February 22 - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History


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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
13 September 1801 - HMS Lark (16), Lt. Johnstone, captured Spanish privateer schooner Esperance, within the Portillo Reefs, Cuba.

HMS Lark was a 16-gun ship sloop of the Cormorant class, launched in 1794 at Northfleet. She served primarily in the Caribbean, where she took a number of prizes, some after quite intensive action. Lark foundered off San Domingo in August 1809, with the loss of her captain and almost all her crew.



Lark's next action occurred on 13 September 1801. With Lieutenant James Johnstone as acting captain, Lark chased a Spanish privateer schooner along the coast of Cuba until evening, when the schooner took refuge within the Portillo Reefs. Johnstone sent his yawl and cutter, each with sixteen men, including officers, to capture her. The privateer, which was armed with a long 8-pounder and two 4-pounders, opened fire on the boarding party. Still, the British prevailed, though they lost one man killed and a midshipman and 12 sailors wounded. The Spanish lost 21 dead, including their captain Joseph Callie, and six wounded; Lark took the remainder of the 45 men crew prisoner. The privateer was the Esperanza out of Santiago, and in the previous month she had taken the British sloop Eliza and the brig Betsey.

The very long and successful career of the HMS Lark you can read in detail in wikipedia

Unfortunately, on 3 August 1809, Lark foundered in a gale off Cape Causada (Point Palenqua), San Domingo. She was at anchor when the gale struck. She set sail at daybreak to get out to sea but while she was shortening sail a squall struck that turned her on her side. At that point a heavy sea struck her and she filled rapidly with water. She sank within 15 minutes, taking most of her crew with her. Some of her crew survived by hanging on to floating wreckage. However, by evening, when the Cruizer-class brig-sloop Moselle arrived, Commander Nicholas and all but three men of her crew of 120 were dead. Moselle then rescued the three survivors. Nicholas had just been promoted to post-captain with orders to command Garland.

The Cormorant class were built as a class of 16-gun ship sloops for the Royal Navy, although they were re-rated as 18-gun ships soon after completion.

The two Surveyors of the Navy – Sir William Rule and Sir John Henslow – jointly designed the class. A notation on the back of the plans held at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, states that the designers based their plan on the lines of the captured French sloop Amazon, captured in 1745.

The Admiralty ordered six vessels to this design in February 1793; it ordered a seventh vessel in the following year. These ships were initially armed with sixteen 6-pounder guns, later supplemented with eight 12-pounder carronades (6 on the quarter deck and 2 on the forecastle). The 6-pounder guns were eventually replaced by 24-pounder carronades

His Majesty's ship Blossom off the Sandwich Islands

Twenty-four more were ordered to the same design in 1805 – 1806, although in this new batch 32-pounder carronades were fitted instead of the 6-pounder guns originally mounted in the earlier batch; the 12-pounder carronades were replaced by 18-pounders, and some ships also received two 6-pounders as chase guns on the forecastle.

Of this second batch one ship (Serpent) was cancelled and another (Ranger) completed to a slightly lengthened variant of the design.

Ships of the class

Batch 1 (with 6-pounder guns)
Cormorant - 2 January 1794 - Blew up by accident on 24 December 1796
Favourite - 1 February 1794 - Captured by the French 6 January 1806; retaken 27 January 1807 and renamed Goree; broken up in 1817,
Hornet - 3 February 1794 - Sold on 30 October 1817
Lynx - 14 February 1794 - Sold on 28 April 1813
Lark - 15 February 1794 - Foundered on 3 August 1809
Hazard - 3 March 1794 - Sold on 30 October 1817
Stork - 29 November 1794 - Sold on 30 May 1816

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Batch 2 (with 32-pounder carronades)
Hyacinth - 30 August 1806 - Broken up in December 1820
Sabrina - 1 September 1806 - Sold on 18 April 1816
Herald - 27 December 1806 - Broken up in September 1817
Anacreon - 1 May 1813 - Foundered with all hands on 28 February 1814
Rosamund - 27 January 1807 - Sold on 14 December 1815
Fawn - 22 April 1806 - Sold on 20 August 1818
Myrtle1 - 2 October 1807 - Broken up in June 1818
Acorn - 30 October 1807 - Broken up in May 1819
Racoon - 30 March 1808 - Convict prison ship in 1819; sold in August 1838
North Star - 21 April 1810 - Sold 6 March 1817
Hesper - 3 July 1809 - Sold 8 July 1817
Cherub - 27 December 1806Sold on 13 January 1820
Minstrel - 25 March 1807 - Sold 6 March 1817
Wanderer - 29 September 1806 - Sold 6 March 1817; became a whaling ship and then merchantman on the North Atlantic before her crew abandoned her in October 1827 as she was in a sinking state.
Sapphire - 11 November 1806 - Sold 18 April 1822
Blossom - 10 December 1806 - Broken up in August 1848
Partridge - 15 July 1809 - Broken up in September 1816
Egeria1 - 31 October 1807 - Receiving ship at Devonport from 1825; broken up 1864
Favourite - 13 September 1806 - Broken up in February 1821
Tweed - 10 January 1807 - Wrecked off Newfoundland 5 November 1813
Ranger - 5 September 1807 - Broken up in February 1814
.Jalouse - 13 July 1809 - Sold 8 March 1819
Serpent - Cancelled 8 September 1810
Dauntless - 20 December 1808 - Sold for breaking on 27 January 1825



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
13 September 1803 - Death of John Barry (March 25, 1745 – September 13, 1803)

who was an officer in the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War and later in the United States Navy. He came to be widely credited as "The Father of the American Navy" (and shares that moniker with John Paul Jones and John Adams) and was appointed a captain in the Continental Navy on December 7, 1775. He was the first captain placed in command of a U.S. warship commissioned for service under the Continental flag.

After the war, he became the first commissioned U.S. naval officer, at the rank of commodore, receiving his commission from President George Washington in 1797.

An 1801 Gilbert Stuart portrait of Barry.

Early life and education
Barry was born on March 25, 1745, in Tacumshane, County Wexford, Ireland. When Barry's family was evicted from their home by their British landlord, they moved to Rosslare on the coast, where his uncle worked a fishing skiff. As a young man, Barry determined upon a life as a seaman, and he started out as a ship's cabin boy.

Barry received his first captain's commission in the Continental Navy on March 14, 1776, signed by John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress. Barry was a religious man and began each day at sea with a reading from the Bible. He had great regard for his crew and their well being and always made sure they were properly provisioned while at sea.

During his naval career Barry commanded United States Ships Delaware, Lexington, Raleigh, and Alliance.

Command of Delaware
In 1777 Barry commanded the ship USS Delaware, a brig sailing under a letter of marque capturing British vessels in the Delaware River.

Command of Raleigh
In 1778 Barry assumed command of USS Raleigh, capturing three prizes before being run aground in action on September 27, 1778. Her crew scuttled her, but she was raised by the British, who refloated her for further use in the Royal Navy.

Model of the USS Raleigh in the U.S. Navy Museum

Command of Lexington
Captain Barry was given command of USS Lexington, of 14 guns, on December 7, 1775. It was the first commission issued by the Continental Congress. The Lexington sailed March 31, 1776. On April 7, 1776, off the Capes of Virginia, he fell in with the Edward, tender to the British man-of-war HMS Liverpool, and after a desperate fight of one hour and twenty minutes captured her and brought her into Philadelphia.

USS Lexington

On June 28, Pennsylvania's brig Nancy arrived in the area with 386 barrels of powder in her hold and ran aground while attempting to elude British blockader Kingfisher. Barry ordered the precious powder rowed ashore during the night leaving only 100 barrels in Nancyat dawn. A delayed action fuse was left inside the brig, which exploded the powder just as a boatload of British seamen boarded Nancy. This engagement became known as the Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet.

Barry continued in command of Lexington until October 18, 1776, and captured several private armed vessels during that time.

Barry authored a signal book published in 1780 to improve communications at sea among vessels traveling in formation.

Command of Alliance
He was seriously wounded on May 29, 1781, while in command of Alliance during her capture of HMS Atalanta and Trepassey.

He and his crew of the USS Alliance fought and won the final naval battle of the American Revolution 140 miles (230 km) south of Cape Canaveral on March 10, 1783.

Alliance at sail

Barry was successful in suppressing three mutinies during his career as an officer in the Continental Navy.

John Barry was once offered 100,000 British pounds and command of any frigate in the entire British Navy if he would desert the American Navy. Outraged at the offer, Captain Barry responded that not all the money in the British treasury or command of its entire fleet could tempt him to desert his adopted country.

Commodore commission

Barry receiving commodore commission from Washington

On February 22, 1797, he was issued Commission Number 1 by President George Washington, backdated to June 4, 1794. His title was thereafter "commodore." He is recognized as not only the first American commissioned naval officer but also as its first flag officer.

Command of United States
Appointed senior captain upon the establishment of the U.S. Navy, he commanded the frigate United States in the Quasi-War with France. This ship transported commissioners William Richardson Davie and Oliver Ellsworth to France to negotiate a new Franco-American alliance.

USS United States by 1852

Barry's last day of active duty was March 6, 1801, when he brought USS United States into port, but he remained head of the Navy until his death on September 13, 1803, from asthma. Barry died childless.

Later life and death
Barry died at Strawberry Hill, in present-day Philadelphia on September 13, 1803, and was buried in the graveyard of Old St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Center City, Philadelphia.



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
13 September 1810 - Action of 13 September 1810 - HMS Africaine (38), Cptn. Robert Corbett (Killed in Action), taken by Astree (38) and Iphigenie (38), but re-taken by HMS Boadicea (38), Cptn. Josias Rowley - Part 1 Naval Event

The Action of 13 September 1810 was an inconclusive frigate engagement during the Napoleonic Wars between British Royal Navy and French Navy frigates during which a British frigate was defeated by two French vessels near Isle de France (now Mauritius), but British reinforcements were able to recapture the ship before the French could secure her. The British frigate was HMS Africaine, a new arrival to the Indian Ocean. She was under the command of Captain Robert Corbet, who had served there the previous year. Corbet was a notoriously unpopular officer and his death in the battle provoked a storm of controversy in Britain over claims that Corbet had either committed suicide at the shame of losing his ship, been murdered by his disaffected crew, or been abandoned by his men, who were said to have refused to load their guns while he remained in command. Whether any of these rumours were accurate has never been satisfactorily determined, but the issue has been discussed in several prominent naval histories and was the subject of at least one lawsuit.

The action came about as a direct consequence of the Battle of Grand Port three weeks earlier, in which a British squadron had been destroyed in a failed attack on Grand Port harbour on Isle de France. This gave the French forces on the island a significant regional advantage, outnumbering the British frigate on the recently captured Île Bourbon, commanded by Commodore Josias Rowley, by six to one. British reinforcements were hastily despatched to the area but the French were blockading Île Bourbon in force and the arriving reinforcements were in constant danger of attack by more powerful French units. Africaine was the first ship to reinforce Rowley's squadron, but within three days of her arrival in the region was engaged by two French ships while attempting to drive them away from Saint Denis on Île Bourbon. Corbet was severely wounded in the opening exchanges and subsequently died. Although his crew fought hard, they were overwhelmed by the French frigates and forced to surrender, only for Rowley to arrive in HMS Boadicea and drive off the French warships, recapturing Africaine.

In 1808, both the British Royal Navy and the French Navy despatched frigate squadrons to the Indian Ocean. The French, led by Commodore Jacques Hamelin, were ordered to disrupt British trade in the region, particularly targeting the large East Indiamen that carried millions of pounds worth of goods between Britain and her Empire. The British force under Commodore Josias Rowley was tasked with the blockade and eventual capture of the two well defended island bases of the French, Île Bonaparte and Isle de France. At the Action of 31 May 1809, a French frigate named Caroline captured two East Indiamen, sheltering with her prizes at Saint Paul on Île Bonaparte. In his first major operation against the islands, Rowley landed soldiers behind the defences of the harbour and sent his ships into the bay, seizing the town and the shipping in the harbour, including Caroline. One of Rowley's captains who had performed well in this engagement was Robert Corbet of HMS Nereide. Refitting the Caroline as a British warship and renaming her HMS Bourbonaise, Rowley placed Corbet in command and sent him to Britain with despatches.

Over the following year, the French continued to attack British trade convoys, achieving important victories at the Action of 18 November 1809 and the Action of 3 July 1810, where they captured another five East Indiamen as well as numerous smaller merchant ships and a large Portuguese frigate. Rowley too was active, commanding the successful Invasion of Île Bonaparte in July and renaming the island Île Bourbon, basing his squadron at Saint Paul on the island's eastern shore. From this base, Rowley's ships were ideally positioned to begin a close blockade of Isle de France, led initially by Captain Samuel Pym in HMS Sirius. Pym sought to reduce French movement by seizing a number of fortified offshore islands, starting with Île de la Passe off Grand Port. The island was captured, but when a French squadron broke through the British blockade and took shelter in Grand Port, Pym resolved to attack them. The ensuing Battle of Grand Port was a disaster for Rowley's squadron, as Pym led four of Rowley's five frigates into the bay without adequately assessing the channel through the coral reefs that sheltered the harbour. As a result, two frigates grounded out of range of the enemy and the remaining two were outnumbered in confined waters. In a complicated battle lasting several days, two of Pym's frigates were captured and two more had to be scuttled, with their entire crews made prisoner. Rowley's reinforcements arrived too late, and the British commodore was chased back to Saint Denis by Hamelin's flagship.

While Rowley and Hamelin had sparred in the Indian Ocean, Corbet had made the lengthy journey back to Britain. During his time in command of Nereide, Corbet had already developed a reputation as a strict disciplinarian, regularly beating his men for the slightest infractions, to the extent that he had provoked a brief mutiny on Nereide in 1808. His reputation spread before him, and when he switched commands with Captain Richard Raggett of HMS Africaine, he was met with a storm of protest from Africaine's crew. Although none of the men aboard Africaine had served with Corbet before, his preference for brutal punishment was well known in the Navy and the crew sent a letter to the Admiralty insisting that they would not serve under him. Concerned at what they considered to be mutiny, the Admiralty sent three popular officers to Africaine with the message that if the protest was quietly dropped there would be no courts-martial for mutiny but if not, the entire crew would be liable to attack. To emphasise the threat, the frigate HMS Menelaus was brought alongside with her gunports open and her cannon ready to fire. Chastened, the crew of Africaine allowed Corbet aboard and the frigate sailed for the Indian Ocean a few days later, carrying instructions for the authorities at Madras to prepare an expeditionary force to invade Isle de France

Africaine off Isle de France
Africaine's journey to Madras took several months and Corbet made a number of stops on his passage, the final one being at the small British island base of Rodriguez in early September 1810. There Corbet was informed of the disaster at Grand Port and on his own initiative immediately sailed south to augment Rowley's weakened squadron. Arriving off Isle de France at 06:15 on 11 September, Corbet spotted a French schooner near Île Ronde and gave chase, the schooner sheltering behind the reefs at Grand Bay on the eastern side of the island. At 07:30, Corbet ordered the frigate's boats to enter the creek into which the schooner had fled, the small craft entering the waterway in the hope of storming and capturing the vessel. As the boats approached, French soldiers and militia appeared along the banks and began firing on the British sailors. Fire was returned by Royal Marines in the boats, but Africaine's barge grounded soon after the ambush was sprung and became trapped, French gunfire killing two men and wounding ten. The other boat reached the grounded and abandoned schooner, but the six men aboard were unable to move the vessel unaided and were forced to depart, coming under fire which wounded five men, before they could escape the French trap.

Retrieving his boats, Corbet determined to sail to Île Bourbon directly. By 04:00 on 12 September he had arrived at Saint-Denis and there landed his wounded and came ashore for news, learning that two French frigates were just offshore, blockading the port. The French ships had spotted Africaine in the harbour and despatched the small brig Entreprenant to Isle de France with information of her whereabouts, although Corbet had raised flags that successfully deceived the French into believing that his frigate was Rowley's flagship HMS Boadicea. The French ships were Astrée, commanded by Pierre Bouvet, and Iphigénie, formerly one of the British frigates captured at Grand Port, under René Lemarant de Kerdaniel.

