kaleun. Sounds like a cruiser” Heinrich reported, a grin on his face.

“Ok Heinrich, keep your ears with them. Franz, move your maps in the sonar room to get fresh updates every 3 minutes. Let’s try to figure out their course. All stop” Stephan ordered and moved towards Wolf.

“I think we should go for it. Three escorts, that might give us some trouble, but if we attack from a relatively long range, we should have enough time to go deep and silent before the escorts are on to us”.

“I suggest a firing range of 1800m. Accurate enough and far enough” Wolf suggested; Stephan agreed with a nod.

Ten minutes later, Franz moved towards them, holding an attack map. “According to their current course, they should make a pass ahead of us at a 70 degree angle and at a range of approx 2,000 metres. In about…40 minutes”

Stephan studied the markings on the attack map and pressed the intercom button. “Chief we are assuming our attack position. Speed 1 knot, Silent Running. Please report on batteries”. He then turned to the helmsmen

“ Rudder 30 degrees to port .”

“Batteries recharged 90%, my damage control team will assume positions in 3 minutes. All in place from our side sir” Herbert’s voice came back instantly through the intercom.

The electric engines silently pushed U53 at the snail speed of 1 knot. “Rudder 0 degrees to port, keep current speed, depth and heading” Stephan ordered, moving towards the sonar room.

“Any changes Heinrich?” the Kaleun enquired “No sir. The 2 destroyers seem to be positioned one ahead and one behind the “big one” doing occasional sweeps of relatively small diameters while the third seems to keep a course parallel to the “big one’s” port side at about 300 meters”

“Ok Heinrich, you know the game, let me know if anything changes”. Stephan patted the sonar man on the back and moved towards the command room.

As the minutes kept ticking away, anticipation amongst the crew grew. The experienced U-Boat men aboard U53 knew that Task Forces are tough nuts to crack. And dangerous for that matter. But everybody had faith on the U-Boat’s experienced officers and especially Stephan. If there was anxiety, everybody hid it well. The crew performed their assigned tasks silently and efficiently as the U-Boat moved towards its attack spot.

“All stop. Periscope up” Stephan ordered. He performed the usual chore, taking off his cap and slinging both his arms over the handles. He performed a quick sweep and focused on the shadows of the approaching ships.

“Wolf, bearing 320, we have 1,2,3 Flower Class and … Scheisse. The big one is not a cruiser! It’s an escort carrier! Check number D14! Wolf! Check the Book! ” Stephan whispered to his second in command Wolf opened the “Book” - a manual containing the details of most types of Allied warships - and frantically went through the pages searching for British escort carrier D14.

“D14….D14…Mein Gott!! Its HMS Avenger Stephan! “ Wolf replied, the excitement in his voice hard to conceal.

“Ok people we will have only one shot at it, so let’s make it right” Stephan replied with tight lips. He took out his note book and pen and started scribbling.

“Wolf, bearing 320, 0.75 degrees, mast height 27m, length 140m. Estimated range… 2063m. Please confirm” “Range calculation double checked and confirmed” Wolf replied “Ok Wolf. Open tubes 1,2,3, set depth 4meters, impact pistol”
“Tubes 1,2,3 open sir” Wolf replied.

Stephan kept his eyes glued to the periscope.

“Wolf, get ready to calculate solution”

Heinrich’s voice interrupted them “Sir. Warship, approaching fast, bearing 230”

Stephan turned the periscope towards the indicated heading. One of the 3 escorts had broken away from the formation and moved towards their direction.

Wolf looked at Stephan with a wary glance. “Do you think we have been spotted?” he enquired “I don’t think so Wolf. Its dark, we are silent and all the other warships have kept their course. No lights or flares” Stephan replied.

“Let’s take our shot” he continued. “As a precaution, tell Otto to open aft Tube 5 setting magnetic, depth 4.5m, in case the Flower gets too close” “This could prove a high risk strategy Stephan” Wolf whispered to his Kaleun.

“High risk strategy? Jesus!” Stephan fumed, taking his eyes off the eyepiece. “It’s a calculated risk Wolf. This is a premium target! High risk is the last thing I would expect to hear from you. The second officer of Prien in the Scapa Raid feels that this is a high risk strategy?” Stephan shot back in a low voice, sure that he had hit bulls eye with Wolf’s enormous ego, but careful not to be overheard by the rest of the crew.

Wolf took a step back as if being slapped by an invisible hand. He recovered in a millisecond.

