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H.M.S. SCARAB

 

COCKCHAFER AND APHIS

 

 

RETURN TO THE FAR EAST

 

 

TARANTO TO SINGAPORE

1 January – 26 April 1946

 

 

 

 

August 1944

 

Excerpt from: http://frankstaylorfamilyandroyalnavyhistory.net/HMSScarab/LenMell.html

 

 

Len Mell was born in Southport, Merseyside, North West England 30 August 1926. He joined Scarab in Taranto, Italy after the South of France. The ships were tied up, stern to wall. The aircraft carrier H.M.S. Attacker, a minesweeper and corvette, then Scarab, and further along Cockchafer, and Aphis. Scarab was literally ripped apart for rebuilding and a new bridge assembled after sustaining heavy damage in her battle with the two German corvettes.

  

The crew was relocated to a pavilion outside the dock area with 6 left aboard Scarab for guard duties including Len. Conditions were very rough – full of rats - toilets directly over the stern into the water, no heating to be expected for some time, 1 shilling per day. No one was very happy in the cold conditions. They had to adapt accordingly.

 

 

HMS Scarab was deployed in the Adriatic in support of shore operations based at Ancona. Following Victory in Europe she was nominated for service with the British Pacific Fleet against Japan. However, the Pacific War ended before she and her sister ship’s Aphis and Cockchafer left Taranto, Italy bound for Singapore, Malaysia on 1 January 1946.

 

 

 

 

 

The following is the Report of Proceedings from H.M.S. Scarab.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pounds,
Thomas Herbert Bellingham
T.H.B. Pounds 

25.09.1909
Newcastle upon Tyne district, Northumberland
-
12.04.1973
Wingerworth, Chesterfield district, Derbyshire

...

...

Lt.

25.09.1933

Lt.Cdr.

25.09.1941 (retd 25.09.1954; age)

...

-

...

...

01.11.1938

-

(02.1940)

HMS Norfolk (Norfolk class cruiser)

...

-

...

...

 

Dyer,
John Edwin
J.E. Dyer (Imperial War Museum © IWM (A 21315)) 
Son (with one brother) of John Richard Dyer (1872-), and Jessie Greig (1885-).
Married ((03?).1940, Plymouth district, Devon)Irene Vanbrough Blackaller (24.04.1914 - 03.1987); one son.

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22.05.1906
Dulwich, Camberwell district, London
-
(03?).1975
Dover district, Kent

Boy II

23.05.1923 [J107324]

Boy I

28.10.1923

Ord.Sea.

20.11.1924

AB.Sea.

04.10.1925

Ldg.Sea.

12.01.1934

...

...

Boatsw.

01.07.1937

A/Lt.

24.08.1940

Lt.

02.1941, seniority 16.11.1938

Lt.Cdr.

16.11.1946 (retd 22.05.1952; age)

 

Distinguished Service Cross

DSC

01.01.1943

New Year 43 [investiture 16.02.43]

Distinguished Service Cross

DSC

07.03.1944

sinking of the Scharnhorst [decoration posted]

...

-

...

...

01.01.1938

-

(09.)1939

HMS Glorious (aircraft carrier) (Mediterranean)

(12.1939)

-

(02.1940)

no appointment listed

(03.)1940

-

(08.)1940

short course of instruction

(10.1940)

 

 

no appointment listed

17.10.1940

-

(02.)1941

First Lieutenant, HMS Elgin (minesweeper)

12.03.1941

-

(12.1941)

HMS Victorious (Illustrious class aircraft carrier)

(02.1942)

 

 

no appointment listed

12.02.1942

-

(02.)1943

HMS Minos II (Coastal Forces base, Lowestoft), from 26.07.1942 HMS Mantis (Coastal Forces base, Lowestoft):

(08.1942)

 

 

Senior Officer, 5th MGB Flotilla

(1942)

 

 

Commanding Officer, MGB 21 (motor gun boat)

(02.1943)

 

 

Senior Officer, 7th MGB Flotilla

(04.1943)

 

 

no appointment listed

03.05.1943

-

(06.)1944

First Lieutenant, HMS Saumarez (destroyer) [from 05.02.1944 to 19.03.1944 temporarily in command]

04.10.1944

-

01.1945

Commanding Officer, HMS Saladin (destroyer)

17.01.1945

-

(04.)1945

Commanding Officer, HMS Westminster (destroyer)

07.1945

-

(04.1946)

Commanding Officer, HMS Aphis (river gunboat)

...