Rowley, stationed at Saint-Paul to the west of Saint-Denis, received word that Africaine had arrived at Saint Denis and immediately sought to drive off the French blockade. Sailing eastwards, Boadicea came within sight of Bouvet's squadron at 15:00 and the British flagship followed by the small brigs HMS Otter and HMS Staunch. Corbet recognised Rowley's intention and joined the attack, embarking 25 soldiers from the 86th Regiment of Foot to replace his losses at Grand Bay. The French, still believing Africaine to be Boadicea, assumed that Boadicea was an East Indiaman named Windham in disguise, and fell back towards Isle de France before the British force.

Otter and Staunch both fell rapidly behind Boadicea, while Africaine pulled far ahead. By 18:20, lookouts on Africaine could no longer see the other British ships, and by 18:30, Boadicea was similarly alone. Bouvet realised the lack of cohesion in the British squadron, and also recognised that Africaine was faster than either of his ships and would soon catch them. As a result, he slowed and prepared to meet the British frigate as night fell. Corbet now found himself outnumbered and began to launch rockets and flares in the hope of attracting Rowley's attention and as the French closed with Africaine, he readied his ship for action. 6 nautical miles (11 km) behind, Rowley could see the flares and flashes but was powerless to intercede in the darkness. At 01:50 on 13 September, the gap had closed between Africaine and the French ships, and at 02:20 Corbet opened fire on Astrée, with Bouvet returning the fire immediately.

A cannonball from the second French broadside struck Corbet within minutes of the first broadside, the ball tearing off his foot above the ankle just as a large wooden splinter thrown from the gunwale struck the thigh of the same leg, shattering the bone. Corbet was brought below to the ship's surgeon where the remnant of his leg was hastily amputated and bound, and command devolved on Lieutenant John Crew Tullidge. At 02:30, Astrée pulled away from Africaine to perform hasty repairs, but Bouvet's guns had wrecked Africaine's rigging, leaving the British frigate uncontrollable and largely immobile. Slowly moving ahead, Africaine engaged Iphigénie at close range but was counter attacked by Astrée and found herself assailed on both sides, Astrée angled in such a position that she was able to rake the British ship, inflicting significant damage and casualties.

By 03:30, Africaine was in ruins. Tullidge was wounded in four places, but refused to leave the deck as the ship's master had been decapitated and the other lieutenant shot in the chest. All three topmasts had collapsed and as guns were dismounted and casualties increased the return fire of Africaine became more and more ragged, until it stopped entirely at 04:45, when only two guns were still capable of firing.[20] French fire stopped at 05:15, first light showing Boadicea 5 nautical miles (9.3 km) away and unable to affect the surrender of Africaine, which had hauled down its flags at 05:00. Within minutes, a French prize crew boarded the battered frigate and seized the magazine of shot and gunpowder, which was shipped to Iphigénie whose ammunition was almost exhausted.

Boadicea arrives
At 06:00, a breeze pushed Boadicea forward and she began to close with her former consort, Rowley watching as all three of Africaine's masts gave way and collapsed over the side one by one. By 08:00, Africaine was a dismasted hull and Corbet was dead in the bowels of the ship, although the exact manner of his death was to cause lasting controversy. By 10:00, Boadicea had been joined by Otter and Staunch and bore down on the French ships and their prize, so that by 15:30 Bouvet was persuaded to abandon Africaineand tow the damaged Iphigénie back to Port Napoleon. By 17:00, Boadicea pulled alongside Africaine and the French prize crew surrendered. Rowley later reported that a number of British sailors leaped into the sea at his approach and swam to Boadicea, requesting that they be allowed to pursue the French ships in the hope of capturing one.

Rowley dismissed this idea given the shattered state of Africaine and instead towed the frigate back to Île Bourbon, shadowed by Astrée and Iphigénie on the return journey. The French frigates did achieve some consolation in pursuing Rowley from a distance, running into and capturing the Honourable East India Company's armed brig Aurora, sent from India to reinforce Rowley. On 15 September, Boadicea, Africaine and the brigs arrived at Saint Paul, Africaine sheltering under the fortifications of the harbour while the others put to sea, again seeking to drive away the French blockade but unable to bring them to action. Bouvet returned to Port Napoleon on 18 September, and thus was not present when Rowley attacked and captured the French flagship Vénus and Commodore Hamelin at the Action of 18 September 1810.

The action was the first of two in this campaign in which lone British frigates were briefly overwhelmed by superior French forces as they sailed independently to join Rowley's squadron. On each occasion however, Rowley was able to recapture the lost frigate and drive off the French attackers. Corbet's action was particularly violent, British casualties totalling 49 killed and 114 wounded, including every single officer and all but three of the soldiers embarked. Africaine was seriously damaged and would not be ready to return to active service for some months. French losses were less severe, Astrée suffering one killed and two wounded, Iphigénie nine killed and 33 wounded.

The action was considered a defeat by the Admiralty and was not reported in the London Gazette. The British naval authorities were particularly disturbed by rumours that began to circulate concerning the death of Captain Corbet and the behaviour of his crew during the battle. Prominent among these rumours was the suggestion that Corbet had been murdered by his disaffected crew: historian William James wrote in 1827 that "There are many who will insist, that Captain Corbett's death-wound was inflicted by one of his own people." although he goes on to point out the unlikelihood of Corbet being shot by one of his own cannon. He gives more credence to the story that Corbet committed suicide to avoid the shame of defeat, that he "cut the bandages from his amputated limb, and suffered himself to bleed to death." This story was also alluded to in Edward Pelham Brenton's 1825 history: "Corbet did not (we fear would not) survive his capture". The truth of Corbet's end will never be known with certainty, although James ultimately concludes that Corbet's wound was almost certainly a mortal one and thus the most likely cause of death.

A second accusation, and one that proved even more controversial in the aftermath of the engagement, was the claim that Africaine's crew abandoned their guns, refused to load them or deliberately fired them into the sea in protest at Corbet's behaviour. Corbet's brutality was well known in the Navy, James describing him as "an excessively severe officer" who had a "career of cruelty". James does not accuse the crew of any deliberate attempt to sabotage their ship in the engagement, instead attributing their poor gunnery to Corbet's own failings as a commander, most significantly his failure to practice gunnery regularly. Other authors were less understanding of the crew of Africaine, Brenton stating that "they cut the breechings of their guns, and put no shot in them after the first or second broadside", while historian Basil Hall baldly stated in 1833 that they "preferred to be mown down by the French broadsides" than fight under Corbet. This last accusation provoked outrage among naval officers, and Captain Jenkin Jones, a former shipmate of Corbet launched a successful lawsuit, forcing Hall to make a retraction. In 1900, William Laird Clowes commented that "There is, unfortunately, much reason to suppose that Captain Corbett's reputation for extreme severity had antagonised his crew, and that the men did not behave as loyally as they should have behaved". He later castigates Brenton for the suggestion that Corbet committed suicide, suggesting that the wound alone was the cause of death. Modern historians have also been scathing of Corbet's behaviour, Robert Gardiner calling him "notoriously brutal," and Richard Woodman describing Tullidge as "an unfortunate victim of Corbet's cruelty, for suspicions lingered that Africaine's brutalised crew had failed to do their utmost in support of their hated commander."



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
13 September 1810 - Action of 13 September 1810 - HMS Africaine (38), Cptn. Robert Corbett (Killed in Action), taken by Astree (38) and Iphigenie (38), but re-taken by HMS Boadicea (38), Cptn. Josias Rowley - Part 2 The Ships

Africaine (1798 - 40 - Preneuse-class) was one of two 40-gun Preneuse-class frigates of the French Navy built to a design by Raymond-Antoine Haran. She carried twenty-eight 18-pounder and twelve 8-pounder guns. The British captured her in 1801, comissioned her as HMS Africaine, only to have the French recapture her in 1810. They abandoned her at sea as she had been demasted and badly damaged, with the result that the British recaptured her the next day. She was broken up in 1816.

Capture of the Africaine French frigate by the Phoebe... 1 Nov 1801 (PAH4006)
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/143953.html#wDcYJBy1r9hZJLuf.99

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lines & profile It is likely that these plans show her prior to her refit. NMM, Progress Book, volume 5, folio 712, states that 'Africaine' was refitted at Deptford Dockyard between 17 February 1802 and 17 February 1803.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/82508.html#63wjExmHKrABYwYu.99


Astrée (1809 - 44 - Pallas-class) was a 44-gun Pallas-class frigate of the French Navy, launched at Cherbourg in 1809. In December of the next year she captured HMS Africaine. The Royal Navy captured Astrée in 1810 and took her into service under her French name, rating her as a 38-gun frigate, but then in 1811 recommissioned her as HMS Pomone. She served during the War of 1812 and was broken up in 1816.



HMS Iphigenia (1808 - 36- Perseverance-class) was a Royal Navy 36-gun Perseverance-class fifth-rate frigate. She was built at Chatham Dockyard by Master Shipwright Robert Seppings launched 26 April 1808.

The French captured her at the debacle of Grand Port and in their service she participated in the capture of several British vessels. The British recaptured her and she served in the West Africa squadron (or "Preventative Service"), combating the slave trade. She was broken up in 1851 after serving for many years as a training ship.

Detail of the Battle of Grand Port: HMS Iphigenia striking her colours (actually happened the next day) Oil on canvas


HMS Boadicea (1797 - 40 - purpose built, based on french Impérieuse, a 40-gun Minerve-class frigate ) was a frigate of the Royal Navy. She served in the Channel and in the East Indies during which service she captured many prizes. She participated in one action for which the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal. She was broken up in 1858.


Boadicea was one of a batch of large frigates ordered in 1795, all of which were the largest of their type, and the majority of which were to the draught of captured French ships, the Navy then being under the sway of Middleton and the French school of thought, a school supposing that the design of warships in France was of a higher quality.[citation needed] She was built to the design of Imperieuse, a 40-gun ship completed in 1787 and captured in October 1793. Changes were made to the shape of the topsides, and the scantlings and fastenings were strengthened to reflect British practice. She retained her shallow French hull form, and as a result the holds and magazines were considered cramped.


HMS Otter (1805 - 16 - Merlin-class) was a Royal Navy 16-gun Merlin-class ship sloop, launched in 1805 at Hull. She participated in two notable actions in the Indian Ocean and was sold in 1828.

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Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plans, sheer lines with alterations to the forecastle, and longitudinal half-breadth for Wolf (1804), Martin (1805), Brisk (1805), Star (1805), Kangaroo (1805), Cygnet (1804), Ariel (1806), Helena (1804), Albacore (1804), Fly (1804), Kingfisher (1804), Otter (1805), Rose (1805), and Halifax (1806), all 16-gun Ship Sloops with quarterdeck and forecastles. These ships were to be built similar to the Merlin (1796) and the Pheasant (1798).
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/83649.html#5AYp8ZUlubiCMkPl.99


HMS Staunch (1804 - 12 - Archer-class) was a Royal Navy 12-gun Archer-class gun-brig, built by Benjamin Tanner and launched in 1804 at Dartmouth, Devon. She served in the Indian Ocean and participated in the Action of 18 September 1810 before she foundered with the loss of all hands in 1811.



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
13 September 1858 - SS Austria was a steamship of the Hamburg America Line in one of the worst transatlantic maritime disasters of the nineteenth century, claiming the lives of 449 passengers and crew..

SS Austria was a steamship of the Hamburg America Line which sank on 13 September 1858, in one of the worst transatlantic maritime disasters of the nineteenth century, claiming the lives of 449 passengers and crew. The Austria was built by Caird & Co. of Greenock, Scotland and was launched on 23 June 1857. She was 318 ft and 2,684 BRT, with three masts and single screw propeller propulsion.

Sinking of the SS Austria, at the Deutsches Historisches Museum.

After a cancelled British Government charter, she went into service with the Hamburg America Line on 1 May 1858 on the Hamburg-New York City route


Tragedy at sea

On 1 September 1858, SS Austria captained by F. A. Heydtmann sailed from Hamburg on her third voyage to New York City. At approximately 12:00, on 13 September, at coordinates 45°01′N 41°30′W, a decision was made[by whom?] to fumigate steerage by dipping a red-hot chain into a bucket of tar; the chain became too hot for the boatswain to hold, and it was dropped onto the deck, which immediately burst into flames; although the ship was traveling at only half speed it was impossible to stop the engines as the engine crew had become asphyxiated. When the helmsman abandoned the wheel, the ship swung into the wind, spreading the flames down the length of the ship, racing through the mahogany veneer and varnished bulkheads, as passengers jumped into the sea. The passing barque, Maurice of France rescued most of the survivors (67), and the Catarina of Norway picked up more (22) the next morning. As the blackened hulk was left to sink, all but 89 of 542 passengers were lost.

"The shipwreck of SS Austria" shown at Odense, Denmark

Amongst the survivors were:
Amongst those who drowned were:
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Paintings of the disaster
The fire and subsequent sinking has featured in multiple paintings, including:




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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 13 September

1609 – Henry Hudson reaches the river that would later be named after him – the Hudson River.


1782 - Grand attack upon Gibraltar by the Spaniards.

1801 - British attack on Porto Ferrajo, Elba.

The Siege of Porto Ferrajo was a French attempt to force the surrender of the Tuscan fortress town of Porto Ferrajo (now Portoferraio) on the island of Elba following the French occupation of mainland Tuscany in 1801 during the French Revolutionary Wars. The Tuscan garrison was heavily outnumbered, but received significant support from British Royal Navy forces who controlled the Mediterranean Sea and ensured that supplies reached the garrison and that French supply convoys were intercepted. The French began the siege with 1,500 men in May 1801, later reinforced to more than 5,000, but could not make an impression on the fortress's defences, instead seeking to starve the defenders into submission with the support of a squadron of French Navy frigates operating off the coast.

An engraving of the town of Porto Ferrajo on the island of Elba, created in 1814

The presence of a small British naval squadron in the region rendered this plan impractical and additional British reinforcements under Rear-Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren and Lieutenant Colonel George Airey strengthened the defenders to the point that sallies could be made against French offensive positions. The French subsequently lost all of the frigates sent to blockade the port to patrolling British warships in a series of one-sided engagements, giving the British local dominance that allowed them to maintain the fortress. Despite a number of naval actions and one significant land engagement, the siege dragged on inconclusively for the summer and early autumn of 1801, and when the first articles of the Treaty of Amiens were signed in October, the town was still under Tuscan control, although the provisions of the final agreement, signed in March 1802, granted the island to France.


1803 - HMS Cerberus (32), Cptn. W. Selby and consorts bombard Granville.

HMS Cerberus was a 32-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She served in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars in the Channel, the Mediterranean, the Adriatic, and even briefly in the Baltic against the Russians. She participated in one boat action that won for her crew a clasp to the Naval General Service Medal (NGSM). She also captured many privateers and merchant vessels. Her biggest battle was the Battle of Lissa, which won for her crew another clasp to the NGSM. She was sold in 1814.


On 13 September Cerberus served as flagship to Admiral Sir James Saumarez. Saumarez commanded a small squadron comprising the sloops of war Charwell and Kite, the schooner Eling, the cutter Carteret, and the bomb vessels Sulphur and Terror. The squadron massed for a bombardment of the port of Granville where there were some gunboats moored. The squadron bombarded the port several times over the next two days. On 15 September, as Cerberus was withdrawing, she grounded. For the three hours it took to refloat her nine gunboats harried her, but without effect. When the rest of the squadron, came up they drove the gunboats away. The British retired with no information on what, if anything, the bombardment had achieved.


1810 – Launch of convict transport ship Martha

Martha was launched at Quebec in 1810. In 1818 she transported convicts to Port Jackson, New South Wales. She remained in the South Pacific as a whaler until she was condemned in 1820 as unseaworthy and then sold for breaking up.
Martha entered Lloyd's Register in 1811 with J. Wilson, master, and trade London—Grenada. She then continued to trade with Grenada for some years.

The 1818 volume of Lloyd's Register shows Martha's master as changing from Driver to J.Apsey, and her trade as London—India. However, on 18 August 1818 Martha left Cork, bound for New South Wales. She was under the command of Captain John Apsey and her surgeon was Morgan Price. She arrived at Port Jackson on 24 December. She had embarked 170 male convicts, none of whom died en route. Lieutenant Cockerill commanded the guard,which consisted of 32 men of the 67th and 87th Regiments of Foot.

