Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 9, 2019 0:11:58 GMT 12
Fairmile motor launches of the Royal New Zealand Navy lying at their moorings between Pine Island and Greenhithe yesterday. These vessels returned recently from duty in the Solomons. NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 22 AUGUST 1945
Another new one to me. I'd bet their appearance on arrival from the Solomons was a bit on the scruffy side, but that's what happens during a longish sea voyage. The boat on far left looks as though it might have a darker finish, but could just be a trick of the light. Dave D
Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 20, 2019 22:04:21 GMT 12
Here are some more on wooden boats built in New Zealand for the US Navy in WWII:
USE BY AMERICANS
O.C. AUCKLAND, This Day.
Eight kauri motor tow-boats, which have been built for the United States Armed Forces by United Ship and Boatbuilders, Limited, will be launched by Mrs. Sullivan, wife of the Hon. D. G. Sullivan, Minister of Supply, at Auckland on Saturday morning. Forty-five feet in length and powered by Diesel engines, these sturdy craft, which are really small tugs, are the first boats to be built in New Zealand for another country's Government. Additional craft will be constructed. Under the heading of reciprocal aid to the United States, or reverse lend-lease, New Zealand's 1943 Budget provides for a shipbuilding programme estimated at £2,000,000 for the South Pacific and South-west Pacific areas.
Although they will not be launched simultaneously the tow-boats will all be moving along the slipways at the same time. The ceremony of breaking bottles of wine over their bows will be performed by children.
The names of the new vessels are those of famous Maoris. They are Kahu, the discoverer of Lake Rotorua and son of Tamatekapua; Kawa, an abbreviation of Kawatapuarangi, an ancestor of King Koroki; Koroki, the present Maori King of the Waikato; Kupe, the discoverer of New Zealand about 950 A.D.; Kaihau, former member of Parliament for Western Maori; Korokai, a member of the Tohunga family, Arawa tribe, and the claimant in the lakes case against the Crown; Kiwa, one of the greatest navigators of Maori history, who ranks with Kupe but lived at a later period; and Kanapu, a celebrated chief of the Arawa tribe.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 26, 2020 15:23:42 GMT 12
GOOD JOB DONE
RETURN FROM PACIFIC
PA. AUCKLAND, July 29.
After a tour of duty in the Pacific which lasted for nearly 18 months, 12 Fairmile motor-launches of the Royal New Zealand Navy returned recently to Auckland. The tour of duty began on February 6, 1944, when the first five Fairmiles left for the Solomon Islands. The other seven departed on March 25, 1944. Since then the flotilla has been engaged in patrols, escort, and antisubmarine work and has provided screens for vessels engaged in loading war materials at various places.
The officer in command of the base, H.M.N.Z.S. Kahu, from which the Fairmiles worked, was Lieutenant-Commander H. E. Cave, R.N., Gisborne. Senior officer of the flotilla was Lieutenant-Commander H. J. Ball D.S.C., R.N.Z.N.V.R., Auckland, and the commanders of the 12 ships at the close of the tour of duty were Lieutenants P. C. Stennard, Wellington, J. W. Ballinger, Rangiora, J. W. Mills, Invercargill, A. R. Joughlin, Auckland, K. H. Mackenzie Christchurch, G. M. Parker, Dunedin, J. C. Frankham, Auckland L. E. Newall, D.S.C., Wellington, E. T. F. Millet, Auckland, D. C. Algie, Auckland, R. P. W. Wills, Auckland, and G. C. Gerard, Wellington.
Each of the Fairmiles carried two officers, two petty officers and 12 ratings. At the base in the Solomons there were 10 officers and 53 ratings.
On his return to the Dominion Lieutenant-Commander Cave was enthusiastic in his praise of the work of the officers and men under his command. He expressed gratitude for the cooperation and assistance received from the United States navy. He said that since the Fairmiles had left New Zealand they had travelled a total distance of 380,000 miles. Though their work in the main had been monotonous, with no action by or against the enemy, it had been important, and the American naval authorities had been very appreciative of the manner in which it had been carried out.
