Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 23, 2008 13:00:50 GMT 12
I know that during the war HMS (later HMNZS) Achilles carried a Supermarine Walrus as its aircraft.
However yesterday during some archival research I found a 1938 NZ Herald article in a newspaper about the first arrival in NZ of its sister ship the HMS Leander.
The article says: "The Leander's aircraft, which is caried amidships, is also a more modern and powerful type than the one brought out last year by the Achilles. It is a Walrus amphibian powered by a single engine set immediately behind the cockpit. The pilot is Lieutenant G.W.R. Nicholl and the observer Lieutenant-Commander B.E.W. Logan. Six Royal Air Force ratings and a few seaman telegraphists assist with the work done by the flying-boat, which is to be housed at Hobsonville Air Base."
So, does anyone know what type the Achilles carried in 1937 while stationed in NZ waters? And were Nicholl and Logan New Zealanders, like many of the crew on these NZ Division ships?
"HMNZS Achilles was a Leander class cruiser which served with the Royal New Zealand Navy in World War II. She became famous for her part in the Battle of the River Plate, alongside HMS Ajax and HMS Exeter.
She was the second of five ships of the Leander class light cruisers, designed as effective follow-ons to the York class. Upgraded to Improved Leander class, she was capable of carrying an aircraft, becoming the first ship to carry a Supermarine Walrus although this was removed before the war."
Although the date is not exact 'before the war' would imply at least 1937. I'll keep looking. ___________________
"The Supermarine Walrus was a single-engine amphibious biplane reconnaissance aircraft designed by R. J. Mitchell and operated by the Fleet Air Arm. It also served with the Royal Air Force, RAAF, RNZN, RCAF, and RNZAF.The Walrus was initially developed for service from cruisers at the request of Australia, and was called the Seagull V although there was little resemblance to the earlier Supermarine Seagull III. It was designed to be launched from ship-borne catapults, and was the first amphibious aircraft in the world to be launched by catapult with a full military load.
The lower wings of this biplane were set in the shoulder position with a stabilising float mounted under each one, and its horizontal tail-surfaces were positioned high on the tail-fin. The single Bristol Pegasus VI radial engine was housed in a nacelle slung from the upper wing and powered a four-blade propeller in pusher configuration. The wings could be folded on ship, giving a stowage width of 17 ft 11 in (5.5 m). One of the more unusual characteristics of the aircraft was that the control column was not a fixed fitting in the usual way, but could be unplugged from either of two sockets at floor level. It became a habit for only one column to be in use and when control was passed from the pilot to co-pilot or vice-versa, the control column would simply be unplugged and handed over.As the Walrus was stressed to a level suitable for catapult-launching, rather surprisingly for such an ungainly-looking machine, it could be looped and bunted, whereupon any water in the bilges would make its presence felt. This usually discouraged the pilot from any future aerobatics on this type.
Armament usually consisted of two Vickers K machine guns, with the capability of carrying 760 lb (345 kg) of bombs or depth charges mounted beneath the lower wings.The Royal Australian Air Force ordered 24 examples directly off the drawing boards, under the Seagull V A2 designation, which were delivered for service from cruisers from 1935 followed by orders from the Royal Air Force with the first production Walrus, K5772, flying on 16 March, 1936. It was also hoped to capitalise on the aircrafts successful exports to Japan, Spain, etc.A total of 740 Walrus were built in three major variants: the metal-hulled Seagull V and Walrus I, and the wooden-hulled Walrus II. The Walrus was affectionately known as the Shagbat or sometimes Steam-pigeon the latter name coming from the steam produced by water striking the hot Pegasus engine.
The first Seagull V, A2-1, was handed over to the Royal Australian Air Force in 1935, with the last, A2-24 delivered in 1937 and served aboard the HMA Ships Australia (MTO [Mediterranian Theatre of Operations]), Canberra (MTO, SWPA, lost at Guadalcanal in 1942), Sydney (MTO, SWPA, lost off the coast of Western Australia 1942), Perth and Hobart.Walrus deliveries started in 1936 when the first example to be deployed was with the New Zealand division of the Royal Navy, on HMS Achilles (later a victor of the Battle of the River Plate). By the start of World War II the Walrus was in widespread use, and saw service in home waters, the Mediterranean and the Far East. Walrus are credited with sinking or damaging at least five enemy submarines, while RAF use in home waters was mainly in the air-sea rescue role. One Walrus, HD874, (Restored and exhibited at the RAAF Museum, Point Cook, Victoria) was still in service in 1947 with the Australian Antarctic Expedition.The Irish Air Corps used the Walrus as a maritime patrol aircraft during World War II. One of the Walrus aircraft formerly flown by the Air Corps is preserved, albeit in Royal Navy colours. The aircraft was bought back by the Fleet Air Arm after the war as a training aircraft, and now resides in the RNAS museum in Yeovilton.
General characteristics: Crew: 3-4 Length: 33 ft 7 in (10.2 m) Wingspan: 45 ft 10 in (14.0 m) Height: 15 ft 3 in (4.6 m) Wing area: 610 ft? (56.7 m?) Empty weight: 4,900 lb (2,220 kg) Loaded weight: 7,200 lb (3,265 kg) Powerplant: 1× Bristol Pegasus VI radial engine, 680 hp (510 kW) PerformanceMaximum speed: 135 mph (215 km/h) at 4,750 ft (1,450 m) Range: 600 mi (965 km) Service ceiling 18,500 ft (5,650 m) Rate of climb: 1,050 ft/min (5.3 m/s) Wing loading: 11.8 lb/ft? (57.6 kg/m?) Power/mass: 0.094 hp/lb (0.16 kW/kg) Armament2 x Vickers K machine guns 760 lb (345 kg) of bombs and depth charges "
Last Edit: Jul 23, 2008 13:20:30 GMT 12 by FlyNavy
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 23, 2008 20:48:45 GMT 12
Rubbish, the Walrus was aboard Achilles for the whole war. I know one of the guys who was aboard servicing it in 1941-42. Leander also had one and when they patrolled together they used to have races to launch their aircraft. One day Leander's crew stuffed up and forgot to unfasten it properly, stuffing the aircraft and the rig. They dumped the plane on the beach in PNG. It's possibly still there.
