Exodus

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Deleted 97779

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The Home Office is suggesting the Royal Navy might be brought in to sort out their inefficiencies. dealing with with illegal immigrants in the English Channel.

i remember my late brother telling me of the Royal Navy's distress at becoming involved in the Exodus ship full of Holocost immigrants trying to enter Palestine/Israel in the late 40's.
HM Destroyer Cheviot and HM Sloop Mermaid were tasked with intercepting and preventing from docking that tragic ship full of tragic people.
The crews of the two warships were ordered to carry out the most inhumane of tasks on mothers and babies and other poor souls.
My brother was on Zephyr straight from Russian convoys who was also drawn into the conflict and suffered emotionally from the experience.

Shortly afterwards HMS Zephyr was sold to Israel and became Eilat. My brother sailed with her and handed her over to the Israeli Navy.
She was sunk later by the Egyptians resulting in a world-wide Shekels for Eilat money raising campaign among the world's jews.
They raised enough money to purchase three brand new destroyers.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
Just been doing a bit of checking and the last Russian convoy was in May 1945, the Exodus incident was in 1947 so @fortgang , how did your brother go straight from Russian convoys to blocking Jewish immigrants?
 
D

Deleted 97779

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Just been doing a bit of checking and the last Russian convoy was in May 1945, the Exodus incident was in 1947 so @fortgang , how did your brother go straight from Russian convoys to blocking Jewish immigrants?
He was ashore at Manadon helping to set the place up and rejoined Zealous for the delights of Exodus.
 
D

Deleted 97779

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The Sloop Mermaid was interesting. She was purchased by the new German Navy with the Germans displaying an uncharacteristic and questionable sense of humour __renaming her Scharnhorst.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
The Sloop Mermaid was interesting. She was purchased by the new German Navy with the Germans displaying an uncharacteristic and questionable sense of humour __renaming her Scharnhorst.
The Mermaid I know was the ex-Ghanian Presidential yacht that pusser took over and re-named Mermaid, she achieved notoriety when she ran down the Ton class sweeper HMS Fittleton with the deaths of 12 RNR personnel.

I was on the Rusty B at the time of the incident and Mermaid docked down next to us whilst the investigation took place.
 
D

Deleted 97779

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The Mermaid I know was the ex-Ghanian Presidential yacht that pusser took over and re-named Mermaid, she achieved notoriety when she ran down the Ton class sweeper HMS Fittleton with the deaths of 12 RNR personnel.

I was on the Rusty B at the time of the incident and Mermaid docked down next to us whilst the investigation took place.
Yes I remember the luxury Black Star with gold plated taps for Ghana. i think the president had forgotten Ghana was no longer the Gold Coast . She became HMS Mermaid the previous Mermaid becoming the Scharnhorst. She finished up in the Malayan Navy i think as the KD Hang Tuah I think.
I hadn't known of the tragedy on Fittleton. That was ghastly.
 
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My wife found the details of those who had sadly died on Fittleton.
it was interesting as i see the oldest man to have died was a 51 year old Mechanician.
My wife was in personnel in the WRNS so i admitted that I wasn't sure what a Mechanician was. Or for that matter what he did. She didn'dnt have much of an idea either.
You ought to know she said as your father had been a PO Mechanician when he was commissioned. I think at one time he was on HMS Eagle when she went to China station and i remember he had been in charge of those tractor things that tow the aircraft about. What does/did mechanicians do in the navy?
 

Dredd

War Hero
Super Moderator
My wife found the details of those who had sadly died on Fittleton.
it was interesting as i see the oldest man to have died was a 51 year old Mechanician.
My wife was in personnel in the WRNS so i admitted that I wasn't sure what a Mechanician was. Or for that matter what he did. She didn'dnt have much of an idea either.
You ought to know she said as your father had been a PO Mechanician when he was commissioned. I think at one time he was on HMS Eagle when she went to China station and i remember he had been in charge of those tractor things that tow the aircraft about. What does/did mechanicians do in the navy?