"The Fairmiles stood up to the work very well, and I must congratulate the New Zealand builders of these little ships on their excellent workmanship," said Lieutenant-Commander Cave. He added that it was not at all the work for which the ships had been designed. They had been intended for short coastal patrols, but during the Pacific tour had taken part in convoys over hundreds of miles.
Ratings in one of the Fairmiles expressed gladness at being back in the Dominion after the tour of duty, which had been partly interesting and partly monotonous. They said food and conditions on the small ships had been very good, but they were pleased to taste fresh milk again. Asked if they had any complaints, they gave a unanimous. "No."
Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 1, 2020 21:51:07 GMT 12
TUGS AND LIGHTERS
BUILDING FOR U.S.A.
P.A. AUCKLAND, August 24.
Though the future of the American shipbuilding programme in New Zealand is now indefinite, work will be completed on those vessels already on the ways. Vessels now being built include seven 114 ft powered lighters, the last of the United States navy's order for 16, and five 75ft welded steel tugs which are in various stages of completion.
Four more of the steel tugs were to have been built, but till there have been negotiations between the New Zealand Government and Lieutenant-Commander A. C. Bushey, U.S.N., who is in charge of the Dominion's programme for the American navy, it is not known whether the contract will be completed or not. The cost of the vessels is borne by the New Zealand taxpayer through reverse lend-lease, and agreement on this matter will have to be reached between the two Governments.
Five of the 114 ft lighters are being built in Auckland and two others are on the stocks at Stevenson and Cook's works at Port Chalmers. The steel tugs are being built by Steel Ships, Ltd., Auckland, where 15 have previously been completed for the United States army.
Post by Dave Homewood on Nov 1, 2020 22:39:54 GMT 12
FAIRMILES AT SEA
NEW SUBMARINE CHASERS
“The Press” Special Service AUCKLAND, June 21.
A flotilla of Fairmile submarine chasers of the Royal New Zealand Navy, for which they were built by Auckland shipyards, spent a week on operational exercises in the Hauraki Gulf. The ships practised individual and group attacks against a target ship which represented a submarine. They were only some of a number of Fairmiles which have been launched or are being built for use in harbour and coast defence.
Long trails of white wake showed that the Fairmiles were at speed and not long afterward they were approaching the target ship at 18 knots. Beautiful-looking ships, they drove on until the air was filled with the aeroplane-like roar of their twin petrol engines. As they came up with the target ship, their main features were immediately discernible. From their raked and flaring destroyer bows to the square and narrow transom stern, they looked compact, pocket warships. They mounted one gun forward and another aft, both being for use against air and surface craft, but their sting as anti-submarine vessels obviously lay in the two neatly-placed rows of depth-charges on either side of the deck aft of the squat funnel and engine-room casing. Some of the depth-charges are for release immediately over the side and others can be sent a much greater distance by the thrower just forward of the aft gun platform.
For several hours the flotilla made practice attacks against the inoffensive Phyllis, which was mildly playing the part of an enemy submarine, while a few members of her crew who were off-watch, placidly put out a spinner and trolled for fish. Either in groups or individually, the Fairmiles went through the drill which they might at any time have to put into offensive practice against a real submarine.
With white water thrown away from their sharp bows and more broken water boiling in their wakes, the Fairmiles picked up the submarine’s bearings, communicated with each other by Aldis lamp, signal flags, or radio-telephone, raced at the Phyllis, and roared past her bow and stern. As they approached, the captain of each Fairmile sounded the alarm which called his ship’s company to their battle stations and men appeared suddenly on the decks and rushed forward or aft to gun or depth-charge stations. Various attack formations were practised, and it was impossible not to be thrilled as ships charged and turned and manoeuvred.