“Let’s send these Tommies to the bottom of the sea Stephan” Wolf said loud enough to be heard across the command room. “Waiting for your data Herr Kaleun” he continued.

Stephan resumed his position on the periscope. “Prepare to calculate solution for a salvo shot. Tubes 1,2 and 3”. He started relaying the data.

“Bearing 350 mast height 27m … range … 1900m. Speed…10 Knots” “Impact angle: 90, leading angle 30” “Solution ready sir” Wolf replied.

“Tubes 1,2,3 FIRE in salvo” Stephan ordered, pressing the starter of his stopwatch. At the same moment he turned the periscope towards the Flower Corvette which kept its course towards their position.

“Torpedo 1 is out….Torpedo 2 is out…. Torpedo 3 is out” Wolf confirmed “New heading 50, speed 1 knot” Stephan replied, his face glued to the periscope and through it, the shadow of the approaching escort. “Wolf, please confirm that aft Tube 5 is open” “Tube 5 is open sir” Wolf replied.

“Maintain course and speed” Stephan continued. “If she comes closer than 800m before our torpedoes hit the escort carrier, I will take a shot at her” the Kaleun whispered wiping his forehead from perspiration.
***
__________________
"Submariners are a special brotherhood, either all come to the surface or no one does. On a submarine, the phrase all for one and one for all is not just a slogan, but reality.” -- VADM Rudolf Golosov

New 06-03-17

Craig Johnson

May 13 at 1:26pm

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1587753598146945/?multi_permalinks=1908361219419513&notif_t=group_activity&notif_id=1494707162752054
 

This is how EOD got it's start, first safety comment in the manual!

New 06-03-17

 

Records of WW1 Submariner: Where Can I Find Them?

Joseph Sherlock

Joseph Sherlock was rated Ordinary Seaman on 1st Jul 1902 and Able Seaman (Torpedoman) on 1st Aug 1903.

 

http://www.worldnavalships.co m/forums/showthread.php?t=11475

Joseph Sherlock did not serve in E11 but he did serve in Submarine E14 at the Dardanelles. He may have served in Submarines between 1905 and 1908 but the bulk of his submarine service was after he was recalled for service after the outbreak of WWI. I have produced the following interpretation of his naval service which I believe to be accurate.

Joseph William Alfred Sherlock, DSM O/N 206579 (Po) (RFR/Po/B.6930)

Joseph Sherlock was born in Birkenhead in Cheshire on 22nd Jun 1884. On leaving school he trained as an electrician. He joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class at HMS CALEDONIA (the Boys Training Ship) at Queensferry in Fife on 4th Oct 1899 signing on for a twelve year Continuous Service engagement commencing on 22nd Jun 1902. He was rated Boy 1st Class on 12th Jul 1900 before being drafted to the old HMS MINOTAUR on 3rd Aug 1900. He served in this ship until 13th Feb 1901 when he joined HMS AGINCOURT although this was only a short draft as he was further drafted to the 3rd Class, Twin Screw Protected Cruiser HMS PEGASUS on the Australia Station.

Joseph Sherlock was rated Ordinary Seaman on 1st Jul 1902 and Able Seaman (Torpe doman) on 1st Aug 1903.

He was drafted ashore to HMS PEMBROKE (the Royal Naval Depot) at Chatham on 23rd Sep 1903 (where he qualified Seaman Torpedoman on 8th Apr 1904) and then to HMS VERNON (the Torpedo School) at Portsmouth on 26th Nov 1904 ‘for the Leading Torpedo Operators Course’ which he completed on 22nd Sep 1905.

His next draft was to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS THAMES at Portsmouth on 1st Oct 1905 although it is not yet certain whether he joined for submarine service.

 

A draft to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS FORTH at Devonport followed on 30th Jan 1906 before further drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS MERCURY at Portsmouth on 3rd Sep 1906. He was reclassified as a Seaman Torpedoman on 1st Oct 1907 having failed to re-qualify Leading Torpedo Operator.

He continued to serve in HMS MERCURY until 25th Aug 1908 when he returned to HMS PEMBROKE at Chatham before returning to HMS VERNON on 3rd Oct 1908 to re-qualify Leading Torpedo Operator which he did on 25th Nov 1908. After a brief period in HMS PEMBROKE from 5th Dec 1908 to 18th Jan 1909 Joseph Sherlock was drafted to the 2nd Class Twin Screw Protected Cruiser HMS SAPPHO in the Home Fleet. This draft lasted for about six weeks before he was again drafted to the 3rd Class, Twin Screw Protected Cruiser HMS PEGASUS on the Australia Station where he was rated Leading Seaman on 10th May 1910. He returned home on 4th May 1911 and joined the 7,350 ton 1st Class Twin Screw Protected Cruiser HMS EDGAR in the Home Fleet.

