Big Ships, or little ones

Discussion in 'Diamond Lil's' started by janner, Mar 15, 2006.

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  1. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    An endless argument goes on about which were best to serve on, only went on one big ship, one of the older carriers, I didn't like it, only went on there to pick up the mail and this nasty man shouted at me a lot, apparantly He didn't appreciate my Beatles haircut and striped T shirt, I tried to explain that we all had different ideas on what looked good, but it didn't seem to help.
    My biggest ship was the Ulster, a WWII Destroyer converted to a Frigate, even that was a different life style to everything else afloat that I was on, very little mixing among the crew, to a large extent different branches seemed to stick together.
    My other Skimmer, the old Hunt class Brocklesby, then doing service as a trials ship at Portland, only had a crew of about 70 and as the result there was, in my opinion, a much better mix among crew members, not unlike the Boat crews that I served with later.
    D/E Boats, I have no experience of Nucs., everyone just mixed in ashore, even at time members of the Wardroom, something unheard of in those days. Happy memories of the forendies fighting over the Womens clothes found in the rag bags, so they would have a new steaming rig for the next trip. Pirate rig at sea, at times down to Cacks and steaming boots in the warmer climes.
    I'm sure there were advantages of being in Big Ships, all that disipline, RPO's, inspections and bullshine :wink: :wink: :p
  2. I had quite a fair spread of vessels I called home....

    Heavy Repair Ship (ex Carrier) Triumph - comparitive luxury, good mess - usually a half-empty ship when without FMG, Singers based, laundry men, tailors, goffer men etc, and good scran

    Frigate Undaunted - Ugh - the mess was an additional deckhouse aft, access only via the upper scupper, food crap, sea usually lumpy.

    Polaris SM Renown - comfort, good food, showers, officers a cut above the skimmers

    SSN Courageous - ditto in most ways

    SSK Cachalot - well the food went downhill, the mess was tiny, my bunk was tiny, not much water, smelly heads, constant stink, and floated like a cork on the surface - but it was great!

    Frigate Leander - unfriendly, crap living quarters (fwd POs), GS officers

    Carrier Bulwark - too big for me, but could usually find somewhere for a bit of peace and quiet - all the bullshine of a big ship but nowhere near as good as Triumph

    Frigate Zulu - happy, comfortable, not too big

    Destroyer Southampton - unhappy, uncomfortable - as a Chief I'd kind of hoped for better accommodation than a submarine, and not to go on a hike for the bathrooms (out of sleeping quarters, past Reg Office, down ladder, walk through 2 flats, round corner)

    (Edited just to tidy up a bit)
  3. Failed to get any big ship drafts. Whilst at Dryad, 1962, as a J/S on my basic RP Course ask for a frigate in the Far East 1st draft

    HMS Loch Killisport other than being fully Air Conditioned little changed from WW2. Flat out with wind Behind 16 knts. Great Great time crew of 120.
    squid AS weapons, dual 4", 4 single and 1 twin 40mm bofor's Main radar 277. Squadron Comms Officer carried Lt. Briggs of HMS Hood fame. The man is a star.

    HMS Tenby Dartmouth Training Squad. Very small crew great runs ashore.
    Again great time.

    Saw the Light joined boats

    Truncheon squalid but fun
    Osiris Class
    Finwhale a squalid shit hole at Faslane enough said
    Opportune best time I had in Pusser

    Stay away from big pusser ships full of crushers, Jossmen and Officers with attitude.

    Shore bases, never had one after I left Dryad except for training courses in Dolphin or similar. Was once RA for six weeks attached to Guildford Recruiting Office more by luck than judgement.

  4. Little ships (MW type) make me sea sick! Went on one for 72hrs and spent the whole time curled up in a ball.

    I prefer frigates, big enough to hide and small enough not to get lost, with the added bonus of not throwing up :wink:
  5. Jen

    The trouble is they keep moving the goalposts with the size of a frigate. What we now have called frigates I would have called a large destroyer 3000 to 4000 tons. Loch Class 1500 tons 280 feet long.

    Size is not everything (O YES IT IS)

  6. My father was on the Truncheon during the 60's . One of his favourite boats.
  7. My grandpa was on the Hood (But I reckon not for long but you know how the old folk spin dits!) But was quickly removed when they found 2 of his brother’s were on board.

    He also served on 3 other ships before retiring after 15yrs served. Bless him; he joined up at 14yrs old but obv. Lied and said he was 18yrs old. I have his service records and the paper feels more like leather. He was only a Leading gunner but loved his years on big ships.