Apsey had Martha refitted for whale fishing. She left Sydney on 1 March 1819. She arrived at Hobart on 18 September, after having been whaling for some time. She was to leave in a week for the coasts of New Zealand to gather sperm oil. By 21 December, when she arrived at the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, she already was nearly full. However, within a few days Apsey went out for more whales.

On 29 May 1820, Martha arrived at Port Jackson in distress, Following “boisterous weather”. She was surveyed in June and condemned as unseaworthy. She was sold for breaking up in August. The whaler Tuscan, Captain Coleman (or Colman), undertook to carry Martha's oil back to London. Lloyd's List reported on 6 February 1821 that the Tuscan had arrived in the Thames with the cargo from Martha.


1813 – Launch of HMS Hebrus, a 36 gun Scamander-class frigate

The Scamander class sailing frigates were a series of ten 36-gun ships, all built by contract with private shipbuilders to an 1812 design by Sir William Rule, which served in the Royal Navy during the late Napoleonic War and War of 1812.

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They were all built of "fir" (actually, pine), selected as a stop-gap measure because of the urgent need to build ships quickly, with the Navy Board supplying red pine timber to the contractors from dockyard stocks for the first seven ships. The last three were built of yellow pine. While quick to build, the material was not expected to last as long as oak-built ships, and indeed all were deleted by 1819, except the Tagus which lasted to 1822.

Red pine group. These seven ships were originally ordered under the names Liffey, Brilliant, Lively, Severn, Blonde, Forth and Greyhound, all being renamed on 11 December 1812 (except Liffey and Severn, which were renamed on 26 January 1813).
  • HMS Eridanus (ex-Liffey)
    • Launched: 1 May 1813
    • Fate: Sold 29 January 1818
  • HMS Orontes (ex-Brilliant)
    • Launched: 29 June 1813
    • Fate: Broken up at Sheerness in April 1817
  • HMS Scamander (ex-Lively)
    • Launched: 13 July 1813
    • Fate: Sold 22 July 1819
  • HMS Tagus (ex-Severn)
    • Launched: 14 July 1813
    • Fate: Sold 19 April 1822
  • HMS Ister (ex-Blonde)
    • Launched: 14 July 1813
    • Fate: Sold 8 March 1819
  • HMS Tigris (ex-Forth)
    • Launched: 26 June 1813
    • Fate: Sold 11 June 1818
  • HMS Euphrates (ex-Greyhound)
    • Launched: 8 November 1813
    • Fate: Sold 29 January 1818
Yellow pine group.
  • HMS Hebrus
    • Launched: 13 September 1813
    • Fate: Sold 3 April 1817
  • HMS Granicus
    • Launched: 25 October 1813
    • Fate: Sold 3 April 1817
  • HMS Alpheus
    • Launched: 6 April 1814
    • Fate: Sold 10 September 1817

1814 – Launch of French Amstel, at Rotterdam
captured by the Dutch on the stocks at the fall of Rotterdam
Pallas class, (40-gun design of 1805 by Jacques-Noël Sané on basis of the Hortense class, with 28 x 18-pounder and 12 x 8-pounder guns). This was the 'standard' frigate design of the French First Empire, numerically outweighing all other types.


1848 - Death of Alexander Slidell Mackenzie

Alexander Slidell Mackenzie (April 6, 1803 – September 13, 1848), born Alexander Slidell, was a US naval officer, most famous for his 1842 decision to execute three suspected mutineers aboard a ship under his command, the USS Somers. Mackenzie was also an accomplished man of letters, producing several volumes of travel writing and biographies of early important US naval figures, some of whom he knew personally.


Mackenzie was the brother of Senator John Slidell of Louisiana, who was later involved in the American Civil War's Trent Affair.

Mackenzie was the captain of the USS Somers when it became the only US Navy ship to undergo a mutiny, which led to executions, including Philip Spencer, the 19-year-old son of the Secretary of War John C. Spencer.

Mackenzie's handling of the Somers Affair, including its lack of a lawful court martial, was controversial; the incident inspired the novella Billy Budd by American author Herman Melville. The Somers Affair also led to the founding of the United States Naval Academy.


1906 – SS Oregon (1878) a coastal passenger ship wrecked

SS Oregon (1878–1906) was a coastal passenger/cargo ship constructed in Chester, Pennsylvania by the Delaware River Iron Ship Building and Engine Works in February 1878. Originally delivered to the Oregon Steamship Company, she was used on the Portland, Oregon-to-San Francisco, California route for many years. In 1879, the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company became the Oregon′s new owners after purchasing the Oregon Steamship Company. Also included in this purchase were the steamships George W. Elder and City of Chester. While in O.R. & N service, Oregon served alongside SS Columbia, which made the first commercial use of Thomas Edison's incandescent light bulb. Like Oregon, Columbia was also built by John Roach & Sons in Chester, Pennsylvania.[6] Over time, Oregon's hull became breached after a number of incidents. Furthermore, the hull had been weighted with concrete to the point where she was considered unsuitable for service as a passenger liner. After operating as a cargo ship, she was laid up in 1894 at Portland. In 1899, the Oregon was re-qualified to carry passengers once more. She was sold by O.R. & N the same year. Despite this, she was viewed as a cursed ship by her crew. The Oregon was owned by the White Star Steamship Company (not to be confused with the White Star Line) from around 1902 to 1905 . Around this time, Oregon was operating between Alaska and Puget Sound.


On September 13, 1906, Oregon ran aground on the rocky shoreline of Cape Hinchinbrook, Alaska. At the time, there was no active lighthouse at Cape Hinchinbrook, although one was under construction. It is unknown whether poor navigation or reduced visibility caused the wreck. Shortly after the collision, the bottom of the vessel tore open and water began flooding the ship. Oregon became stuck on the rocks without any barrier from the open sea. After crew members began boarding the lifeboats without orders, Captain Horace E. Soule threatened to shoot any man attempting to steal one. This led to the crew obeying all further orders and a small party was sent off in a lifeboat to report the disaster in Valdez, Alaska. When the report of Oregon′s wreck reached Valdez, many ships set out to rescue the passengers and crew. Remarkably, all 110 remaining people on board the Oregon were rescued by the revenue cutter USRC Columbine. Oregon however, was reported as a total loss.


1939 - The french minesweeping cruiser La Tour D’Auvergne sinks after explosion of the stored seamines in Casablanca. 215 of the total 396 crewmembers lost their life



1941 – SS Barøy was a 424-ton steel-hulled steamship sunk with heavy loss of life in a British air attack in the early hours of 13 September 1941.

SS Barøy was a 424-ton steel-hulled steamship delivered from the Trondhjems mekaniske Værksted shipyard in Trondheim in 1929. She had been ordered by the Norwegian shipping company Ofotens Dampskibsselskab for the local route from the port city of Narvik to the smaller towns of Lødingen and Svolvær. After the company suffered ship losses in the 1940 Norwegian Campaign Barøy was put into Hurtigruten service on the Trondheim–Narvik route. She was sunk with heavy loss of life in a British air attack in the early hours of 13 September 1941.



1941 - SS Richard With was a steamship in the Hurtigruten passenger ship fleet in Norway. It was built in 1909. It was sunk by the British submarine HMS Tigris in 1941, which caused the death of 99 people

Norwegian coastal express ship (Hurtigruten) DS Richard With in Svolvær.


1944 - USS Warrington (DD 383) sinks off the Bahamas in a hurricane. After a prolonged search, numerous Navy vessels rescue only five officers and 68 men of the destroyer's 20 officers and 301 men.

USS Warrington (DD-383) — a Somers-class destroyer — was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Lewis Warrington, who was an officer in the Navy during the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. He also temporarily served as the Secretary of the Navy.
The second Warrington was laid down on 10 October 1935 at Kearny, New Jersey, by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company; launched on 15 May 1937; sponsored by Miss Katherine Taft Chubb; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 9 February 1938, Commander Leighton Wood in command.
After several years of service in the Pacific theater during World War II, Warrington was sunk by the 1944 Great Atlantic hurricane off the Bahamas on 13 September 1944.



2008 - Hurricane Ike hits Galveston and Houston, Texas. At Galvestons Seawolf Park, a maritime museum, the museum ship USS Stewart (DE 238) and museum submarine USS Cavalla (SS 244), suffer damage as they are thrown out of the water onto land. Both vessels are restored to the prior locations and undergo renovations.

On 13 September 2008 the Stewart suffered extensive flooding and wind damage as a result of Hurricane Ike. While Hurricane Ike hit Galveston as a strong Category 2 storm, most of the damage resulted from the category 5-equivalent storm surge. Damage to both the USS Cavalla and USS Stewart were extensive, but restoration activities have brought both vessels back to daily maintenance level condition.

Damage in Seawolf Park following Hurricane Ike.



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
14 September 1779 - HMS Pearl (1762 – 32 – Niger-class) took Spanish frigate Santa Monica (32) off the Western Islands

HMS Pearl was a 32-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Niger-class in the Royal Navy.

..................... and arrived at Spithead on 22 March. She was then paid off, sheathed in copper, and refitted at Plymouth. She served for a short while in the Channel before returning to the North American Station under Captain George Montagu.

Pearl engages the Santa Monica in the Action of 14 September 1779

On 14 September 1779, Pearl engaged the 28-gun Santa Monica off the Azores. Pearl left Fayal on 13 September where she had spent two days resupplying. At 6:00 the following morning, the Spanish frigate was spotted to the north-west and was brought to action after a 3½-hour chase. The Santa Monica surrendered after a two-hour engagement, having 38 men killed and 45 wounded. Pearl had 12 killed and 19 wounded. The Santa Monica was a larger frigate than Pearl, at 956 tons burden, but not as well armed; she was rerated as a 36-gun when taken into British service.

Shortly after commissioning the British ship ‘Pearl’ Captain George Montagu was cruising off Fayal in the Azores when early in the morning he saw and chased a sail. After several hours he was able to open fire and a two hour fight ensued. The other ship eventually struck and it turned out to be the Spanish frigate ‘Santa Monica’. Though the Spanish ship was less strongly armed, Montagu’s crew was very raw since only ten of the men having been in a man-of-war before. In the painting, the ‘Pearl’ is in the centre foreground and is shown in the process of raking the ‘Santa Monica’ in the left of the picture. In the right distance are two more British frigates. The painting is signed ‘Tho. Whitcombe 1805’.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/12192.html#TpoiuWzk1IVdmWFE.99

Admiral Sir George Montagu (12 December 1750 – 24 December 1829) was a Royal Navy officer, the second son of Admiral John Montagu, and the brother of Captain James Montagu and Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Montagu.

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A full-length portrait wearing a captain's undress uniform (over three years, 1774-87) of frock coat and breeches. Facing left, Montagu stands in front of a tree to his left with the sea beyond, to his right. The ship is stern view is probably the firgate 'Pearl', 32 guns, of which he was in command when he captured the Spanish frigate 'Santa Monica', 28 guns, in 1779 and in the following year the large French privateer, 'Espèrance', 32 guns. As a rear-admiral, he commanded the secondary squadron watching Rochefort in the campaign of the First of June, 1794, and was later commander-in-chief at Portsmouth, dying as Admiral of the Red. This fine portrait was bequeathed to the Museum in 1958 from the estate of James Drogo Montagu, a descendant of the sitter, but the artist -certainly British- has not yet been firmly identified though both Lemuel Abbott and Thomas Beach have been suggested. Its rather compressed format is because the canvas has been cut down top and bottom.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/14340.html#H9F1TDe9mXW3uERe.99

The Ships

HMS Pearl was a 32-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Niger-class in the Royal Navy. Launched at Chatham Dockyard in 1762, she served in British North America until January 1773, when she sailed to England for repairs. Returning to North America in March 1776, to fight in the American Revolutionary War, Pearl escorted the transports which landed troops in Kip's Bay that September. Towards the end of 1777, she joined Richard Howe's fleet in Narragansett Bay and was still there when the French fleet arrived and began an attack on British positions. Both fleets were forced to retire due to bad weather and the action was inconclusive. Pearlwas then dispatched to keep an eye on the French fleet, which had been driven into Boston.

Drawing from 1761
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Drawing from 1762 with slightly differences
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Pearl was present when the British captured the island of St Lucia in December 1778 and was chosen to carry news of the victory to England, capturing the 28-gun frigate Santa Monica off the Azores on her return journey. Pearl joined Admiral Marriot Arbuthnot's squadron in July 1780, capturing the 28-gun frigate Esperance while stationed off Bermuda in September and, in the following March, took part in the first battle of Virginia Capes, where she had responsibility for relaying signals. At the end of the war in 1782, Pearl returned to England where she underwent extensive repairs and did not serve again until 1786, when she was recommissioned for the Mediterranean.

Taken out of service in 1792, Pearl was recalled in February 1793, when hostilities resumed between Britain and France. On her return to America, she narrowly escaped capture by a French squadron anchored between the Îles de Los and put into Sierra Leone for repairs following the engagement. In 1799, Pearl joined George Elphinstone's fleet in the Mediterranean where she took part in the Battle of Alexandria in 1801. In 1802, she sailed to Portsmouth where she served as a slop ship and a receiving ship before being sold in 1832.

Read about here intensive career in wikipedia......

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The Niger-class frigates were 32-gun sailing frigates of the fifth rate produced for the Royal Navy. They were designed in 1757 by Sir Thomas Slade, and were an improvement on his 1756 design for the 32-gun Southampton-class frigates.

Slade's design was approved in September 1757, on which date four ships were approved to be built to these plans - three by contract and a fourth in a royal dockyard. Seven more ships were ordered to the same design between 1759 and 1762 - three more to be built by contract and four in royal dockyards. Stag and Quebec were both reduced to 28-gun sixth rates in 1778, but were then restored to 32-gun fifth rates in 1779.

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Ships in class
  • Stag
    • Ordered: 19 September 1757
    • Built by: Thomas Stanton & Company, Rotherhithe.
    • Keel laid: 26 September 1757
    • Launched: 4 September 1758
    • Completed: 4 December 1758 at Deptford Dockyard.
    • Fate: Taken to pieces at Deptford Dockyard in July 1783.
  • Alarm
    • Ordered: 19 September 1757
    • Built by: John Barnard & John Turner, Harwich.
    • Keel laid: 26 September 1757
    • Launched: 19 September 1758
    • Completed: 24 June 1759 at the builder's shipyard.
    • Fate: Taken to pieces at Portsmouth Dockyard in September 1812.
  • Aeolus
    • Ordered: 19 September 1757
    • Built by: Thomas West, Deptford.
    • Keel laid: September 1757
    • Launched: 29 November 1758
    • Completed: 18 January 1759 at Deptford Dockyard.
    • Fate: Renamed Guernsey on 7 May 1800. Taken to pieces at Sheerness Dockyard in April 1801.
  • Niger
    • Ordered: 19 September 1757
    • Built by: Sheerness Dockyard.
    • Keel laid: 7 February 1758
    • Launched: 25 September 1759
    • Completed: 24 November 1759.
    • Fate: Renamed Negro 1813. Sold at Portsmouth Dockyard on 29 September 1814.
  • Montreal
    • Ordered: 6 June 1759
    • Built by: Sheerness Dockyard.
    • Keel laid: 26 April 1760
    • Launched: 15 September 1761
    • Completed: 10 October 1761.
    • Fate: Captured by French squadron off Gibraltar on 1 May 1779.
  • Quebec
    • Ordered: 16 July 1759
    • Built by: John Barnard & John Turner, Harwich.
    • Keel laid: July 1759
    • Launched: 14 July 1760
    • Completed: 9 August 1760 at the builder's shipyard.
    • Fate: Blew up and sunk in action against French frigate La Surveillante off Ushant on 6 October 1779.
  • Pearl
    • Ordered: 24 March 1761
    • Built by: Chatham Dockyard.
    • Keel laid: 6 May 1761
    • Launched: 27 March 1762
    • Completed: 14 May 1762.
    • Fate: Renamed Prothee 19 March 1825. Sold at Portsmouth Dockyard on 14 January 1832.
  • Emerald
    • Ordered: 24 March 1761
    • Built by: Hugh Blaydes, Hull.
    • Keel laid: 13 May 1761
    • Launched: 8 June 1762
    • Completed: October 1762 at the builder's shipyard.
    • Fate: Taken to pieces at Deptford Dockyard in October 1793.
  • Winchelsea
    • Ordered: 11 August 1761
    • Built by: Sheerness Dockyard.
    • Keel laid: 29 March 1762
    • Launched: 31 May 1764
    • Completed: 26 June 1766.
    • Fate: Sold at Sheerness Dockyard on 3 November 1813.
  • Glory
    • Ordered: 30 January 1762
    • Built by: Hugh Blaydes & Thomas Hodgson, Hull.
    • Keel laid: March 1762
    • Launched: 24 October 1763
    • Completed: December 1763 at the builder's shipyard.
    • Fate: Taken to pieces at Woolwich Dockyard in January 1786.
  • Aurora
    • Ordered: 8 December 1762
    • Built by: Chatham Dockyard.
    • Keel laid: 10 October 1763
    • Launched: 13 January 1766
    • Completed: 24 July 1769.
    • Fate: Lost with all hands in the Indian Ocean (disappeared, fate unknown) in January 1770.