Only gives a hint though - looks like it was a specialist role.

Found something that might be more helpful:


Seems we have already covered this on the site!

 
Last edited:

Stirlin

War Hero
Yes I remember the luxury Black Star with gold plated taps for Ghana. i think the president had forgotten Ghana was no longer the Gold Coast . She became HMS Mermaid the previous Mermaid becoming the Scharnhorst. She finished up in the Malayan Navy i think as the KD Hang Tuah I think.
I hadn't known of the tragedy on Fittleton. That was ghastly.
Bullshit , Black Star /Mermaid never had gold taps......Nkrumha ordered his '' yacht '' but in build he was deposed
and the new government of Ghana gave the finger to the builders. She was never fitted out as a yacht.
Purchased by MOD and became F74.
 

Dusty70

War Hero
Bullshit , Black Star /Mermaid never had gold taps......Nkrumah ordered his '' yacht '' but in build he was deposed
and the new government of Ghana gave the finger to the builders. She was never fitted out as a yacht.
Purchased by MOD and became F74.
Yep, Puma was taken out of commission to make way for Mermaid and I nearly joined her, but then got a pierhead jump to Exmouth instead

went onto Mermaid was just like any other warship in build the only things different were the big compartments for Nkrumah's use and the ballroom area which were all divided up therafter to build the conventional warship - all the trappings (gold taps etc) were to be fitted when Nkrumah paid for her and she returned to Ghana
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
My wife found the details of those who had sadly died on Fittleton.
it was interesting as i see the oldest man to have died was a 51 year old Mechanician.
My wife was in personnel in the WRNS so i admitted that I wasn't sure what a Mechanician was. Or for that matter what he did. She didn'dnt have much of an idea either.
You ought to know she said as your father had been a PO Mechanician when he was commissioned. I think at one time he was on HMS Eagle when she went to China station and i remember he had been in charge of those tractor things that tow the aircraft about. What does/did mechanicians do in the navy?
Those of us who joined as mechanics but proved we were capable of doing artificers roles could become mechanicians. You had to have sea recommends, a high enough overall score on either LHs or POs qualifying course plus pass a board. I started Mechs course, which was 2.5 years long providing you didn't get backclassed, but halfway through their Lords at the Admiralty decided to call us all artificers, so I passed out as a POMEA(EL)(SM).
 
D

Deleted 97779

Guest
Bullshit , Black Star /Mermaid never had gold taps......Nkrumha ordered his '' yacht '' but in build he was deposed
and the new government of Ghana gave the finger to the builders. She was never fitted out as a yacht.
Purchased by MOD and became F74.
Are you suggesting tthe Tabloids at the time were being disingenuous? Go and wash your mouth out. if we are not to believe the Daily Mail. Who are we to believe? The MOD ?
 

Dusty70

War Hero
BY L/REM Mick MERAS (written on 23.09.76 and updated on 23.04.00)