After only two and a half months in HMS EDGAR he returned to HMS PEMBROKE for five weeks before joining the 1st Class Twin Screw Torpedo Gun Boat HMS SHARPSHOOTER (Home Fleet) at the Nore on 31st Aug 1911. This ship was detailed for service with Submarines. On 8th March 1912 he again returned to HMS PEMBROKE for five weeks before re-joining HMS VERNON at Portsmouth ‘for the Torpedo Gunners Mate Course’ which he completed on 10th March 1913. A draft to the 15,000 ton Battle Ship HMS IRRESISTIBLE -2nd Fleet, Home Fleet ‘on Commissioning’ followed on 26th March 1913 and he was rated Petty Officer on 1st Jan 1914. On 19th Jun 1914 Joseph Sherlock joined HMS VICTORY (the Royal Naval Barracks) at Portsmouth from where he was discharged on 20th Jun 1914 on completion of his twelve year engagement. He was transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve on 21st Jun 1914 and was given a new Official Number of RFR/Po/B.6930.

 

Joseph Sherlock was recalled for further service on 9th Aug 1914 on the outbreak of World War One and was drafted to the Submarine Base HMS DOLPHIN on the same day. He was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS MAIDSTONE (8th Submarine Flotilla) at Harwich on 11th Aug 1914 and, on 1st Apr 1915 he was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS ADAMANT as that ship was sent to the Mediterranean to form the Special Service Flotilla I based at Mudros Harbour on the Greek Island at Lemnos to support the Dardanelles campaign.

He was awarded the DSM – see London Gazette dated 13th Sep 1915 for the completion of successful patrols in the Sea of Marmora in Submarine E14. He was drafted to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS EUROPA on 1st Apr 1916 and served in that Ship until 30th Nov 1916 before being drafted back to HMS ADAMANT on 1st Dec 1916 and ‘for Submarine E14’ on 1st Jul 1917. He returned home on 1st Jan 1918 with a draft to HMS DOLPHIN at Gosport and this was followed by a draft to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS AMBROSE (Ambrose Flotilla) ‘for Submarine L8’ on 16th Mar 1918. He was drafted to the 15,000 to Battle Ship HMS IMPLACABLE for two weeks from 15th Sep to 1st Nov 1918 before returning to Submarine L8 – now based on the Submarine Depot Ship HMS VULCAN on 2nd Nov 1918. Submarine L8 was transferred back to the Ambrose Flotilla) on 19th Nov 1918. On 12th Jan 1919 Joseph Sherlock was drafted to HMS DOLPHIN and, on 11th Feb 1919 he was demobilised from his war service.'

 

On 21st October 1920 he re-joined the Royal Navy ‘to complete his Continuous Service time for pension’ and he joined HMS VICTORY I (the Royal Naval Barracks) at Portsmouth on the same day and was further drafted to HMS VICTORY III ‘for the Torpedo Boat Destroyer HMS TRUANT’ on 18th Nov 1920. He was drafted back to HMS VICTORY I on 27th Oct 1921 and, on 12th Jun 1922 he was ‘Discharged Shore’ in accordance with Admiralty Fleet Order 1359/22 with a reduced pension as part of the reduction in size of the Royal Navy. He was again transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve on 13th Jun 1922 with a new Official Number of RFR/Po/A.6264.

Joseph Sherlock was remobilised on 28th Apr 1938 and the time of the Munich Crisis and was drafted to HMS VICTORY on the same date although he was again demobilised on 1st Oct 1938. No further information is currently available.

New 06-03-17

Training Ship Mercury Roll of Honour - 1914-1918

Steere, Archibald George Able Seaman Torpedoman

Sailor Rest Your Oar

May He Rest In Peace

http://www.ww1britainssurvivingvessels.org.uk/data/files/Gannet/Training%20Ship%20Mercury%20Roll%20of%20Honour%201914-1918.pdf

Roll of Honour World War I

No.1014

Steere, Archibald George

Joined the Royal Navy at HMS Impregnable in August 1910 and was an Able Seaman Torpedoman in the 'K' Class destroyer HMS Lynx when she struck a mine in the Moray Firth on 9th August 1915. His name is on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial.