The spanish Santa Monica was a purpose built Sixth Rate Frigate with Burthen of 956 18⁄94 Tons BM, launched 23.10.1777 in Cartagena. (Remark: The Pearl had only Burthen 683 16⁄94 Tons BM ).
Not much is known of her during the spanish time.
After capture by Pearl:

28.9.1779 - Arrived at Portsmouth
8.1.1780 - Registered as HMS Santa Monica as Fifth Rate
20.6.1780 - Began coppering and fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard
29.10.1780 - Completed coppering and fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £ 9935.13.5d
24.12.1780 - Sailed for Jamaica and on to America
1.4.1782 - Wrecked off Tortola in the Virgin Islands

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Scale 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board decoration, sheer lines with inboard detail and longitudinal half breadth for Santa Monica (1779), a captured SP Frigate, prior to fitting as a 36-gun, Fifth Rate Frigate. Note: the right hand side of the plan is missing: from the just after the foremost to the head. Signed G.White (Master Shipwright at Portsmouth)
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/83117.html#Ll3D39gUhFqLTkt1.99

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
14 September 1782 - Destruction of floating batteries at Gibraltar

The Great Siege of Gibraltar from 24 June 1779 – 7 February 1783 (3 years, 7 months and 2 weeks) was an unsuccessful attempt by Spain and France to capture Gibraltar from the British during the American War of Independence.

The British garrison under George Augustus Eliott were blockaded at first by the Spanish led by Martín Álvarez de Sotomayor in June 1779. This failed however as two relief convoys entered unmolested—the first under Admiral George Rodney succeeded in 1780 and the second by Admiral George Darby in 1781 despite the presence of the Spanish fleets. The same year a major assault was planned by the Spanish but a sortieby the Gibraltar garrison in November succeeded in destroying much of the forward batteries. With the siege going nowhere and constant Spanish failures the besiegers were reinforced by French forces under the Duc de Crillon who took over operations in early 1782. With a lull in the siege in which the allied force gathered more guns, ships and troops, a huge 'Grand Assault' was delivered in September 1782. This involved huge numbers—60,000 men, 49 ships of the line and ten specially designed newly invented floating batteries against 5,000 men of the Gibraltar garrison. This was a disastrous failure which caused heavy losses for the Bourbon allies.

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A scene during the Spanish assault on the British stronghold of Gibraltar. During the spring of 1782, with 'the Rock' under close siege, Spain had been adapting ten old warships into powerful special floating batteries, in preparation for their assault. Under the direction of a French engineer, Marchand d'Aroon, they were reinforced and had water tanks with elaborate piping added, so that water could be turned on any part where red-hot shot had embedded itself. Their attack from the sea came on 13 September in perhaps the most furious and sustained gun duel ever experienced. None the less, the flotilla was repulsed by the Governor and Commander-in-Chief at Gibraltar, General Sir George Augustus Eliott, later Lord Heathfield, and during the night it was destroyed by gunboats led by Captain Roger Curtis, of the Navy. Among the weapons used in the defence were guns with carriages specially adapted to allow them to fire downward from the Rock. The painting shows an evening scene with the floating batteries on fire on the left. In the central distance one can be seen blowing up. In the left-centre foreground one of the Spanish gun vessels is sinking, in starboard-quarter view, with a boat in the foreground going to her assistance. The British boat in the extreme right foreground is shown rescuing Spanish sailors from a floating spar and sail. Gibraltar can be seen in the right background, with the batteries firing towards the fireships. Whitcombe was born in London in about 1752 and painted ship portraits, battle scenes, harbour views and ships in storms. Although his output was vast, little is known about him. He produced a large number of subjects from the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1793-1815, and exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1783 and 1824. His depiction of ships implies specific knowledge of life at sea, although he probably spent most of his career in London. Many of his works were engraved and they included 50 plates to James Jenkins's account of 'The Naval Achievements of Great Britain', published in 1817. This painting is signed and dated 'Thos Whitcombe 1782' and may be the artist's first exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1783. He certainly showed a version of the same subject there entitled 'Destruction of the Spanish floating batteries at Gibraltar, Sep. 13, 1782, at night'.

The siege then settled down again to more of a blockade but the final defeat for the allies was complete when a crucial British relief convoy under Admiral Richard Howe slipped through the blockading allied fleet and arrived at the garrison in October. The siege was subsequently lifted on 7 February 1783 and was a decisive victory for the British forces being a vital decider for the Peace of Paris which had been negotiated towards the end of the siege.

This was the largest action fought during the war in terms of numbers, particularly the Grand Assault of 18 September 1782. At three years and seven months, it is the longest siege endured by the British Armed Forces and one of the longest sieges in history.

The Grand Assault

For the allies it was becoming clear that an attack by land would be impossible and the recent blockades were a complete failure. Ideas were put forward to break the siege once and for all. The plan was put for a squadron of battering ships to take on the British land based batteries and pound them into submission by numbers and weight of shots fired, before a storming party attacked from the siege works on the Isthmus and troops were put ashore from the waiting Spanish fleet. The French engineer Jean Le Michaud d'Arçon invented and designed the Floating batteries—‘unsinkable’ and ‘unburnable’ intended to breakthrough from the coast in tandem with other batteries bombarding the British rear from inland. The floating batteries would have strong thick wooden armour—1-metre-wide (3 ft) timbers packed with layers of wet sand and water pumped around them to avoid fire breaking out. In addition old cables would also deaden the fall of British shot and their ballast would counterbalance the guns' weight. Guns were to be fired from one side only—the starboard battery was removed completely and the port battery heavily augmented with timber and sand infill. The ten floating batteries would be supported by ships of the line and bomb ships, who would try to draw away and split up the British fire. Five machines with two rows of batteries and a single row of five batteries would make up a total of 150 guns. The Spanish enthusiastically received the proposal and D'Arcon sailed close to shore under enemy fire in a skiff to get more accurate calculations and intelligence.

Jean Michaud d'Arçon, French engineer and designer of the floating batteries

On 13 September 1782 the Bourbon allies launched their great attack; 5,260 fighting men both French and Spanish aboard ten of the newly engineered 'floating batteries' with 138 to 212 heavy guns with Don Buenaventura Moreno in charge.[75] Outside in support were the combined Spanish and French fleet which consisted of 49 ships of the line, 40 Spanish gunboats and 20 bomb-vessels, with a total of 30,000 sailors and marines. under the command of Spanish Admiral Luis de Córdova. They were supported by 86 land guns and 35,000 Spanish and French troops (7,000–8,000 French) on land intending to assault the fortifications once they had been demolished. An 'army' of over 80,000 spectators thronged the adjacent hills over the Spanish border, among them the highest families in the land which included the Comte D'artois, assembled to see the fortress beaten to powder and 'the British flag trailed in the dust'.


The batteries slowly moved forward in the bay; one by one the 138 guns opened fire but soon events did not go according to plan. Alignments for broadsides were not correct; the two lead ships Pastora and the Tala Piedra moved further ahead than they should have. When they opened fire on their main target the Kings battery the British guns replied but they were observed to bounce off their hulls. Eventually the Spanish junks were anchored on the sandbanks near the Mole but were too spread out to create any significant damage to the British walls.

Meanwhile after weeks of preparatory artillery fire the 200 heavy calibre Spanish and French guns opened up on the land side from the North directed on the fortifications. This caused some casualties and damage but by noon the artificers had heated up red-hot shot. After a few hours and once they were ready Elliot ordered them to be fired. The shots were actually quicker to load since they didn't need to rammed. At first no difference was made as many of the shots were doused on board the floating batteries.

Grand Assault on Gibraltar showing the allied lines & a detonation of one the floating batteries

Although the batteries had anchored, a number had soon grounded and began to take damage in the rigging and masts. The Kings Bastion blasted away at the closest ships the Pastora and the Talla Peidra and soon the British guns began to make an effect. Smoke was soon spotted coming from Tall Piedra, already severely damaged with its rigging in tatters. Panic ensued since no vessel could come and support her nor was there any way of the ship escaping. Meanwhile the other Spanish battery Pastora under the Prince de Nassau began to emit a huge amount of smoke. Despite efforts to find the cause the sailors on board were fighting a losing battle. To make matters worse the Spanish land guns had ceased firing and it soon became apparent to Crillon that the Spanish army had run out of powder and were already low on shot. By nightfall it was clear that the assault had failed but worse was to come as the fire on the two batteries were out of control. To add to the frustration Cordova's ships of the lines failed to move in support and neither did Barcelo's vessels. Crilon realising defeat and not wishing to upset the Spanish by issuing demands soon ordered the floating batteries to be scuttled and the crews rescued. Rockets were sent up from the batteries as distress signals.

Destruction of the Floating batteries
During this operation, Roger Curtis, the British naval commander, seeing the attacking force in supreme danger, warned Elliot about the huge death toll and that something must be done. Elliot agreed and had the fleet of twelve gunboats under Curtis set out with 250 men and set upon the Spanish gunboats firing and advancing as they came and the Spanish precipitated a quick retreat.

The aftermath of the destruction of the floating batteries; by Thomas Whitcombe

Curtis' gunboats reached the batteries and one by one took them; but this soon turned into a rescue effort when they realised from prisoners that many were still on board with the scuttling now taking place. On board the Pastora British marines boarded taking the men as prisoners but getting them off the ship. They soon found the Spanish Royal Standard which they took with them as well as the men on board. As this was going the flames, which had engulfed Talla Piedra, soon reached the magazine. the ensuing eruption was tremendous with a huge noise which reverberated around the bay and a huge mushroom cloud of smoke and debris rose up in the air. Many were killed on board but the British had few casualties. The Spanish, now in panic, all reached for the British boats by jumping in the water, soon the Pastora engulfed in a mass of flames was next to follow—another huge explosion ensued—this time many in the water were killed outright; a British boat was sunk and the coxswain of Roger's boat was killed when he was hit by debris.

Spanish flag captured during the Grand Assault in September 1782. (Royal Museums Greenwich)

Curtis realised that it was unsafe to be near the flaming batteries and soon withdrew men from the two more floating batteries engulfed in flame and finally ordered a withdrawal. The rescue operation was hindered further by Spanish batteries opened fire after receiving more powder and shot. Many more drowned or were burned in the ensuing inferno as well as being by their own artillery. The Spanish only ceased fire when the mistake was realised but it was too late. The rest of the Spanish batteries blew up in similar horrific style; the eruptions lofting huge mushroom clouds that rose nearly 1,000 feet in the air. Some men were still on board and those that jumped drowned as the vast majority couldn't swim. By the early hours of the morning only two floating batteries remained—a Spanish Felucca tried to set one on fire but was driven off by British guns. The two were promptly set alight by them and were finished in the same way as the others by the afternoon.

By 4am, all the floating batteries had been sunk, leaving the Gibraltar waterfront a mass of debris and bodies from the wrecked Spanish ships. During the Grand Assault 40,000 rounds had been fired. Casualties in just twelve hours were heavy—719 men on board the ships (many of whom drowned) were casualties. Curtis had rescued a further 357 officers and men thus as prisoners while in the siege lines more casualties brought up the allied total of 1,473 for the grand assault with all ten floating batteries being destroyed. The engagement was the fiercest battle of the war and many bodies washed up ashore. The British had a total of fifteen killed and sixty eight wounded nearly half of whom were from the Royal artillery. A British sailor found and took Pastoras large Spanish colour of which had flown from the stern and presented it to Elliot. One of the survivors who had been on a floating battery that had blown up was the American Louis Littlepage but he had been saved and managed to get back to the Spanish fleet.

For Elliot and the garrison it was a great victory but for the allies it was a brutal defeat: their plans and hopes were in tatters. Cordova was heavily criticised for not coming to help the batteries while D'Arcon and de Crillon threw accusations and recriminations at each other. In Spain the news was met with consternation and despair and the huge number of crowds that had been promised a crushing victory left the area chagrined.

On 14th September 1782, another assault by the allies by land was planned—the Spanish army formed up behind the batteries at the northern end of the Isthmus. At the same time, the Spanish ships moved across the bay, packed with more troops. The Duc de Crillon decided to cancel the assault, realising that losses would be huge in the assault. Gibraltar nonetheless, remained under siege but Spanish bombardments decreased to about 200 rounds a day but both sides knew of the incoming peace treaty and what depended on it was the siege of Gibraltar.



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14 September 1825 - Launch of HMS Princess Charlotte, 104 gun Princess Charlotte-class First Rate

HMS Princess Charlotte was a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 14 September 1825 at Portsmouth. The occasion was notable for the fact that the gates of the dry dock into which she was to be placed burst because of the high tide and more than 40 people were drowned.


When first ordered in 1812 she was intended to be a second rate of 98 guns, but in the general reclassifications of 1817 she was reclassed as a first rate.

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Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth as originally prepared for Princess Charlotte (1825), a 100/110-gun, First Rate, three-decker. The plan was altered in February 1819 by having an additional piece of paper inserted to take into account her lengthening amidships. The plan also shows alterations for a circular stern, and further amendments for the bow. Signed by Henry Peake [Surveyor of the Navy, 1806-1822], Joseph Tucker [Surveyor of the Navy, 1813-1831], and Robert Seppings [Surveyor of the Navy, 1813-1832].
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/79827.html#i074V1R3EVeWbAJb.99

From 1837 to 1841 she served as the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet flying the flag of Vice Admiral Sir Robert Stopford and thus took part in the Syrian War and the bombardment of Acre.

She became a receiving ship at Hong Kong in 1858, and was sold in 1875.

Inscribed: "H.M.S. BELLEROPHON AND PRINSS CHARLOTTE in the Harbour of Malta". 'Princess Charlotte' is shown bow on centrally - reflecting her status as flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet under Vice-Admiral Sir Robert Stopford; 'Bellerophon' is at right in port broadside view. Both ships took part in the bombardment of Acre in 1840.

The Princess Charlotte-class ships of the line were a class of two 104-gun first rates of the Royal Navy. They were built to an enlarged version of the lines of Sir Thomas Slade's Victory.

Builder: Portsmouth Dockyard
Ordered: 19 June 1813
Launched: 14 September 1825
Fate: Sold, 1875
Builder: Plymouth Dockyard
Ordered: 6 January 1812
Launched: 28 July 1828
Fate: Sold, 1905

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14 September 1848 – Launch of French Henri IV, a 100 gun Hercule class at Cherbourg

The Henri IV was a 100-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, named after Henry IV of France. She was launched in 1848. Her shipwreck in a storm off Sebastopol in 1854 marked the beginnings of French meteorology.

Henri IV at the bombardment of Salé.

Henri IV was the last warship launched under Louis Philippe I and also saw service under the French Second Republic and Second French Empire. She was commanded by Louis Henri de Gueydonfrom 1850 to 1852 and took part in the bombardment of Salé on 26 November 1851, suffering major damage and losing her main mast.

Admiral De Gueydon, captain of the Henri IV.