-

...

...

06.03.1950

-

(05.1950)

Commanding Officer, HMS Miner VII

 

 

Tyrer,
Edward Austin
E.A. Tyrer 

Son of Austin Tyrer, and Florence Aza Winterbottom.
Married Lilla (died 25.02.2008, aged 90); one son, one daughter.

04.07.1917
West Derby district, Lancashire
-
24.08.2001
Ashford with Shepway district, Kent

Prob. S.Lt.

16.03.1939

S.Lt.

1940?, seniority 16.03.1939

Lt.

03.06.1940

Lt.Cdr.

03.06.1948 (retd 20.07.1959)

 

Distinguished Service Cross

DSC

14.11.1944

action Plymouth area 3 ships sunk 14.07.44 [investiture 02.02.45]

 

...

-

...

...

20.01.1940

-

(04.)1940

HMS Aurora (cruiser)

01.07.1940

-

(02.)1941

HMS Quorn (destroyer)

13.11.1941

-

(08.)1943

HMS Wanderer (destroyer)

28.08.1943

-

(12.1943)

HMS Hannibal (RN base, Naples) (for service at Naples)

(04.1944)

 

 

no appointment listed

15.05.1944

-

(01.)1945

HMS Tartar (destroyer)

05.07.1945

-

(04.1946)

Commanding Officer, HMS Cockchafer (river gunboat)

...

-

...

...

Source: https://www.unithistories.com/officers/RN_officersT2.html

 

 

It must be remembered that the river gunboats were designed for ‘riverine’ purposes; They were flat-bottomed with a four- foot draught from the water-line. In addition, they were originally built in pieces so that they could be delivered to their service destination via ship or rail and assembled ‘in situ’. They were not designed as ocean-going vessels and were a problem in rough weather. The problems which bedevilled these ships on ocean voyages were present even in their early years  See:: A Sea Voyage in a River Gunboat (1927)

 

So far, we have been unable to find any reference to one of these ships ever having been assembled ‘in situ’. All were launched in the UK.

 

 

 

 

H.M.S. St Brides Bay

Source: https://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-15Fr-Bay-HMS_St_Brides_Bay.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

R.F.A. Scotol

Source: http://www.historicalrfa.org/rfa-scotol-ships-details

 

 

 

 

 

 

H.M.S. Shoreham

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Shoreham_(L32)

 

 

 

 

The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Indian_Navy_mutiny

 

The Royal Indian Navy Revolt (also called the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny) encompassed a total strike and subsequent revolt by Indian

Sailors of the Royal Indian Navy on board ship and shore establishments at Bombay Harbour on 18 February 1946. From the initial flashpoint

in Bombay, the revolt spread and found support throughout British India from Karachi to Calcutta, and ultimately came to involve over

20,000 sailors in 78 ships and shore establishments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R.F.A. Golgol - Hong Kong Dec 1925

Source: http://www.historicalrfa.org/rfa-belgol

 

 

 

 

The sailor who was rescued hanging on to the number 11 buoy picked up by H.M.S. Cockchafer was from

Marechal Joffre formerly French built but taken over by the US and renamed USS Rochambeau (AP – 63).

 

Marechal Joffre was in the Philippines when the United States entered World War II.

She was taken over by a crew of downed US Navy fliers from Patrol Wing 10 and with the help of some of the French sailors who were not supportive of the Vichy government sailed for Balikpapan, whence she proceeded to Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. She arrived at San Francisco with a cargo of wool and zircon sand on 19 April 1942.

 

The sailor’s story would be quite interesting as he was a German who was conscripted into the French Navy somehow and then thrown overboard by probably French crewmembers who clearly didn’t want questions asked. If he was one of the original crew members is unknown.

 

 

 

 

Lt. Cdr Pounds’ final comments in his report provide some insight into how he saw these little ships.

He is speaking of the ship’s companies but as he states:

 “Now that they have become ‘teams’ it will be very much regretted if the ships are put into Reserve Category B.”

 

H.M.S. Scarab was “loaned” to Burma (Myanmar) in May 1946,

See: http://frankstaylorfamilyandroyalnavyhistory.net/HMSScarab/HMSScarabBurma.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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