New 06-03-17

Torpedomechaniker Otto Moch

http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=193127

The sinking of HMS Avenger

It was just after midnight, when Stephan felt a hand on his shoulder. He opened his eyes, only to see Wolf towering above his bunk.

“Radio message from the BdU, Stephan” his second in command whispered, handing him a piece of paper. Stephan rose from his bunk, blinked hard in an effort to focus his eyes and took the decoded message from Wolf’s hands.

“I guess that this just came in” he enquired after reading the report of a small Allied task force moving west at medium speed, making a pass through U53’s patrol grid.

“Yes sir. I have just checked our current position with Franz. If they keep their current course, there is a very good chance that we will be able to intercept and position ourselves for an attack” Wolf said leaning on the cabin’s wall.

“I will be in the Zentrale. Please give a shout to Herbert and Otto to meet us there in two minutes” Stephan replied, making his way to the command room while buttoning his shirt.

Five minutes later, in the command room, Stephan invited the Chief, Wolf and Otto to take a look at the map table. He took of his cap and pointed towards the estimated position of the Task Force.

“They are currently some 30km to our South East, on a western course. If we keep surfaced at 14Knots, we can position ourselves here in 2 hours, submerge and wait for them” Stephan announced pointing at his suggested interception point.

“Depth in this position is close to 300m which suits us well. If this task force has any interesting targets, I intent to attack from a long distance in order to put some space between ourselves and the escorts.”

He then turned to Otto. “You have one-and-a-half hours to load our bow torpedo tubes with T1s as we need longer range. In tube 5, I want a T2 electric for stealth firing, just in case we need it against any escorts.”

“Tubes 1 and 3 are already loaded with T1’s Sir. We will load our last T1s in tubes 2 and 4, replacing the existing T2 load. Tube 5 is already loaded with a T2 herr Kaleun” Otto replied.

“Ok Otto, dismissed. Let me know when you are done with reloading” Stephan ordered and turned to the Chief as the experienced torpedoman made his way to the bow.

“Herbert, how is Diesel 1 faring and what is your estimate on batteries, assuming we recharge for another 2 hours?”

“Diesel 1 is having a minor leak again, but we are taking care of it. It’s manageable. Regarding the batteries, assuming another 2 hours at full ahead, we should be more than 90%” Herbert replied.

“Ok Chief, make sure you have your damage team in place the moment we reach our attack position. And please report battery status the moment we submerge.”

“Wolf, new course 150, speed 14 knots. Please assume watch duty with the others and be vigilant until we reach our attack position. Let’s do this gentlemen”.

Wolf acknowledged and made his way up, swiftly climbing up the ladder to the conning tower bridge.
***
Ninety minutes later, Otto Moch entered the command room.

“All forward tubes are now loaded with T1’s Sir. Tube 5 is live with a T2 electric. Please note sir, that the only T1’s left for reloading are the ones in the forward and aft deck casings. Except these, we are all T2’s in reserve, total of six eels” the Torpedo-man reported.

“Thank you Moch, dismissed” Stephan replied. Torpedomechaniker Otto Moch offered a crisp salute, turned and moved towards the U-Boats small kitchen, shouting to Jorg the cook to prepare a cup of tea.

Stephan moved towards the map table. The report suggested that the Task Force, 90 minutes ago, was moving at a speed of 12 knots. Assuming that the task force kept its course and speed, it should reach the intercept point roughly an hour after U53 was in position at its pre-determined attack spot. Stephan checked his wristwatch. Another 30 minutes until their attack position, hence the task force should make a pass in no less that another hour and 30 minutes.

***
“We have reached our attack position”, Franz reported half an hour later. Stephan called for Wolf and the rest of the tower watch to descend and secure the hatch.

“Periscope depth”.

Stephan pressed the intercom button to the engine room. “Silent running, Chief “
He then turned towards the sonar room. “Heinrich, keep sweeping and let me know the minute you spot a contact”

The red-headed sonarman put on his hydrophones and gave thumbs up to the captain, closing his eyes to concentrate.

For the next 5 minutes U53 stood at utmost silence at a depth of 13 meters. As if in a movie theater, the crew sat tight on its combat positions, silently, waiting for Heinrich to report.