She also fought in the Crimean War, including the Siege of Sevastopol. A major hurricane took the Allied fleet by surprise off the coast of Eupatoria on 14 November 1854, sinking the Henri IV and the corvette Pluton. They were two of 38 French, Ottoman and British ships lost in November 1854. The sinking of the Henri IV proved a spur to French meteorological research.

Shipwreck of the Henri IV.

The Hercule class was a late type of 100-gun ships of the line of the French Navy. They were the second strongest of four ranks of ships of the line designed by the Commission de Paris. While the first units were classical straight-walled ships of the line, next ones were gradually converted to steam, and the last one was built with an engine.

1/75th-scale model of Prince Jérôme, on display at the Swiss Museum of Transport. She was transformed into a sail and steam ship of the line while on keel.

The Hercule class evolved as an enlargement of the straight-walled, 90-gun Suffren class, suggested by Jean Tupinier.

With the Henri IV, a rounded stern was introduced. The next ships were built with the rounded stern, and it was retrofitted on the early units of the class.

1/40th-scale model of the 100-gun Hercule on display at the Musée national de la Marine.




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14 September 1852 – Launch of French Jean Bart, 90 gun Suffren class Ship of the Line

The Jean Bart was a 90-gun Suffren class ship of the line of the French Navy, named in honour of Jean Bart.

The Jean Bart, painting by Louis Le Breton

She took part in the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855) and the Battle of Kinburn (1855).

In 1856, she was fitted with a steam engine. From 1864, she was used as a training ship. She was renamed to Donawerth in September 1868, and was finally scrapped as Cyclope in 1886.

The Suffren class was a late type of 90-gun ships of the line of the French Navy.

The design was selected on 30 January 1824 by the Commission de Paris, an appointed Commission comprising Jean-Marguerite Tupinier, Jacques-Noël Sané, Pierre Rolland, Pierre Lair and Jean Lamorinière. Intended as successors of the 80-gun Bucentaure class and as the third of four ranks of ships of the line, they introduced the innovation of having straight walls, instead of the tumblehome design that had prevailed until then; this tended to heighten the ships' centre of gravity, but provided much more room for equipment in the upper decks. Stability issues were fixed with underwater stabilisers.


Straight walls of an arsenal model of Suffren, with the lower long 30-pounder battery, the upper short 30-pounder battery, and the 30-pounder carronades on the deck

Only the first two, Suffren and Inflexible, retain the original design all through their career; the others were converted to steam and sail during their construction.

Fourteen ships were ordered to this design, of which twelve were modified as steam-driven vessels.
Launched: 27 August 1829
Fate: Deleted February 1861, renamed Ajax in April 1865, and taken to pieces 1874-76.

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Launched: 21 November 1839
Fate: Condemned August 1875.

The Inflexible as boys' school
Launched: 28 August 1847
Fate: Renamed Triton in August 1876
Launched: 3 May 1848
Fate: Wrecked 14 December 1859; refloated and taken to pieces in June 1860
Launched: 31 July 1848
Fate: Deleted in May 1871, renamed Breslau 1881 and taken to pieces 1886-87.
Launched: 16 January 1851
Completed: December 1851 (as steam screw ship)
Fate: Condemned in February 1882. Taken to pieces 1884
Launched: 14 September 1852
Completed: April 1853 (as steam screw ship)
Fate: Renamed Donawerth in August 1868; sold or broken up in 1869
Launched: 15 February 1854
Launched: 30 March 1854
Launched: 25 April 1854
Launched: 27 March 1857
Launched: 2 December 1858
Launched: 15 March 1860
Launched: 14 July 1860



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14 September 1914 – HMAS AE1, the Royal Australian Navy's first submarine, was lost at sea with all hands near East New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

HMAS AE1 (originally known as just AE1) was an E-class submarine of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). She was the first submarine to serve in the RAN, and was lost at sea with all hands near what is now East New Britain, Papua New Guinea, on 14 September 1914, after less than seven months in service. Search missions attempting to locate the wreck began in 1976. The submarine was found during the 13th search mission near the Duke of York Islands in December 2017.

HMAS AE1 underway in 1914

Design and construction
Main article: British E-class submarine
The E class was a version of the preceding D-class submarine enlarged to accommodate an additional pair of broadside torpedo tubes. AE1 was 181 feet (55.2 m) long overall, with a beam of 22 feet 6 inches (6.9 m) and a draught of 12 feet 6 inches (3.8 m).[2] She displaced 750 long tons (760 t) on the surface and 810 long tons (820 t) submerged. The E-class boats had a designed diving depth of 100 feet (30.5 m), but the addition of watertight bulkheads strengthened the hull and increased the actual diving depth to 200 feet (61.0 m). The complement consisted of 34 men: officers and ratings.

The boat had two propellers, each of which was driven by an eight-cylinder, 800-brake-horsepower (600 kW) diesel engine as well as a 420-brake-horsepower (313 kW) electric motor. This arrangement gave the E-class submarines a maximum speed of 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) while surfaced and 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) when submerged. They carried approximately 40 long tons (41 t)[1] of fuel oil, which provided a range of 3,000 nautical miles (5,600 km; 3,500 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) while on the surface and 65 nmi (120 km; 75 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) while submerged. AE1 had four 18-inch torpedo tubes, one each in the bow and stern, plus two on the broadside, one firing to port and the other to starboard. The boat carried one spare torpedo for each tube. No guns were fitted.

AE1 was built by Vickers Limited at Barrow-in-Furness, England,[4] having been laid down on 14 November 1911 and launched on 22 May 1913 and commissioned into the RAN on 28 February 1914.[5] After commissioning, AE1, accompanied by AE2, the other of the RAN's first two submarines, reached Sydney from England on 24 May 1914. Officers for the submarines were Royal Navy (RN) personnel, while the ratings were a mix of sailors drawn from the RN and RAN.

Deployment and loss

AE1 with other Australian vessels off Rabaul on 9 September 1914

At the outbreak of World War I, AE1, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Thomas Besant, was part of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force sent to attack German New Guinea. Along with AE2, she took part in the operations leading to the occupation of the German territory, including the surrender of Rabaul on 13 September 1914. The submarine's involvement was recognised in 2010, following an overhaul of the RAN battle honours system, with the retroactive award of the honour "Rabaul 1914".

At 07:00 on 14 September, AE1 departed Blanche Bay, Rabaul, to patrol off Cape Gazelle with HMAS Parramatta. When she had not returned by 20:00, several ships were dispatched to search for her. No trace of the submarine was found, and she was listed as lost with all hands. The disappearance was Australia's first major loss of World War I.


After the discovery of the submarine in December 2017, Rear Admiral Peter Briggs, retired, said the likely cause of its loss was a diving accident. He added:

The submarine appears to have struck the bottom with sufficient force to dislodge the fin from its footing, forcing it to hinge forward on its leading edge, impacting the casing​
In December 2017, another search – the 13th – was conducted using the survey ship Fugro Equator, off the Duke of York Islands. This expedition was funded by the Commonwealth Government and the Silentworld Foundation with additional assistance from the Submarine Institute of Australia and the Australian National Maritime Museum. As a result of this effort, the submarine was found at a depth of 300 metres (980 ft) and was seen to be well preserved and in one piece. The RV Petrel was enlisted to survey the wreckage. During the survey, it was discovered that the submarine’s rear torpedo tube was fully opened. The exact location of the wreck was not announced by the Australian government at the time of discovery, in order to protect it from "unauthorised salvage attempts". The government's stated position is that the wreck will be treated as a war grave.



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Other Events on 14 September

1803 - Dieppe bombarded by HMS Immortalite (1795/1797 – 42 – Romaine-class), Cptn. Edward William Campbell Owen, and bombs HMS Perseus and HMS Explosion, Cptn. Paul.

The Immortalité was a Romaine class frigate of the French Navy.
She took part in the Expédition d'Irlande, and was captured shortly after the Battle of Tory Island by HMS Fisgard. She was recommissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Immortalite and had an active career on the Home Station.

Capture of Immortalité by HMS Fisgard, 20 October 1798


1806 - a squadron with HMS Belleisle (1794/1795 - 74), HMS Bellona (1760 – 74) and HMS Melampus (1785 - 36), under her old commander Sir Richard Strachan, drove french Impetueux (1803 - 74), Cptn. le Veyer aground some 35 miles off Cape Henry. They took off the crew and set fire to her.

On September 14th, the Bellona, Belleisle, and Melampus, on the appointed rendezvous off Cape Henry, were searching for their consorts, they sighted to leeward, and gave chase to, a French 74, which proved to be one of Willaumez's ships, the Impetueux, making for the Chesapeake under jury masts. Being crippled and pursued by such superior forces, she ran herself ashore, and, upon being fired at by the Melampus, struck. She was, of course, in neutral waters, and any attack upon her was a breach of international law; yet she was taken possession of, as she lay, by the boats of the British vessels. Soon afterwards, however, when two suspicious sail appeared in the offing, Captain Hargood, as senior officer, ordered the Bellona and Belleisle to get under way, and directed Captain Poyntz to burn the prize.


1814 - During the War of 1812, the sloop-of-war, USS Wasp (1814) captures and burns the British merchant brig Bacchus in the Atlantic. Two weeks before the 18 guns HMS Avon, a week later, she captures the brig, Atlanta.

USS Wasp was a sloop-of-war that served in the U.S. Navy in 1814 during the War of 1812. She was the fifth US Navy ship to carry that name. She carried out two successful raiding voyages against British trade during the summer of 1814, in the course of which she fought and defeated three British warships. Wasp was lost, cause unknown, in the Atlantic in early autumn, 1814.



1840 - Batroun captured by HMS Hastings (1819 - 74), Cptn. John Lawrence, HMS Carysfort (1836 - 26), Cptn. Byam Martin, and HMS Cyclops.

HMS Hastings was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was built in Calcutta for the Honourable East India Company, but the Royal Navy purchased her in 1819. The Navy sold her in 1886.

Figurehead from H.M.S. Hastings (1819). 1966.201. On display at the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

East India Company
Hastings was built of the highest quality "saul", "sissoo", "Pegue", and "Java" teak wood, following Sir Robert Seppings's principles, which resulted in a vessel both longitudinal and transverse support. Her construction cost Sicca ruppees (Sa.Rs.) 8,71,406 (£108,938), which the merchants of Calcutta and other patriotic individuals subscribed via shares. The full cost of getting her ready for sea was Sa.Rs. 8,71,406 (£116,375).

Captain John Hayes sailed Hastings from Calcutta on 28 March 1818. She reached Madras on 13 April, and Port Louis on 2 July. From there she reached St Helena on 15 September, and arrived at The Downs on 3 November.

HMS Hastings
The Admiralty purchased Hastings on 22 June 1819. It paid about half of what the vessel had cost the shareholders in Calcutta that had subscribed to her construction. The belief in Calcutta was that the jealousy of the Thames shipbuilders led to the undervaluation of the ship.

In 1838 Hastings took the new governor, Lord John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham, to Canada. The ship arrived in Quebec on 27 May 1838.

Sailors and marines from Hastings fought Chinese pirates at the Battle of Tonkin River in 1849.

In 1855 she was fitted with screw propulsion. In 1857 the ship was deployed to Liverpool on coastal defence duties before being transferred to the Royal Naval Reserve to be used as a training ship.

Hastings was sold out of the navy in 1886.


1861 – Launch of USS Chippewa. A Unadilla-class gunboat

USS Chippewa under construction

The third USS Chippewa was a Unadilla-class gunboat which saw service with the U.S. Navy during the American Civil War.

One of the "Ninety-day gunboats", Chippewa was launched 14 September 1861 by Webb and Bell, New York; outfitted at New York Navy Yard; and commissioned 13 December 1861, Lieutenant Andrew Bryson in command.

Sailing from New York 25 December 1861 Chippewa took station on the blockade between Fort Monroe, Virginia, and Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, remaining there until 9 August 1862 except for a brief repair period at Baltimore, Maryland 8 March–13 March. During this time she exchanged fire with the enemy at Forts Macon and Caswell and Federal Point Batteries, and assisted in the capture of a blockade runner, the Englishbrig Napier 29 July 1862. Chippewa arrived at the Washington Navy Yard, 10 August 1862.

Returning to Fort Monroe she departed from there 18 October 1862 on a cruise in search of CSS Florida which took her to the Azores; Algeciras and Cadiz, Spain; Gibraltar; Funchal, Madeira; Porto Grande, Africa; Cape Verde Islands; and various ports in the West Indies. Returning to Port Royal, South Carolina, 30 May 1863, she resumed patrols with the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. She participated in the attacks on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, from 13 July to 21 July 1863, and opened fire on enemy pickets up Broad River, on 12 November. After repairs at Philadelphia Navy Yard, she returned to North Carolina to take part in the bombardments and capture of Fort Fisher in December 1864 and January 1865 and Fort Anderson, Cape Fear River, North Carolina, in February 1865.

Chippewa departed Wilmington, North Carolina, 1 March 1865 and steamed up the James River for patrol duty until 15 May, engaging enemy batteries at Dutch Gap Canal on 1 April and 2 April.

After cruising to Havana, Cuba, between 17 May and 12 June 1865, Chippewa arrived at Boston 17 June where she was decommissioned 24 June 1865, taken to New York 29 June and sold there 30 November 1865.


1899 - During the Philippine Insurrection Campaign, the gunboat, USS Concord, and the monitor, USS Monterey, capture two insurgent schooners at Aparri, Philippine Islands.

1939World War II: The Estonian military boards the Polish submarine ORP Orzeł in Tallinn, sparking a diplomatic incident that the Soviet Union will later use to justify the annexation of Estonia.

The Orzeł incident occurred at the beginning of World War II. The Polish submarine ORP Orzeł escaped from Tallinn in then-neutral Estonia to the United Kingdom. The Soviet Union used the incident as a pretext to justify the eventual occupation of Estonia


ORP Orzeł was the lead ship of her class of submarines serving in the Polish Navy during World War II. Her name means "Eagle" in Polish. The boat is best known for the Orzeł incident, her escape from internment in neutral Estonia during the early stages of the Second World War.

Submarine ORP Orzeł entering the naval base at Hel peninsula, 1930s



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15 September 1806 - HMS Anson (1781 - 64) engaged French Foudroyant (1800 - 80)

Anson and Foudroyant
The Anson remained cruising off Havana, and on 15 September sighted the French 84-gun Foudroyant. The Foudroyant, carrying the flag of Vice-Admiral Jean-Baptiste Willaumez, had been dismasted in a storm and was carrying a jury-rig. Despite the superiority of his opponent and the nearness of the shore Lydiard attempted to close on the French vessel and opened fire. Anson came under fire from the fortifications at Morro Castle, while several Spanish ships, including the 74-gun San Lorenzo, came out of Havana to assist the French. After being unable to manoeuvre into a favourable position and coming under heavy fire, Lydiard hauled away and made his escape. Anson had two killed and 13 wounded during the engagement, while its sails and rigging had been badly damaged. Foudroyantmeanwhile had 27 killed or wounded.

The Ships

HMS Anson was a ship of the Royal Navy, launched at Plymouth on 4 September 1781. Originally a 64-gun third rate ship of the line, she fought at the Battle of the Saintes.

Capture of the Pomona by Anson & Arethusa off Havannah, 23 Aug 1806

The ship proved too weak to stand in the line of battle, so in 1784 she was razéed to produce a frigate of 44 guns (fifth rate). Stronger than the average frigate of the time, the razee frigate Anson subsequently had a successful career during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars, mostly operating against privateers, but also in small actions against enemy frigates.

Anson was lost in a shipwreck on 29 December 1807. Trapped by a lee shore off Loe Bar, Cornwall, she hit the rocks and between 60 and 190 men were killed. The subsequent treatment of the recovered bodies of drowned seamen caused controversy, and led to the Burial of Drowned Persons Act 1808.

Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Anson' (1781), a 64-gun Third Rate, two decker, as built at Plymouth Dockyard. The plan also records in pencil the outline for when she was cut down to a 38-gun Fifth Rate Frigate in 1794. Signed by John Henslow [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1775-1784].
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/81188.html#3eWKbVgiZa2FEkHg.99

Design and construction
The ship was ordered on 24 April 1773 as an Intrepid-class ship of the line of 64 guns. The lead ship of the class, HMS Intrepid, had entered service in 1771 and proved satisfactory in sea trials, so the Royal Navy increased their order from four to fifteen ships. Anson was part of the expanded order, named after George Anson, 1st Baron Anson[citation needed], the victorious admiral of the First Battle of Cape Finisterre (1747).

Anson was launched on 4 September 1781 by Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire. She was completed and entered service on 15 October 1781.

The Intrepid-class design had been originally approved in 1765, so by the time Anson was launched it was over 15 years old. During that period, the design of ships-of-the-line had evolved, with the standard size and layout now being the seventy-four. Anson was therefore rather small and less solidly built than most of her contemporaries.

The Intrepid-class ships of the line were a class of fifteen 64-gun third rates, designed for the Royal Navy by Sir John Williams. His design, approved on 18 December 1765, was slightly smaller than Sir Thomas Slade's contemporary Worcester class design of the same year, against which it was evaluated competitively. Following the prototype, four more ships were ordered in 1767–69, and a further ten between 1771 and 1779.

HMS Diadem at the capture of the cape Good Hope

Launched: 4 December 1770
Fate: Sold to be broken up at Plymouth, 26 March 1828
Launched: 18 April 1772
Fate: Broken up at Portsmouth, January 1818
Launched: 31 August 1772
Fate: Wrecked in the Savannah River, 15 February 1780
Launched: 17 December 1774
Fate: Broken up at Sheerness, June 1802
Launched: 26 November 1776
Fate: Broken up at Bermuda, April 1821
Launched: 6 October 1774
Fate: Broken up at Portsmouth , April 1816
Launched: 12 May 1774
Fate: Broken up at Chatham, October 1812
Launched: 5 August 1777
Fate: Broken up, 1807
Launched: 4 September 1781
Fate: Wrecked in Mounts Bay, 29 December 1807
Launched: 27 April 1782
Fate: Broken up at Chatham, September 1827
Launched: 14 October 1780
Fate: Broken up at Sheerness, July 1813
Launched: 8 May 1781
Fate: Sold to be broken up, 30 May 1832
Launched: 28 November 1780
Fate: Wrecked off Ushant, 10 March 1800
Launched: 19 December 1782
Fate: Broken up at Plymouth, September 1832
Launched: 8 October 1782
Fate: Broken up at Sheerness, October 1816

The Foudroyant ("Lightning") was a Tonnant class 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.

She was started in Rochefort from 1793, and renamed to Dix-huit fructidor in 1798 in honour of the Coup of 18 fructidor an V, as she was still on keel. She was eventually launched as Foudroyant.

She took part in cruises in the Caribbean under Villaret de Joyeuse.
On 15 September 1806, while under jury rig some 15 miles off Havana, she encountered HMS Anson, under Captain Charles Lydiard. Anson, mistakenly believing Foudroyant distressed, attacked, and was driven off.
She took part in the Battle of the Basque Roads.
She was eventually broken up in 1834.

A Tonnant-class ship of the line, HMS Canopus, the former Franklin

The Tonnant class was a series of eight 80-gun ships of the line designed in 1787 by Jacques-Noël Sané. From 1802 a new group (the Bucentaureclass) was begun of slightly modified design, of which more than 24 were begun.

Tonnant class (8 ships)
Launched: 24 October 1789
Fate: Captured 2 August 1798, added to Royal Navy as HMS Tonnant, broken up 1821
Launched: 20 December 1790
Fate: Ran aground after the Battle of Trafalgar October 1805
Launched: 8 June 1793
Fate: Captured 1 June 1794 by the Royal Navy, broken up October 1842
Launched: 17 March 1795
Fate: Captured 3 November 1805 during Battle of Cape Ortegal, renamed HMS Brave, broken up April 1816
Launched: 21 October 1795
Fate: Captured 30 March 1800, renamed HMS Malta, broken up August 1840
Launched: 25 June 1797
Fate: Captured 2 August 1798 in the battle of the Nile, renamed HMS Canopus, broken up October 1887
Launched: 8 July 1799
Fate: Renamed Alexandre 1802, captured by Britain 1805, broken up May 1822
Launched: 18 May 1799
Fate: Broken up 1834



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
15 September 1808 - French frigate Canonniere (1794 - 44), Cptn. Bourayne, captured HMS Laurel (1806 - 22), Cptn. J. C. Woolcombe, off Port Louis in Mauritius.

Minerve was a 40-gun Minerve-class frigate of the French Navy. The British captured her twice and the French recaptured her once. She therefore served under four names before being broken up in 1814:
  • Minerve, 1794–1795
  • HMS Minerve, 1795–1803
  • Canonnière, 1803–1810
  • HMS Confiance, 1810–1814
French service as Minerve
Her keel was laid in January 1792, and she was launched in 1794.

On 14 December, off the island of Ivica, she captured the collier Hannibal, which was sailing from Liverpool to Naples. However, eleven days later, HMS Tartar recaptured Hannibal off Toulon and sent her into Corsica.

Capture of Minerve off Toulon

Minerve took part in combat off Noli. At the action of 24 June 1795, she and the 36-gun Artémise engaged the frigates HMS Dido and Lowestoffe. Minervesurrendered to the British, Artémise having fled, and was commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Minerve.

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A painting of an action in 1795, during the French Revolutionary Wars. Almost simultaneously the opposing French and British admirals in the Mediterranean, sent two frigates each to reconnoitre each other’s fleets. Early on the morning of 24 June they sighted each other off Minorca. The British ships were the ‘Dido’ and ‘Lowestoft’ and the French were the ‘Minerve’ and ‘Artemise’. Several hours later the ‘Minerve’ came into close action and attempted to board the ‘Dido’, and each were damaged. The ‘Lowestoft’ then took up the fight and within an hour all the ‘Minerve’s’ topmast went over the side. The ‘Lowestoft’ then engaged the second French frigate, leaving the two damaged ships to make repairs. After a time it became clear that the second French frigate, which had taken flight, had the edge on the ‘Lowestoft’ which was therefore recalled. On her return she placed herself across the stern of the French frigate and raked her, with the result that she struck some time later. She was the ‘Minerve’ a more powerful ship than either of the British frigates. The French ship which escaped was another powerful frigate, the ‘Artemise’. In the left foreground is the ‘Dido’ in action to starboard with the ‘Minerve’ whose bow shows starboard broadside view. The ‘Dido’s’ mizzen mast is shot away and the wreck of it is towing astern of her. She has a red ensign at the main. The ‘Minerve’s’ fore topgallant mast is shot through and hanging and her main mast is in the act of falling. In the right background is the ‘Lowestoft’ port quarter view in action to starboard with the ‘Artemis’, also port quarter view.

British service as HMS Minerve
French Revolutionary Wars
On 19 December 1796, Minerve, under the command of Captain George Cockburn, was involved in an action with HMS Blanche against the Spanish frigates Santa Sabina and Ceres. Minerve captured the Santa Sabina, which lost 164 men killed and wounded. Minerve herself lost eight killed, 38 wounded and four missing. Minerve also suffered extensive damage to her masts and rigging. Blanche went off in pursuit of Ceres. Early the next morning a Spanish frigate approached Minerve, which made ready to engage. However, two Spanish ships of the line and two more frigates approached. Skillful sailing enabled Cockburn to escape with Minerve but the Spaniards recaptured Santa Sabina and her prize crew.

On the evening of 1 August 1799, at 9 P.M., Minerve's boats came alongside Peterel. Captain Francis Austen of Peterel sent these boats and his own to cut out some vessels from the Bay of Diano, near Genoa. Firing was heard at around midnight and by morning the boats returned, bringing with them a large settee carrying wine, and the Virginie, a French warship. Virginie was a Turkish-built half-galley that the French had captured at Malta the year before. She had provision for 26 oars and carried six guns. She was under the command of a lieutenant de vaisseau and had a crew of 36 men, 20 of whom had jumped overboard when the British approached, and 16 of whom the British captured. She had brought General Joubert from Toulon and was going on the next day to Genoa where Joubert was to replace General Moreau in command of the French army in Italy.[4] Minerve and Peterel shared the proceeds of the capture of Virginie with Santa Teresa and Vincejo.

Then on 8 November, Minerve and the hired armed brig Louisa captured the Mouche.

On 15 May 1800, Minerve and the schooner Netley captured the French privateer cutter Vengeance. Vengeance was armed with 15 guns and had a crew of 132 men.

In September 1801 Minerve was in the Mediterranean protecting Elba. Early on 2 September Minerve alerted Phoenix, which was anchored off Piombino, to the presence of two French frigates nearby. Phoenix and Minerve set out in pursuit and Pomone soon came up and joined them. Pomone re-captured Success, a former British 32-gun fifth-rate frigate now under the command of Monsieur Britel. (The French had captured Success in February, off Toulon.) Minerve also ran onshore the 46-gun French frigate Bravoure, which had a crew of 283 men under the command of Monsieur Dordelin. Bravoure lost her masts and was totally wrecked; she struck without a shot being fired. Minerve took off a number of prisoners, including Dordelin and his officers, in her boats. With enemy fire from the shore and with night coming on, Captain Cockburn of Minerve decided to halt the evacuation of prisoners; he therefore was unwilling to set Bravoure on fire because some of her crew remained on board.

Napoleonic Wars
Shortly after war with France had resumed Minerve was in the Channel and under the command of Captain Jahleel Brenton. On 26 May 1803 she arrested the French exploration ship Naturaliste and brought her into Portsmouth, even though Naturaliste was flying a cartel flag and had passports attesting to her non-combatant character. The British released her and she arrived at Le Havre on 6 June 1803.

Capture of Minerve by Chiffonneand Terrible.

In the evening of 2 July, during a fog, Minerve ran aground near Cherbourg. She had been pursuing some merchant vessels when she hit. The guns of Île Pelée and the gunboats Chiffonne (Captain Lécolier) and Terrible (Captain Petrel) immediately engaged her. Minerve's crew attempted to refloat her, but the fire forced Brenton to surrender at 5:30 in the morning, after she had lost 12 men killed and about 15 men wounded.

Brenton attributed his defeat to fire from Fort Liberté at Île Pelée, although the artillery of the fort comprised only three pieces (its other guns had been moved to the fort on the Îles Saint-Marcouf), fired at extreme range, and had ceased fire during the night; on the other hand, the gunboats fired continuously at half-range.

The French took Minerve back into their service under the name Canonnière.

French service as Canonnière

The Action of 21 April 1806 as depicted by Pierre-Julien Gilbert. In the foreground, HMS Tremendous aborts her attempt at raking Canonnière under the threat of being outmaneuvered and raked herself by her more agile opponent. In the background, the Indiaman Charlton fires her parting broadside at Canonnière. In fact, several hours separated the two events.

In 1806, under Captain César-Joseph Bourayne, she sailed to Isle de France (now Mauritius) to reinforce the frigate squadron under admiral Linois. Failing to find Linois at Isle de France, Canonnière patrolled the Indian Ocean in the hope of making her junction. She fought an inconclusive action on 21 April against the 74-gun HMS Tremendous and the 50-gun HMS Hindostan.

In late 1806, Canonnière was in Manilla, where Bourayne agreed to sail to Acapulco to claim funds on behalf of the Spanish colonies. She arrived at Acapulco in April 1807 and escorted Spanish merchantmen to Luzon. She then returned to Acapulco on 20 July to load three million piastres, ferried them to Manilla, and was back in Isle de France in July 1808.

At that time, the French division of Isle de France, comprising the frigates Manche and Caroline as well as the corvette Iéna, was at sea to conduct commerce raiding. The island was blockaded by the 30-gun HMS Laurel, under Captain John Woolcombe. On 11 September, Canonnière set sail to meet Laurel and force her to retreat or fight. After a day of searching, Canonnière found Laurel and the frigates began exchanging fire around 17:00. Laurel sustained heavy damage to her rigging, hindering her ability to manoeuvers and at 19:00, a gust of wind gave advantage to Canonnière. Laurel struck her colours shortly before 20:00, and Canonnière took her prize in tow back to Port Louis. Her capture strengthened the situation of the island, as Laurel was freshly arrived, provisioned for a five-month cruise, and carried various supplies for the British squadron.

Canonnière returned to Mauritius in late March 1809. As she required repairs beyond those possible in Mauritius, the French sold her in June and she eventually sent off for France en flûte under the name Confiance.

Capture and British service as HMS Confiance
It was during this transit that HMS Valiant, under Captain John Bligh, recaptured her on 3 February 1810 near Belle Île after a six-hour chase. She was armed with only 14 guns and had a crew of 135 men, under the command of Captain Jacques François Perroud. She had been 93 days in transit when she was captured, having eluded British vessels 14 times. She was carrying goods worth £150,000, General Decaen having made her available to the merchants of Île de France to carry home their merchandise.[18] Amongst her passengers was César-Joseph Bourayne.

Confiance then briefly re-entered the Royal Navy as HMS Confiance. She never returned to active service however, and was deleted from navy lists in 1814.

HMS Laurel (1806) was a 22-gun post ship launched in 1806 and captured in 1808 by the French, who took her into service as Laurel but then sold her to commercial owners who renamed her Esperance. The British recaptured her in 1810, and renamed her HMS Laurestinus; she was wrecked in 1813

7.1806 - Began fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard
16.11.1806 - Completed fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard
18.8.1807 - Sailed with a convoy for South America
12.9.1808 - Taken by Canonniere (38) off Mauritius

She was commissioned into the french Navy as French Sixth Rate frigate 'L'Espérance' (1808)

12.4.1810 - Taken by HMS Unicorn (32) off the Ile de Rhe

She was commissioned into British Navy as British Sixth Rate post ship 'Laurestinus' (1810)

10.1810 - Began fitting at Deptford Dockyard
6.1811 - Completed fitting at Deptford Dockyard
27.7.1811 - Sailed for South America
20.9.1812 - Sailed for North America
22.10.1813 - Wrecked in the Bahamas



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
15 September 1814 - HMS Hermes (1811 - 20), Cptn. Hon. William Henry Percy, and HMS Sophie (18), Cptn. Lockyer, engaged Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point.
Consorts HMS Carron, and HMS Childers (18), J. B. Umfreville, did not engage. Whilst withdrawing, Hermes, with all her rigging shot away, was unmanageable and grounded with her stern to the fort. Boats of the squadron took off the crew and she was set on fire, subsequently exploding.

HMS Hermes was a 20-gun Hermes-class sixth-rate flush decked sloop-of-war built in Milford Dockyard to the lines of the ex-French Bonne Citoyenne[2]. She was destroyed in 1814 to prevent her falling into American hands after grounding during her unsuccessful attack on Fort Bowyer on Mobile Pointoutside Mobile, Alabama.

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lines 6th Rate. NMM, Progress Book, volume 7, folio 65, states that the 'Hermes' was built at Portsmouth Dockyard between May 1810 and 22 July 1811 when she was launched. She was docked on 23 July to be coppered, and sailed on 7 September 1811 having been fitted.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/83632.html#ckuEiwY1Gbu1Jz2v.99

Napoleonic Wars
Her first commander was Captain Philip Browne. Under Browne, Hermes first captured an American vessel laden with stores for the Brest fleet and then two vessels from New York and Baltimore. On 24 September, while near Cape La Hève (Le Havre), Hermes recaptured the Prussian brig Anna Mariawhich had been bound for London from Lisbon. A privateer managed to escape because of the nearness of the French coast.

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Destruction of La Mouche French Privateer of Boulogne.... by H.M. Ship Hermes Septr 14th 1811 off Beachy Head in a heavy Gale at S W (PAF4787)
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/128922.html#JFAAqTJytdLRYWKb.99

Strong winds drove Hermes off station when near Beachy Head he discovered a large French lugger in the midst of a number of English vessels. The French privateer had already taken one prize and might have taken others had Hermes not arrived. After a chase of two hours, in which the lugger sustained some damage and had several men wounded, the privateer struck to Hermes. As Hermes slowed, the strong wind broke her maintop-sail-yard in the slings and her fore-sail split. The privateer immediately tried to escape on the opposite tack. Hermesmanaged to turn and by cramming on all sail caught up with the privateer although she had gotten a two-mile lead. Browne decided to run alongside, despite the gale to prevent the French vessel from escaping again. Unfortunately, as the lugger crossed Hermes's hawse a heavy sea caused Hermes to run over the lugger, sinking her. Hermes was unable to launch any boats and so was only able to save 12 out of the lugger's 51 men. (Another 10 men had been aboard the lugger's prize, which had escaped to France during the chase, taking with her the prize's crew.) The lugger turned out to be the Mouche of Boulogne, under the command of M. Gageux. She had carried fourteen 12-pounder and 6-pounder guns.