I had just come out of the Engine Room after putting the loose wires back in the DG (De-Gausing) Equipment boxes. We, that is, Charlie NEWALL and me, had found our fault on the Standard Binnacle Compass on the open bridge.
On the way out I passed Stan TURNER and winked my right eye.
Getting on deck we saw we were very near the MERMAID. Charlie and I looked at the log, which had been brought up by PO (REAMECH 3) WILLIAMS and OEM Steve PARKER and placed on the Spade Pumps external cover in the starboard waist.
Charlie stayed on the upper deck and I went to the MSO (Mine Sweeping Office) to pick up the Bridge Megger (Electrical Test equipment to check the resistance on the loop), for use later on, as the compass wire was disconnected from circuit at MSB (Main Switch Board).
I heard on my way out, the 1st Lieutenant had told the seaman to wear the same type of lifejacket. The green type, self-inflating, lifejackets were to be stowed behind a locker aft on the Fo'c's'le Deck. 'VICTORY' type lifejackets were to be worn by the seaman.
I knew that Special Sea Dutymen should be closed up and 'State 2 Condition 'Yankee' piped (I don't recall ever hearing the pipe !!).
As I descended the ladder to the waist adjacent to the Wardroom door, we were nudged twice and water was splashing onto the upper deck - But I thought nothing of this and neither did anyone else.
Entering 31-45 compartment, Wardroom Lobby, I opened the 'Y' hatch to the Generator Room (my Special Sea Duty place was in the GCR (General.Control.Room) and started to go down. About half way from the bottom the ship was nudged again causing a list of about 30º. I thought I'll stop and wait for everything to return to normal. Then we received one long continuous nudge......... I was forced along the ladder and back out into the Wardroom Lobby, guided by the side of the fridge. I rolled onto the deck head.
On getting up there was a pause...........The generators had stopped & no alarms sounded. I looked left and right and noticed that the AELs (Automatic Emergency Lanterns) were on and water was pouring in (I had a wonderful snapshot of daylight fading as an increasing volume of water spilled through the Wardroom/Waist door.
Dave (Brigam) YOUNG came running past and I asked which way was out ? He said "This way !!" indicating towards the previously mentioned door. Fred PILGRIM followed him in as Dave asked me "Have you got your shoes on ?"
I replied "Yes !!"
"Take them off" he told me.
I did one-handed, removing my socks at the same time. Then, in bare feet, I waited.
By this time the water level had reached our necks and, after the air "Huffed" out, Dave asked me to try and swim out. I tried to but came back because of the water pressure.
We waited a little longer.
Then Dave said "I don't know about you but I'm going !" So he went. Fred then said "Here goes then" and he went as well, apparently holding onto, or trying to hold onto Daves' feet. (Later on Brigam said someone had grabbed his feet. and he'd thought it was me !!)
I was left there on my own, so, after taking a lung full of air, I decided to follow.
The water was as clear as swimming underwater in the local pool. The current took me between the upper deck Generator Room Hatch and Funnel Flat housing. It pushed me into the Generator Room hatch-railing. I pushed back and out, got back into the main current and dived down 3/4 feet to clear the bulwark.
On reaching the surface my left hand touched a green self-inflating life jacket. (I did not think this was initially important as I wanted air) but I pulled the red toggle and inflated it anyway.
I started to drift away from the starboard quarter of the stricken ship and noticed small, black droplets of oil in the water. I pulled the life jacket to my chest and turned my body so that my back was facing the 2 to 3 ft high swell of the North Sea..
I could see the MERMAIDS 27ft Motor Whaler coming towards me and, after being picked up, we headed towards the FITTLETONS upturned hull where we found MEM1 Dave BROWN sitting atop it.
When asked to drop into the water Dave hit his thighbone on the bilge keel before being covered in oil, on impact, from the slick.
We picked him up and cleared his airways before proceeding around the hull were we found MEM2 'Fraz' FARRAND.
Fraz was loaded into the boat and we headed away towards MERMAID.
We climbed up the MERMAIDs scramble-net and were guided down to the canteen where tea and sandwiches were available.
One of MERMAIDS stokers told me that one of his men mentioned he was going to get his camera and so he had hit him !!
I managed to get a shower pretty quickly, using 'Swarfiga' to clean the oil from my hair, before getting into a clean boiler suit and plimsolls. I remember Dave was very sick (I thought he must have swallowed some oil).
Met O.J. (AB JEFFERY) in the canteen on my return.
After an hour we were allowed into the P.O's & C.P.O's Mess for free drinks, then were allocated a place to sleep (in 3E - the R.O's Mess).
I had supper and then visited 3Q Mess (OEM'S) where I met Paul DAUBNEY, once drafted to HMS PRESIDENT (London Division RNR) as an electrician.
Had a great time listening to others telling Sea Stories....... GOT DRUNK (With a very good excuse) !!!
H.M.S. Fittleton later sank between 2100 - 2200 that evening.
 
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