But I know all about the Walrus service on the Achilles, I want to know what type it replaced.
L2222 Walrus Ex HMS Achilles 700 Sqn FAA 03/41. Ex HMNZS Leander in Brisbane 5.4.42. RAAF Rathmines (8.4.42 for inspection), 9Sq (13.4.42), Garden Island Dockyards (12.6.42) to New Zealand in SS Rimutaka (16.6.42) Became NZ151.
A2-1 Seagull V First Flight, 25/06/35. Delivered 09/09/35. HMAS Australia 075 (9.9.35), damaged 26.3.36, Supermarine (31.3.36 for repairs), HMAS Hobart (27.10.38), damaged 15.11.38 Malta, RAAF Richmond (21.12.38), HMAS Canberra (6.2.39), HMAS Richmond (5.5.39), HMAS Canberra (13.7.39). Hit by Taxiing Avro Anson A4-18, 02/39 at Richmond NSW. aboard HMNZS ACHILLES 16/08/42; 20/08/42 flew over restricted area giving Brisbane her first air raid alarm of the war; 10/09/42 catapulted off while ship still doing 24 knots in Hauraki Gulf, starboard wing damaged; disembarked late/42 and then returned to Australia. _______________________
K5774 ? On loan from FAA 1936-1938. Assigned to No. 720 Squadron from October 1936-January 1940 while attached to ships of the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy. Embarked on HMS Achilles in April 1936 and arrived in Auckland on 06 September of that year. The aircraft was catapulted from the ship about an hour before berthing and was flown to Hobsonville. Codes Z-1, Z-2, Z-4. Returned to the United Kingdom on HMS Achilles in 1938. _____________________________
In 1936 organic air power was introduced to New Zealand with HMS ACHILLES and her aircraft; ACHILLES became the first New Zealand ship to conduct regular maritime aviation. Along with HMS LEANDER, these ships operated catapult-launched Walrus fixed wing aircraft, which were stationed at Hobsonville when not embarked. In 1939 HMS ACHILLES was the first New Zealand ship to see action, with her embarked aircraft, at the Battle of the River Plate.
Last Edit: Jul 23, 2008 21:38:26 GMT 12 by FlyNavy
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 23, 2008 21:45:37 GMT 12
You may be right that the previous visit was also a Walrus, but I wonder why the journalist wrote, "The Leander's aircraft, which is caried amidships, is also a more modern and powerful type than the one brought out last year by the Achilles."
The seventh Achilles was a light cruiser of 7030 tons displacement, 554 ft 6 in in length, and 55 ft 3 in in breadth. She was built by Cammell Laird and Company Ltd. at Birkenhead, being laid down on 11 June 1931, launched on 1 September 1932, and completed on 10 October 1933. Her original armament consisted of eight 6-inch and four 4-inch guns, but she was rearmed in 1943–44 with six 6-inch guns, eight 4-inch anti-aircraft guns, and fifteen 40-mm anti-aircraft guns. She also had eight 21-inch torpedo-tubes in two quadruple mountings. She was fitted with geared turbines driving four propeller shafts and developing 72,000 horsepower for a speed of 32 knots. The Achilles was on loan to New Zealand from March 1936 to September 1946.
Last Edit: Jul 23, 2008 21:55:16 GMT 12 by FlyNavy
Osprey The Hawker Osprey was the navalised carrier-borne version of the Hart, performing in the fighter and reconnaissance roles. The Osprey had a single Rolls-Royce Kestrel II engine, and had a max speed of 168mph. Its armament consisted of a single forward .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun and one .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis light machine gun. The Osprey joined the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) in 1932, with just over 100 being built, and ended its career in 1944 after serving as a trainer for FAA pilots during her career in the Second World War. The Osprey was also sold to the Swedish Navy being used on the aircraft cruiser HMS Gotland, which carried six Ospreys. Ospreys were also sold to the air forces of Portugal and Spain.
Osprey I Two-seat fleet spotter and reconnaissance biplane. Power by a 630 hp (470 kW) Rolls-Royce Kestrel IIMS inline piston engine. Osprey II The Osprey Mk II had a different float installation. Osprey III The Osprey Mk III had a dinghy stowed away in the starboard upper wing. Osprey IV Two-seat fleet spotter and reconnaissance biplane. Powered by a Rolls-Royce Kestrel V inline piston engine. __________________
The HMS Ajax and was assigned at that time to the North American and West Indies Squadron. Slightly less than 7000 tons with a crew of 550. Of the Leander Class Cruisers she was the only one to carry two Hawker Osprey spotter planes.
Last Edit: Jul 24, 2008 10:10:14 GMT 12 by FlyNavy
Hawker Osprey III - 1936. According to the variant description above the Osprey IV had the inline engine shown below - not the Osprey III. Maybe the Osprey III had it - I dunno. The photo is from the RAF Museum so they should know - maybe they don't.
Last Edit: Jul 24, 2008 10:12:19 GMT 12 by FlyNavy