War of 1812
On 11 February 1812 Hermes captured the American brig Flora. Then on 26 April Hermes captured the American brig Tigress.

Capture of the 'Gypsy', 30 April 1812

Four days later, Hermes and Belle Poule captured the American privateer schooner Gipsy (or Gipsey). She was on her way from New York City to Bordeaux with a cargo worth ₤50,000 when the British vessels captured her in the mid-Atlantic after a three-day chase. Gipsey surrendered twice to Hermes and twice got away again before Belle Poule caught her. Gipsey was of 300 tons (bm) and was armed with twelve 18-pounder carronades and an 18-pounder gun on a pivot mount.

In late Autumn 1812, Hermes was sailing off the Azores in the company of the 74-gun third rate Elephant, under the command of Francis Austen, the brother of the acclaimed novelist Jane Austen, together with the 36-gun fifth-rate frigate Phoebe. On 27 December Elephant and Hermes captured the American privateer schooner Sword Fish of Gloucester, John Evans, Master, and her crew of 82 men. During the 11-hour chase, which covered more than 100 miles, Sword Fish had thrown overboard ten of sixteen 6-pounder guns. Sword Fish was 16 days out of Boston but had not captured anything.

In April 1814, Captain the Hon. William Percy took command of Hermes, and on 5 August sailed her, with Carron accompanying, from Havana. They arrived at the mouth of the Apalachicola River eight days later.

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In September 1814, Percy led her in an unsuccessful attack on Fort Bowyer. The Louisiana State Museum has a map of the battle.

The attack took place on 15 September at about 4:30pm. Two of the four British vessels could not get close enough to fire. The fort was more strongly armed than expected, the British fire was ineffective, and a parallel ground attack failed. Furthermore, as she tried to withdraw, Hermes grounded under the guns of the fort. Percy evacuated her crew on boats from Sophie and then set fire to Hermes, which blew up after the fire reached her magazine at around 10pm. In all, Hermes had lost 17 killed in action, 5 mortally wounded and 19 wounded. (The medical journal of the Hermes has survived. )

On 18 January 1815, Percy faced a court martial on board Cydnus, off Cat Island (Mississippi). The court acquitted him of all blame, finding that the circumstances justified the attack and that all involved had behaved with great gallantry.

The Hermes class were a series of four 20-gun ships, launched between 1811 and 1816. Two pairs of ships were produced, to slightly different designs – the first two had 20 guns and were unrated flush-decked ship-sloops, whilst the latter two were converted to 26-gun sixth-rates. The design was based on the ex-French 20-gun corvette Bonne Citoyenne, which the British had captured in 1796.

The first pair was built at Milford Dockyard on the north side of Milford Haven. Hermes was launched in 1811 and Myrmidon in 1813. Milford Dockyard was closed following their construction, and the second pair were built at the new Pater (later Pembroke Dock) Dockyard on the south side of Milford Haven.

The second pair – Valorous and Ariadne – were launched on the same date in 1816. They were modified at Plymouth Dockyard in 1820 and 1821 respectively, before their first commission, by the addition of quarterdecks and forecastle to what had originally been flush-deck vessels, and they were at that time re-classed as 26-gun sixth rate post ships.

The Cyrus class was based on the design of the Myrmidon of the Hermes class.

Ships in class

HMS Sophie was an 18-gun Cruizer class brig-sloop of the Royal Navy. She served during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. During the War of 1812 Sophie participated in the economic war against American trade, capturing or destroying numerous small merchant vessels, and in an unsuccessful attack on Fort Bowyer, Alabama. Later, she moved to the East Indies where she served in the First Anglo-Burmese War. The Admiralty sold Sophie in 1825.



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
15 September 1816 – HMS Whiting runs aground on the Doom Bar

HMS Whiting, built in 1811 by Thomas Kemp as a Baltimore pilot schooner, was launched as Arrow. On 8 May 1812 a British navy vessel seized her under Orders in Council, for trading with the French. The Royal Navy re-fitted her and then took her into service under the name HMS Whiting. In 1816, after four years service, Whiting was sent to patrol the Irish Sea for smugglers. She grounded on the Doom Bar. When the tide rose, she was flooded and deemed impossible to refloat.


Built for speed, Arrow served as a cargo vessel trading between the USA and France. This was risky, as in 1807 Britain had introduced restrictions on American trade with France, with which Britain was at war. The U.S. considered these restrictions illegitimate.

On 8 May 1812, six months after being commissioned, Arrow was on a return voyage from Bordeaux to Baltimore fully laden with goods such as brandy, champagne, silk, nuts and toys, when the 38-gun frigate HMS Andromache, commanded by Captain George Tobin, seized Arrow and her cargo. Barely a month later the instruments allowing the seizure were repealed, two days before the United States Congress had voted a declaration of war on Britain, which President Madison approved on 18 June 1812.

Tobin sent Arrow to Plymouth as a prize, with six of his seamen and two marines on board, and under escort of HMS Armide, commanded by Captain Lucius Handyman. As her original crew arrived in England before the declaration of war, they were released. Arrow was taken to Plymouth Dockyardwhere between June 1812 and January 1813 she was re-fitted to be used by the Royal Navy.


HMS Whiting
In full, Whiting's new name was "His Majesty's schooner Whiting", and not "His Majesty's ship". She succeeded the Bermudian-built Ballyhoo schooner, Whiting, which a French privateer had captured outside a US harbour at the start of the American War of 1812. In January 1813 Lieutenant George Hayes RN, took command and on 25 February 1813 she sailed for the Bay of Biscay to join Surveillante, Medusa, Bramble, Iris, Scylla, and Sparrow in the blockade of trade between the U.S. and France.

Whiting was in service with the Royal Navy for almost four years. During that time, while under the command of Hayes, she captured or recaptured several vessels. On 22 March 1813, Whiting shared in the capture of the American schooner Tyger with Medusa, Scylla and Iris. Tyger, of 263 tons (bm), was armed with four guns and had a crew of 25 men. She was sailing from Bordeaux to New York with a cargo of brandy, wine, and silks.

One month later, on 23 April, Whiting was in company with Scylla and Pheasant. After a chase of over 100 miles (90 nmi; 160 km), they captured the American 8-gun brig Fox, which threw two of her guns overboard during the chase. Fox and her 29-man crew was underway from Bordeaux to Philadelphia.

Then on 15 July, Whiting recaptured the ship Friends, in company with Reindeer. Whiting, in company with Helicon, also recaptured the Colin, on 25 October.

By 26 August 1814, Whiting was under the command of Lieutenant John Little. On that day she recaptured the brig Antelope.

Whiting was also one of ten British vessels that took part in the Battle of Fort Peter, a successful British attack in January 1815 on an American fort . This battle was one of the skirmishes of the War of 1812 that happened after the US and Britain had signed the Treaty of Ghent, but before the US Senate had ratified it.

Wreck on Doom Bar
On 18 August 1816, Whiting, under the command of Lieutenant John Jackson, was ordered to leave Plymouth and sail around Land's End to the Irish Sea to counter smuggling in the area. On 15 September 1816, to escape a gale, Jackson took his vessel into harbour at Padstow on the north coast of Cornwall. The wind dropped as they came around Stepper Point, and the ship ran aground on the Doom Bar as the tide was ebbing, stranding her.

According to the court-martial transcripts, an attempt to move Whiting was made at the next high tide, but she was taking on water and it became impossible to save her. Her abandonment happened over the next few days. The court martial board reprimanded Lieutenant Jackson for having attempted to enter the harbour without a pilot and for his failure to lighten her before trying to get her off; as punishment he lost one year's seniority. Five crewmen took advantage of the opportunity to desert; three were recaptured and were given "50 lashes with nine tails". Whiting was eventually sold and despite correspondence requesting her move eleven years later, the Navy took no further interest in her.

In May 2010, ProMare and the Nautical Archaeology Society, with the help of Padstow Primary School, mounted a search to find Whiting.[17] They conducted a geophysical survey that recorded a number of suitable targets that divers subsequently investigated. One target is located only 27 yards (25 m) from the calculated position of the wreck but sand completely covers the site, preventing further investigation at this time.



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
15 September 1931 - The Invergordon Mutiny was an industrial action by around 1,000 sailors in the British Atlantic Fleet that took place on 15–16 September 1931. For two days, ships of the Royal Navy at Invergordon were in open mutiny, in one of the few military strikes in British history.

British Atlantic Fleet on exercise in the late 1920s

The mutiny caused a panic on the London Stock Exchange and a run on the pound, bringing Britain's economic troubles to a head and forcing it off the Gold Standard on 21 September 1931.


Cromarty Firth in Scotland

In September 1931, as part of its attempts to deal with the Great Depression, the new National Government launched cuts to public spending. In the Navy this translated into a 10% pay cut (matching 10% cuts across the board for public sector workers) for officers and senior ratings, and for junior ratings on the "new rate" of pay, introduced for new entrants in 1925. Ratings below petty officer who had joined before 1925 would have their pay reduced to the same level, amounting to a 25% cut. On top of this, many Labour Party supporters shared the sense of betrayal felt in the labour movement at Ramsay MacDonald's split with the Labour Party and his formation of a new government with the Conservatives.

Sailors of the Atlantic Fleet, arriving at Invergordon on the Cromarty Firth in Scotland in the afternoon of Friday 11 September, learned about the cuts from newspaper reports; some reports implied that a 25% cut would be imposed on all ratings. The shock of this news had a palpable effect. On 12 September, orders were received from the Admiralty confirming the pay cuts. On the evening of 13 September, by which time sailors had already started agitating, Rear-Admiral Wilfred Tomkinson, in temporary command of the fleet while Admiral Sir Michael Hodges was in hospital, received a letter from the Admiralty dated 10 September giving the reasons for the reduction in pay and the principles on which it had been based. The following morning, Tomkinson ordered the commanders of all ships present to read sections of the letter to their officers and crew. However, several ships had not received copies of the letter and some were unable to pass the information on to their companies until the next day. By that time, the mood for a mutiny had taken hold in many crews.

Initial disturbances

Crew on the deck of Rodney in 1940

Ten warships arrived in port on 11 September: Hood (the flagship), Adventure, Dorsetshire, Malaya, Norfolk, Repulse, Rodney, Valiant, Warspite and York. After arriving, officers and crew had access to newspapers, which contained reports of the pay cuts. On the night of 12 September a group of sailors met at a football field on land. They voted to organise a strike and left singing "The Red Flag". The following evening a number of them made speeches at the canteen ashore criticising the cuts. The Officer of the Patrol reported this disturbance to Warspite, the ship of the watch that night, and requested reinforcements. Extra patrols were sent, led by the commander of Warspite, Captain Wake, and the canteen was closed early. The crews left peacefully, although further speeches were made at the pier. After considering reports about the incident from Wake and the Chief of Staff, Rear-Admiral Ragnar Colvin, Tomkinson decided not to take disciplinary action. He reported the incident and his decision to the Admiralty by telegram. Meanwhile, Nelson arrived at port. On 14 September, Warspite and Malaya left the harbour to perform planned exercises, and during the day four more ships arrived: Centurion, Shikari, Snapdragon and Tetrarch. That evening, Tomkinson hosted a dinner attended by most of the ships′ commanders and various flag officers. Shortly before dinner, Tomkinson was informed that patrols had been dispatched from Hood and Valiant to deal with further disturbances at the canteen and in the open air ashore. These disturbances were characterised as disorderly, and civilians were reportedly spotted amongst the sailors. The Officer of the Patrol was able to address the assembly, but speeches, cheering and singing recommenced after he had finished. The sailors returned to their ships, but many gathered on deck after their return and continued their protests. Tomkinson informed the Admiralty of the protests, stating that the cause seemed to be the disproportionate pay cut of 25% for some ratings. He ordered commanders to return to their ships and report on the situation.

The reports indicated that there was no trouble in the cruisers, nor on the battlecruiser Repulse, but crews on the battlecruiser Hood and the battleships Rodney, Valiant and Nelson intended to prevent their ships from sailing in practice manoeuvres the next day; the protests were confined to ratings below leading rate, and did not show any animosity towards officers. In the early hours of 15 September, Tomkinson considered cancelling the exercises. However, after discussions with several flag officers, the commanders of Hood and Nelson and the Officers of the Patrol who had witnessed events, he decided against this, expecting that Repulse would follow orders and this would quell any resistance on other ships. He ordered commanders to investigate complaints in due course and report typical cases that he could use to represent the protests to the Admiralty, and informed the Admiralty that he expected problems sailing in the morning.

The mutiny
On the morning of 15 September, Repulse sailed on time at 06:30, but sailors on the other four capital ships due to sail had already begun to refuse orders. On Hood and Nelson, crews carried out the ordinary harbour routine, refusing to put to sea; on Valiant and Rodney, crews carried out only essential duties, including the provision of safety patrols and fire guards, and did so without any recourse to their officers. Throughout the day, cheering crowds massed on the forecastles of all ships except Centurion and Exeter; on Rodney, a piano was dragged on deck and songs were sung. Officers, who issued orders and threats through loudspeakers, were ignored and ridiculed. Valiant unmoored and attempted to put to sea with a limited number of men on duty, but was unable to proceed. On Tomkinson′s own ship, Hood, crew members prevented officers and senior ratings from unmooring the ship. Even Royal Marines, expected to enforce discipline and break up any mutiny, joined the strike. Tomkinson suspended the exercises until further notice, cancelled all leave and called for the investigations of complaints to proceed as quickly as possible. Warspite, Malaya and Repulse were ordered to return to harbour.

Hood around the time of the mutiny

In the afternoon, Tomkinson again informed the Admiralty of the situation and its chief cause, asking for an early decision to be communicated and stating he did not believe it would be possible to restore order, or prevent further deterioration of the situation, until a decision was received. He finally received a reply at 20:00, instructing him to inform sailors that the existing pay rates would remain in force until the end of the month and that the Admiralty expected the men to uphold the traditions of service and carry out their duties. The Admiralty stated that the cut in pay was only 10%, but this ignored the situation for those on the old pay rate. In a second telegram, Tomkinson was instructed to resume exercises as soon as he had completed his investigations into the complaints. Tomkinson believed that this response showed he had failed to communicate the gravity of the situation and replied that it would be impossible to resume exercises in the circumstances. Incitement to stop work was spreading from deck to deck: crews on Norfolk and Adventure had joined those on Rodney and Valiant in performing only essential duties, with Dorsetshire and Hood set to follow suit. There were also reports that some petty officers, who had continued to follow orders although they had not attempted to get junior ratings to return to work, were starting to join the strike.

In the early hours of 16 September, Tomkinson informed the Fleet that Admiral Colvin had been dispatched to the Admiralty to present sailors' complaints in person, but no decision could reasonably be expected for a day or two; he expected all crews to return to duty.

On the morning of 16 September, Tomkinson received the last of the complaints. He dispatched the Fleet Accountant Officer with these to the Admiralty, and sent extracts by telegram. Having discussed the situation with Rear-Admirals Astley-Rushton (Second Cruiser Squadron, on Dorsetshire) and French (Second Battle Squadron, on Warspite), he reported his belief that the mutiny would worsen unless an immediate concession was made. He suggested junior ratings on the old rate should remain on that rate with a cut of 10%, and marriage allowances should be extended to ratings under the age of 25. He also asked that members of the Admiralty board visit Invergordon to discuss matters in person. Shortly afterwards, he was informed by the Admiralty that the matter was being considered by the Cabinet, and communicated this to the Fleet. Meanwhile, the crew of Hood had ceased all but essential duties. Some sailors were threatening to damage machinery and leave ships without permission. In the afternoon, the Admiralty ordered the ships of the Fleet to return to their home ports immediately. Tomkinson directed the ships to proceed in their squadrons as soon as possible, and gave officers and crew with family at Invergordon leave to visit the shore and say their goodbyes. That night, all ships sailed from Invergordon as ordered.