Stephan was on his toes as Heinrich remained silent. Had the task force changed its course? Maybe its speed? Or this was just another wild goose chase, like those that he and the crew had been sent into, many times in the past?

BdU reports on convoys and Task forces were not extremely accurate or reliable, unless the source had been another U-Boat which trailed the target and provided intelligence. In this case there was no U-Boat mentioned, so this must have been a report by the Luftwaffe. These were quite untrustworthy most of the times. U-Boat captains had tried many times to subtly suggest to their superiors that these reports were far from being accurate. Following up on Luftwaffe reports was usually a waste of fuel and effort. But one had to be careful not to complain too much or he could find himself in trouble, even court-martialed.

Stephan was checking his wristwatch when the silence was interrupted by Heinrich’s excited voice “Sir. Multiple contacts, warships, bearing 280 medium speed…. There must be at least 3 of them…no, 4 of them. Three screws sound like escorts….the other one sounds like a big fish Herr Kaleun. Sounds like a cruiser” Heinrich reported, a grin on his face.

“Ok Heinrich, keep your ears with them. Franz, move your maps in the sonar room to get fresh updates every 3 minutes. Let’s try to figure out their course. All stop” Stephan ordered and moved towards Wolf.

“I think we should go for it. Three escorts, that might give us some trouble, but if we attack from a relatively long range, we should have enough time to go deep and silent before the escorts are on to us”.

“I suggest a firing range of 1800m. Accurate enough and far enough” Wolf suggested; Stephan agreed with a nod.

Ten minutes later, Franz moved towards them, holding an attack map. “According to their current course, they should make a pass ahead of us at a 70 degree angle and at a range of approx 2,000 metres. In about…40 minutes”

Stephan studied the markings on the attack map and pressed the intercom button. “Chief we are assuming our attack position. Speed 1 knot, Silent Running. Please report on batteries”. He then turned to the helmsmen

“ Rudder 30 degrees to port .”

“Batteries recharged 90%, my damage control team will assume positions in 3 minutes. All in place from our side sir” Herbert’s voice came back instantly through the intercom.

The electric engines silently pushed U53 at the snail speed of 1 knot. “Rudder 0 degrees to port, keep current speed, depth and heading” Stephan ordered, moving towards the sonar room.

“Any changes Heinrich?” the Kaleun enquired “No sir. The 2 destroyers seem to be positioned one ahead and one behind the “big one” doing occasional sweeps of relatively small diameters while the third seems to keep a course parallel to the “big one’s” port side at about 300 meters”

“Ok Heinrich, you know the game, let me know if anything changes”. Stephan patted the sonar man on the back and moved towards the command room.

As the minutes kept ticking away, anticipation amongst the crew grew. The experienced U-Boat men aboard U53 knew that Task Forces are tough nuts to crack. And dangerous for that matter. But everybody had faith on the U-Boat’s experienced officers and especially Stephan. If there was anxiety, everybody hid it well. The crew performed their assigned tasks silently and efficiently as the U-Boat moved towards its attack spot.

“All stop. Periscope up” Stephan ordered. He performed the usual chore, taking off his cap and slinging both his arms over the handles. He performed a quick sweep and focused on the shadows of the approaching ships.

“Wolf, bearing 320, we have 1,2,3 Flower Class and … Scheisse. The big one is not a cruiser! It’s an escort carrier! Check number D14! Wolf! Check the Book! ” Stephan whispered to his second in command Wolf opened the “Book” - a manual containing the details of most types of Allied warships - and frantically went through the pages searching for British escort carrier D14.

“D14….D14…Mein Gott!! Its HMS Avenger Stephan! “ Wolf replied, the excitement in his voice hard to conceal.

“Ok people we will have only one shot at it, so let’s make it right” Stephan replied with tight lips. He took out his note book and pen and started scribbling.

“Wolf, bearing 320, 0.75 degrees, mast height 27m, length 140m. Estimated range… 2063m. Please confirm” “Range calculation double checked and confirmed” Wolf replied “Ok Wolf. Open tubes 1,2,3, set depth 4meters, impact pistol”
“Tubes 1,2,3 open sir” Wolf replied.

Stephan kept his eyes glued to the periscope.

“Wolf, get ready to calculate solution”

Heinrich’s voice interrupted them “Sir. Warship, approaching fast, bearing 230”

Stephan turned the periscope towards the indicated heading. One of the 3 escorts had broken away from the formation and moved towards their direction.