    God bless his soul :)

    Edited to say:

    He didn't talk much of the war, all I know was that during his time he was drafted to Washington DC and we have a few black and white pictures of him playing footie against the Army next to the White house.

    He traveled through India, also have these pictures.

    All we know is that he lost a lot of his family during these times. However he did meet a stormy Irish wren who became my Grandma: wink:

    They both passed away at the ages of 86 and 87 yrs in their OAPs home in their sleep, 3 weeks apart.

    Oh and we have pictures of my Grandma’s ‘passing out’ parade with Princess Anne (I think).

    9sorry, I know off topic :oops: )
  8. thats interesting. my grandad was on the Hood before the war. He was also on the Vanguard and King George V. I retrieved his service record witht the help of the submarine museum at Gosport and found out he was awarded the DSO in Norway.He never ever mentioned it. He also joined at 14 and ended on the first commison of the Royal yacht.I know he was heavily depth charged in the Med but never talked about that either.Died on his sofa with a fag in his hand while his wife was at church.
  9. We may have served together me early 66 end of Refit in Chatham til Jan 68 when the INS sailed her off to Hafia

  10. He woould have been at Barrow-inFurness standing by the Valiant in early 66. I only know that cos I was born there while Valiant was in sea trials
  11. Big ships have their advantages.More space to move around without meeting people like officers and crushers to often.Easy diversions to avoid places of regulating office!Detail to collect stores from the depths of a carrier could be a nice little number for those inclined to escape for a loaf.The Rusty 'B' minus the squadrons and bootnicks was a pleasure to be on.The ships crew were very close knit and that included all depts.So big or small wearing the cap tally of any ship bound you to your shipmates.(Thats a bit profound,must get back to humour :lol: !!
  12. Did 2 years on sweepers,
    Wooden ships/iron men.
    Big ships have their disadvantages too Harry,like mopping out the entire hangar deck by yourself whilst enjoying 14 days 9s - HMAS MELBOURNE.
    No mops on our old sweepers - rags/old
    Give me a DDG anytime
  13. hi

    to me never served on a big ship have beena 42 and 22 batch 1 and 2 rating til i went on a 23 an realised how much i love 22's... they are like cruise liners in comparison!!!

    as for hood the only connection i have was the name of my boarding school house!
  14. Sparks........a type 42 or 22 is big ships when you've been on sweepers :eek:
  15. Ermmmm Whats a Ship???? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
  16. First ship was very small, HMS Cygnet. During my time I had a mixed bag of vessels. Four Leanders, two sweepers, three 42's and a CVS. Pretty much a full spread really. Not served on a 22 or 23 but get to sea ride them regularly as I am at FOST!!

    I enjoyed the small ships as the camaraderie was always very good. That said, Leanders were fantastic ships to be on.
  17. I think Drafty was extracting the urine with my first three ships:

    Venus - Type 15 frigate
    Victorious - Fleet Carrier (not the Balck Pig version)
    Palliser - Type 14 frigate.

    During the first leave period I spent in Palliser, the stokers did Bosun's Mate duties and at the Ceremony of Sunset, we did the bit with the Tannoy. My mistake was to say " Attention Flight and Weather Decks"

    Guess who got a bollcking!!!
  18. Only "surface skimmer" I was on was Charybdis (leander class) joined as J/Seaman from Vernon (first crew),enjoyed the far east but hated the bullcrap of surface life.
    "Volunteered" for boats (request form to D.O.) got sent to HMS Tyne, the old depot ship to await course at Dolphin, then on to Churchill:to complete part 3 training, Valiant: excellent time around Puerto Rico and St.Croix,
    Courageous:Sneaky boat(say no more) damn good crew/mates ,Superb: first crew at Barrow,first DEEP dive was scary though, worse than angles and dangles, Warspite: last draft in the mob, after a stint as SM2 spare crew. Got to say that I had the time of my life and made good mates right through my time in mob... :wav:
  19. For me it'd be small ships, every time.
    The Aveley had a crew of ten in cramped, unhygienic conditions, was noisy, smelly (aluminium and wood composite, prone to rot, a horrible pong) and could do 20 degree rolls inside Plymouth breakwater.
    But, it was the happiest two years of my service. It was very informal (even had its' own lobster pots) and relaxed.
    Being small you had to take a turn at everything so learned a lot.
  20. As a WAFU, I hitched a lift once in while to the odd exotic part of the world! Liverpool, Newcastle - Sunderland!!! :w00t:

    But seriously, Albion, good laugh only because it was out in the far east.

    Small ships, Ashanti, Tartar (twice), Scylla and Euryalus. Tartar - brilliant both times, working conditions not the best but accommodation beat the Leanders hands down.

    All in all, small ships get my vote.

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