In summarising the mutiny for the Admiralty, Tomkinson reported that the crews had remained respectful to their officers throughout, and that officers had done their best to explain the government's reasons for the cut in pay and that complaints would be taken seriously. He concluded that the mutiny had been caused primarily by the 25% cut for junior ratings who had joined the service before 1925, that there were no grievances besides the pay cut, and his belief that the complaint was well founded. He also believed that any use of force would have made the situation much worse.

The Cabinet accepted Tomkinson's recommendation that ratings on the old rate of pay remain on that rate, with a 10% cut in line with the rest of the service. It was made clear that further acts of insurrection would be severely punished. A number of the organisers of the strike were jailed, while 200 sailors were discharged from the service. A further 200-odd sailors were purged from elsewhere in the Navy, accused of attempting to incite similar incidents. The Admiralty held Tomkinson accountable for the mutiny, blaming him for failing to punish dissidents after the first protests.

The mutiny caused a panic on the London Stock Exchange and a run on the pound, bringing Britain's economic troubles to a head and forced it off the Gold Standard on 21 September 1931.

Len Wincott, a leader of the mutiny, defected to the USSR in 1934. During World War II he survived the Siege of Leningrad but in 1946 he was sent to the Gulag after being accused of being a British spy; he was imprisoned for more than a decade. After his release in the 1950s, he became a friend of Donald MacLean in Moscow. Another leader, Navy boxer Fred Copeman, commanded the British Battalion of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War.



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
15 September 1942 – World War II: U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Wasp is sunk by Japanese torpedoes at Guadalcanal.

USS Wasp (CV-7) was a United States Navy aircraft carrier commissioned in 1940 and lost in action in 1942. She was the eighth ship named USS Wasp, and the sole ship of a class built to use up the remaining tonnage allowed to the U.S. for aircraft carriers under the treaties of the time. As a reduced-size version of the Yorktown-class aircraft carrier hull, Wasp was more vulnerable than other United States aircraft carriers available at the opening of hostilities. Wasp was initially employed in the Atlantic campaign, where Axis naval forces were perceived as less capable of inflicting decisive damage. After supporting the occupation of Iceland in 1941, Wasp joined the British Home Fleet in April 1942 and twice ferried British fighter aircraft to Malta. Waspwas then transferred to the Pacific in June 1942 to replace losses at the battles of Coral Sea and Midway. After supporting the invasion of Guadalcanal, Wasp was sunk by the Japanese submarine I-19 on 15 September 1942.

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-7) entering Hampton Roads, Virginia (USA), on 26 May 1942. The escorting destroyer USS Gleaves (DD-423) is visible in the background.

Wasp was a product of the Washington Naval Treaty. After the construction of the carriers Yorktown and Enterprise, the U.S. was still permitted 15,000 long tons (15,000 t) to build a carrier.

The Navy sought to squeeze a large air group onto a ship with nearly 25% less displacement than the Yorktown-class. To save weight and space, Wasp was constructed with low-power propulsion machinery (compare Wasp's 75,000 shp (56,000 kW) machinery with Yorktown's 120,000 shp (89,000 kW), Essex-class's 150,000 shp (110,000 kW), and the Independence-class's 100,000 shp (75,000 kW)).

Wasp was the first carrier fitted with a deck-edge elevator.

Additionally, Wasp was launched with almost no armor, modest speed, and more significantly, no protection from torpedoes. Absence of side protection of the boilers and internal aviation fuel stores "doomed her to a blazing demise". These were inherent design flaws that were recognized when constructed, but could not be remedied within the allowed tonnage.[3] These flaws, combined with a relative lack of damage control experience in the early days of the war, were to prove fatal.

Wasp was the first carrier fitted with a deck-edge elevator for aircraft. The elevator consisted of a platform for the front wheels of the plane and an outrigger for the tail wheel. The two arms on the sides moved the platform in a half-circle up and down between the flight deck and the hangar deck.

Spitfires and Wildcats aboard Wasp on 19 April 1942.

On Tuesday, 15 September 1942, the carriers Wasp and Hornet and battleship North Carolina with 10 other warships were escorting the transports carrying the 7th Marine Regiment to Guadalcanal as reinforcements. Wasp was operating some 150 nautical miles (170 mi; 280 km) southeast of San Cristobal Island. Her aircraft were being refueled and rearmed for antisubmarine patrol missions and Wasphad been at general quarters from an hour before sunrise until the time when the morning search returned to the ship at 10:00. Thereafter, the ship was in condition 2, with the air department at flight quarters. The only contact with the Japanese that day had been a Japanese four-engined flying boat that was downed by one of Wasp's F4F Wildcats at 12:15.

About 14:20, the carrier turned into the wind to launch eight F4F Wildcats and 18 SBD Dauntlesses and to recover eight F4F Wildcats and three SBD Dauntlesses that had been airborne since before noon. Lt. (jg) Roland H. Kenton, USNR, flying a F4F-3 Wildcat of VF-71 was the last aircraft off the deck of Wasp. The ship rapidly completed the recovery of the 11 aircraft before turning to starboard, heeling slightly as it did so. At 14:44 a lookout reported "three torpedoes ... three points forward of the starboard beam".

A spread of six Type 95 torpedoes was fired at Wasp at about 14:44 from the tubes of the B1 Type submarine I-19. Wasp put over her rudder hard to starboard to avoid the salvo, but it was too late. Three torpedoes struck in quick succession about 14:45; one actually breached, left the water, and struck the ship slightly above the waterline. All hit in the vicinity of the ship's gasoline tanks and magazines. Two of the spread of torpedoes passed ahead of Wasp and were observed passing astern of Helena before O'Brien was hit by one at 14:51 while maneuvering to avoid the other. The sixth torpedo passed either astern or under Wasp, narrowly missed Lansdowne in Wasp's screen about 14:48, was seen by Mustin in North Carolina's screen about 14:50, and struck North Carolina about 14:52.

Wasp on fire shortly after being torpedoed.

There was a rapid succession of explosions in the forward part of the ship. Aircraft on the flight and hangar decks were thrown about and dropped on the deck with such force that landing gears snapped. Aircraft suspended in the hangar overhead fell and landed upon those on the hangar deck; fires broke out in the hangar and below decks. Soon, the heat of the intense gasoline fires detonated the ready ammunition at the forward anti-aircraft guns on the starboard side, and fragments showered the forward part of the ship. The number two 1.1 in (28 mm) mount was blown overboard.

Water mains in the forward part of the ship had been rendered inoperable meaning no water was available to fight the fire forward, and the fires continued to set off ammunition, bombs, and gasoline. As the ship listed 10-15° to starboard, oil and gasoline, released from the tanks by the torpedo hit, caught fire on the water.

020705.jpg 020705b.jpg 020710.jpg

Captain Sherman slowed to 10 knots (12 mph; 19 km/h), ordering the rudder put to port to try to get the wind on the starboard bow; he then went astern with right rudder until the wind was on the starboard quarter, in an attempt to keep the fire forward. At that point, flames made the central station unusable, and communication circuits went dead. Soon, a serious gasoline fire broke out in the forward portion of the hangar; within 24 minutes of the initial attack, there were three additional major gasoline vapor explosions. Ten minutes later Sherman decided to abandon ship as the firefighting was ineffectual. Survivors would have to disembark quickly to minimize loss of life.

After consulting with Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes, Captain Sherman ordered "abandon ship" at 15:20. All badly injured men were lowered into rafts or rubber boats. Many unwounded men had to abandon ship from aft because the forward fires were burning with such intensity. The departure, as Sherman observed it, looked "orderly", and there was no panic. The only delays occurred when many men showed reluctance to leave until all the wounded had been taken off. The abandonment took nearly 40 minutes, and at 16:00 Sherman abandoned the ship once he was satisfied that no survivors were left on board.

Although the submarine hazard caused the accompanying destroyers to lie well clear or to shift position, they carried out rescue operations until Laffey, Lansdowne, Helena, and Salt Lake City had 1,946 men embarked. The fires on Wasp, drifting, traveled aft and there were four violent explosions at nightfall. Lansdowne was ordered to torpedo the carrier and stand by until she was sunk. Lansdowne's Mark 15 torpedoes had the same unrecognized flaws reported for the Mark 14 torpedo. The first two torpedoes were fired perfectly, but did not explode, leaving Lansdowne with only three more. The magnetic influence exploders on these were disabled and the depth set at 10 feet (3.0 m). All three detonated, but Wasp remained afloat for some time, sinking at 21:00. 193 men had died and 366 were wounded during the attack. All but one of her 26 airborne aircraft made a safe trip to carrier Hornet nearby before Wasp sank, but 45 aircraft went down with the ship. Another Japanese submarine, I-15, duly observed and reported the sinking of Wasp, as other US destroyers kept I-19 busy avoiding 80 depth charges. I-19 escaped safely.



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 15 September

1747 - HMS Lyme (1740 – 20/24) foundered in the Atlantic


1835 – HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, reaches the Galápagos Islands. The ship lands at Chatham or San Cristobal, the easternmost of the archipelago.

Longitudinal section of HMS Beagle as of 1832


1944 – Battle of Peleliu begins as the United States Marine Corps' 1st Marine Division and the United States Army's 81st Infantry Division hit White and Orange beaches under heavy fire from Japanese infantry and artillery.

The Battle of Peleliu, codenamed Operation Stalemate II by the United States military, was fought between the U.S. and Japan during the Mariana and Palau Campaign of World War II, from September to November 1944, on the island of Peleliu.

The first wave of LVTs moves toward the invasion beaches, passing through the inshore bombardment line of LCI gunboats. Cruisers and battleships are bombarding from the distance. The landing area is almost totally hidden in dust and smoke. Photographed from a USS Honolulu (CL-48) plane.

U.S. Marines of the 1st Marine Division, and later soldiers of the U.S. Army's 81st Infantry Division, fought to capture an airstrip on the small coral island. This battle was part of a larger offensive campaign known as Operation Forager, which ran from June to November 1944, in the Pacific Theater.

Major General William Rupertus, Commander of the 1st Marine Division, predicted the island would be secured within four days. However, after repeated Imperial Army defeats in previous island campaigns, Japan had developed new island-defense tactics and well-crafted fortifications that allowed stiff resistance,extending the battle through more than two months. In the United States, this was a controversial battle because of the island's questionable strategic value and the high casualty rate, which exceeded that of all other amphibious operations during the Pacific War.[6] The National Museum of the Marine Corps called it "the bitterest battle of the war for the Marines"


1962 – The Soviet ship Poltava heads toward Cuba, one of the events that sets into motion the Cuban Missile Crisis.

A US Navy P-2H Neptune of VP-18 flying over a Soviet cargo ship with crated Il-28s on deck during the Cuban Crisis.


1966 - German U-boot Hai sunk by accident with the loss of complete crew

German submarine Hai, the former U-2365 Type XXIII U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II, was one of the first submarines of the Bundesmarine. She was ordered on 20 September 1944, and was laid down on 6 December 1944 at Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg, as yard number 519. She was launched on 26 January 1945 and commissioned under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Fritz-Otto Korfmann on 2 March 1945. Scuttled in 1945, the boat was raised in 1956 and commissioned into the newly-founded Bundesmarine as Hai, where she served until she sank by accident in 1966.

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2008-0212, Uboot Hecht (S 171, ex U 2367)

Like all Type XXIII U-boats, U-2365 had a displacement of 234 tonnes (230 long tons) when at the surface and 258 tonnes (254 long tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 34.68 m (113 ft 9 in) (o/a), a beam width of 3.02 m (9 ft 11 in) (o/a), and a draught depth of 3.66 m (12 ft). The submarine was powered by one MWM six-cylinder RS134S diesel engine providing 575–630 metric horsepower (423–463 kilowatts; 567–621 shaft horsepower), one AEG GU4463-8 double-acting electric motor electric motor providing 580 PS (430 kW; 570 shp), and one BBC silent running CCR188 electric motor providing 35 PS (26 kW; 35 shp).

The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 9.7 knots (18.0 km/h; 11.2 mph) and a submerged speed of 12.5 knots (23.2 km/h; 14.4 mph). When submerged, the boat could operate at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) for 194 nautical miles (359 km; 223 mi); when surfaced, she could travel 2,600 nautical miles (4,800 km; 3,000 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph). U-2365 was fitted with two 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes in the bow. She could carry two preloaded torpedoes. The complement was 14 – 18 men. This class of U-boat did not carry a deck gun.

Service history
On 8 May 1945, U-2365 was scuttled northwest of Anholt in the Kattegat as part of Operation Regenbogen. The wreck was originally located at 56°51′N 11°49′E.

Post war service
In June of 1956, U-2365 was raised by the German Federal Navy and commissioned U-Hai on 15 August 1957. On 14 September 1966, she foundered on Dogger Bank in the North Sea during a gale. Nineteen of the twenty crewmen were lost, making this one of the worst peacetime naval disasters in German history. She was raised on 19 September 1966 from 47 m (154 ft) of water and broken up.

The wreck was originally located at 55°15′N 04°22′E.


1969 - oil tanker SS Manhattan making the first time the Northwest Passage transit

SS Manhattan was an oil tanker constructed at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts that became the first commercial ship to cross the Northwest Passage in 1969. Having been built as an ordinary tanker in 1962, she was refitted for this voyage with an icebreaker bow in 1968–69. Registered in the United States at the time, she was the largest US merchant vessel as well as the biggest icebreaker in history.

Bow of the SS Manhattan

In 1965, she was taken to Portland, Oregon via the Columbia River, to be cleaned and used to transport 50,000 tons of grain. The size and draught of the ship required careful preparations for her transit on the river.

Manhattan remained in service till 1987. After an accident in East Asia she was scrapped in China.

1969 Northwest Passage transit
Manhattan's route began in August 1969 on the east coast of North America and transited the passage from east to west via the Baffin Sea and Viscount Melville Sound. The master of Manhattan was Captain Roger A. Steward. Heavy sea ice blocked the way through M'Clure Strait, so a more southerly route through Prince of Wales Strait and south of Banks Island was used. A single, token barrel of crude oil was loaded at Prudhoe Bay and then the ship went back. She was escorted by the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker CCGS John A. Macdonald. At various times during the expedition, Manhattan was supported by the icebreakers CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, USCGC Staten Island, and USCGC Northwind.

This route through the Northwest Passage was quite controversial in international relations as sovereignty of these waters is claimed by Canada and this claim has been disputed by the United States. The Government of Canada has defined all waters in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago as being "Canadian Internal Waters."

The voyage prompted passionate discussions in Canada about that country's sovereignty in the Arctic, a topic that dominated Arctic policy formulated under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's administration throughout the 1970s. At one point during the voyage, Inuit hunters stopped the vessel and demanded that the vessel master ask permission to cross through Canadian territory, which he did, and they granted. The Canadian sovereignty debate generated by Manhattan is being rekindled as multi-year decreases in sea ice, due to global warming, make further ship transits likely in the future. The question is whether the passage can be considered an international strait or not.

The official reason for the voyage revolved around oil that had been discovered at Prudhoe Bay in 1968. Oil companies reasoned that sea transport of oil by icebreaking supertankers would be cheaper than the building of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System to Valdez. A second attempt to cross the passage in winter proved impossible, and there were numerous environmental concerns with the project, so it was cancelled and the Trans-Alaska pipeline built.[2]

The conversion of Manhattan was a co-operation between Esso and Wärtsilä, a Finnish shipbuilding company. Wärtsilä Icebreaking Model Basin (WIMB), the 50-metre (160 ft) ice tank built inside a converted air raid shelter in Helsinki, Finland, solely for this project, was later used for the company's own purposes until a new facility was built in the 1980s. Aker Arctic Technology Inc, a Finnish engineering company that specializes in the design of icebreakers and operates an ice model test facility, thus owes its existence to the Manhattan project.


1971 – The first Greenpeace ship sets sail to protest against nuclear testing on Amchitka Island.