Wolf looked at Stephan with a wary glance. “Do you think we have been spotted?” he enquired “I don’t think so Wolf. Its dark, we are silent and all the other warships have kept their course. No lights or flares” Stephan replied.

“Let’s take our shot” he continued. “As a precaution, tell Otto to open aft Tube 5 setting magnetic, depth 4.5m, in case the Flower gets too close” “This could prove a high risk strategy Stephan” Wolf whispered to his Kaleun.

“High risk strategy? Jesus!” Stephan fumed, taking his eyes off the eyepiece. “It’s a calculated risk Wolf. This is a premium target! High risk is the last thing I would expect to hear from you. The second officer of Prien in the Scapa Raid feels that this is a high risk strategy?” Stephan shot back in a low voice, sure that he had hit bulls eye with Wolf’s enormous ego, but careful not to be overheard by the rest of the crew.

Wolf took a step back as if being slapped by an invisible hand. He recovered in a millisecond.

“Let’s send these Tommies to the bottom of the sea Stephan” Wolf said loud enough to be heard across the command room. “Waiting for your data Herr Kaleun” he continued.

Stephan resumed his position on the periscope. “Prepare to calculate solution for a salvo shot. Tubes 1,2 and 3”. He started relaying the data.

“Bearing 350 mast height 27m … range … 1900m. Speed…10 Knots” “Impact angle: 90, leading angle 30” “Solution ready sir” Wolf replied.

“Tubes 1,2,3 FIRE in salvo” Stephan ordered, pressing the starter of his stopwatch. At the same moment he turned the periscope towards the Flower Corvette which kept its course towards their position.

“Torpedo 1 is out….Torpedo 2 is out…. Torpedo 3 is out” Wolf confirmed “New heading 50, speed 1 knot” Stephan replied, his face glued to the periscope and through it, the shadow of the approaching escort. “Wolf, please confirm that aft Tube 5 is open” “Tube 5 is open sir” Wolf replied.

“Maintain course and speed” Stephan continued. “If she comes closer than 800m before our torpedoes hit the escort carrier, I will take a shot at her” the Kaleun whispered wiping his forehead from perspiration.
***
__________________
"Submariners are a special brotherhood, either all come to the surface or no one does. On a submarine, the phrase all for one and one for all is not just a slogan, but reality.” -- VADM Rudolf Golosov

New 06-03-17

World War I

http://www.mindspring.com/~kellcin/20thwars.html

John De Madaris Jr.

Naval Torpedo man, helped design and test new torpedoes during the war.
 

New 05-18-17

Interesting picture- A Vickers Vildebeeste Mk II aircraft of No.100 Squadron RAF making a torpedo drop during target practice.

 

(New 10-19-15)

 

Evergreen Cemetery Association - Burials of Military Service Veterans

Directory of the Dead: Military Service Veterans

Evergreen Cemetery Burials 17,561

Earliest Death Date :  04-14-1871

Memorial Gardens Burials 2,423

Latest Death Date :  07-27-2015

Sailors Rest Your Oars

Name of Veteran  

Death Date

   Age  

Military Service

Anderson, Marvin C.

07-10-1920

22 yrs.

WW I

Taylor U.S.S. South Dakota,

Destroyer Philip 2-I

Gunners Mate Torpedo (1008123)

Clausen, John Richard 

06-21-1947

63 yrs.

WW I

enl 4-30-1917

disch 12-27-1917,

 Chief Petty Officer U.S. Navy, Torpedo Man.,

1WW, Seaman U &.S. Naval Hosp, Great Lakes.

(New 08-24-15)

Evergreen Cemetery Association - Burials of Military Service Veterans

Sailor Rest Your Oar

Name of Veteran

Death Date

Age

Military Service

Clausen, John Richard 

06-21-1947

63 yrs.

WW I - enl 4-30-1917 disch 12-27-1917, Chief Petty Officer U.S. Navy, Torpedo Man., 1WW, Seaman U&.S. Naval Hosp, Great Lakes.

(New 08-15-15)

Eckley Cemetery, Eckley, Yuma County, CO

Johnston, Oscar O., Torpedoman ICL

Sailor Rest Your Oar

Born: 28 May 1893

Died: 19 Dec 1942

From: Colorado

Torpedoman ICL  US Navy  WW I

(New 08-14-15)

Robert P. Pallat
Check out this warshot firing. Especially the ship. And no, I wasn't around back then.

(New 01-20-15)