civilian workers on yorktown at midway.

every reference i've read about midway has mentioned civilian workers still on yorktown when she hit the waves to the battle. i've always wondered if they
suffered any injuries and if they earned any medals. were they volunteers, or "drafted" into the job? i'm sure if offered a choice, they would have jumped in, but, were they offered a choice? i wonder how many there were and if they had their own post war reunions? the number seems to be a bit flexible. i also wonder about what their special knowledge areas included. i've always marveled at that, kind of like the taxi drivers and the miracle on the marne.
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snipped-for-privacy@some.domain wrote in

Didn't Prince of Wales have civilians on board in the Denmark Straight? Or was that just the movie version?
Frank
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X-No-Archive: yes
grey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Gray Ghost) wrote:

hadn't thought of that one. and i don't know. but i'll google around next insomnia and share what i find.
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grey snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Gray Ghost) wrote:

I just watched "Sinking of the Bismarck" on dvd. A fine flick. And in this movie version, quite a few civilian workers were onboard the HMS Hood and the Hood blew up early on with very few surviors. Other parts of the internet seem to support this as the truth.
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X-No-Archive: yes
(jj) wrote:

2 survivors, i think. i believe one died recently. he got to see the remains close up and personal.
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On 2 July, 21:15, snipped-for-privacy@blarf-fake-not-real.com (jj) wrote:

IIRC, the dockyard workers were on the then-new Prince of Wales, finishing off some jobs - the main turrets were giving trouble, and eventually failed. The Captain of the PoW was played by an actor called Esmond Knight who really had been on the bridge of the PoW during the action, and lost his left eye when a 15" shell passed through (fortunately without detonating). He was totally blind for a couple of years before regaining some sight in his right eye and resuming his acting career. If you ever catch the movie "Robin and Marian", he's the old guy holding the castle at the start "with only half an eye" - that's not prosthetics, that's really an empty eye socket...
Regards,
Moramarth
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X-No-Archive: yes

very cool, thanks.
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Whew, that must *really* have stretched his face LOL
PoW had loads of problems, indeed. But she gave a good account of herself in the end, with that important hit in the bow puncturing a bunker oil tank IIRC.
I think it is too bad she was not incredibly heavily damaged instead of managing to exit the battle shortly afterward, it might have given the Admiralty some thought about how good the protection on the KGV ships really was.

Good actor, I remember the movie.
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: : I think it is too bad she was not incredibly heavily damaged instead of : managing to exit the battle shortly afterward, it might have given the : Admiralty some thought about how good the protection on the KGV ships : really was. :     PoW really had to disengage the action when the flagship was lost - not because the flagship was lost, but PoW could not allow the Prinz Eugen to take potshots at her w/out any return fire.
    Clearly the most important opponent was Bismark, so there really wasn't any option to split fire (and, wasn't PoW's jammed turret X or Y? One of the rear turrets?)
    I think the real tragedy was that the Admiralty did not, apparently, learn anything from the Bismark/Tarantano incident, and decided to send "Force X" to Malaysia w/out the cover of the carrier (Hermes?) once she went aground around Jamica.
    This decision was furthur exacerbated by the Admiral of "Force X" not calling up aircover after they turned back to Malaysia, having not found any landing forces in the area. Granted, they were only Buffalo's, but still...
                            Bruce
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"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
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On 4 July, 04:00, snipped-for-privacy@realtime.net (Bruce Burden) wrote:

Actually, it was pretty good. Maybe not one of the best schemes of the era, but well executed. IIRC, the quality of British and German plate was on par, both slightly superior to US armour, which in turn was of much better quality than Japanese, which wasn't put together that well either. Thickness isn't everything. PoW problems were she was finished in a hurry, and nothing really worked right. Again IIRC, one of the reasons for her loss was that the electrics went out en masse, rather than individual systems being protected. The first torpedo hit bent a prop shaft which kept turning and tore a big hole right into the machinery spaces, a lot of the dynamos went straight away, which took out the pumps and the main 5.25" AA battery. She still stayed afloat longer than the older Repulse which was hit later, and the majority of her crew were saved - her watertight integrity may have been compromised in order to evacuate them.

Only one turret at the back, but I think both Quintuples were a problem - the civilian workers were from Vickers Armstrong, not Cammell Laird, who built the ship. The KGVs were originally intended to have three quintuple 14" turrets for a 12 gun broadside, but "B" was reduced to a twin to save weight for protection. British machinery hadn't evolved as far as US equivalents and took up a greater proportion of displacement, leaving less weight for armament and protection, but was rugged, reliable, and usually capable of finding a little bit extra when needed (e.g. HMAS Sydney running down the theoretically much faster Giovanni della Banda Nere, or HMS Cumberland's transit from the Falklands to the River Plate to support Harewood's squadron - I think that remains the record for a sustained high speed run; I don't doubt the modern US CVNs couldn't beat it, but they won't go anywhere without their escort group, who collectively can't)

Indomitable, IIRC. Probably a bit of luck, we'd just have lost a new carrier as well, although even Fulmars would have been effective against the aircraft attacking "Force Z". "Hermes" was lost some months later.

Yes, Tom Phillips was a "Big Gun" Admiral, although lack of appreciation of air cover wasn't that uncommon at that period - c.f. the actions of the Captain of the Glorious at an earlier date. But the RN has always (rightly) got on with the job with the resources to hand, and taken the knocks - the evacuation of Crete being one example. ISTR PoW's Captain, John Leach, was less blas about their chances, going by an account of their last meeting shortly before "Force Z" sailed, given by his son on TV once. Fortunately, the son also continued to believe the job should be done, regardless of adequate air power. In 1982 the First Sea Lord, Sir Henry Leach, was instrumental in convincing Margaret Thatcher a Task Force should be sent to the Falklands, even if it could only be defended by a handful of Sea Harriers...

Regards,
Moramarth
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: : and protection, but was rugged, reliable, and usually capable of : finding a little bit extra when needed (e.g. HMAS Sydney running down : the theoretically much faster Giovanni della Banda Nere, :     Was Sydney designed/built specifically for the Ausies? Reason I am asking is the Dutch designed much of their East Indies fleet with an eye to specific conditions for the Western/South Pacific, namely, much larger heat exchangers, to cope with the comparatively warmer waters of the Pacific vs the N. Atlantic. : : Indomitable, IIRC. Probably a bit of luck, we'd just have lost a new : carrier as well, although even Fulmars would have been effective : against the aircraft attacking "Force Z". :     My main problem was that "Force Z" (sorry) was supposed to be a disincentive for the Japanese. From the point of view, it was a complete failire, due to the British government (Churchill) failing to learn and apply the lessons of Tarantano and the Bismark. I can't criticise the Admiralty for following the orders of their overlords. : : ISTR PoW's Captain, John Leach, was less blase about their : chances, going by an account of their last meeting shortly before : "Force Z" sailed, given by his son on TV once. :     Was Leach also the Capitan during the action with the Bismack? I recall that the PoW was made something of a pariah by the common sailors of the RN, although with the discovery of the wreckage of the Hood, it was clear that everything had been done correctly in that engagement, and Hood just had the damnable luck to be hit when she was. : : adequate air power. In 1982 the First Sea Lord, Sir Henry Leach, was : instrumental in convincing Margaret Thatcher a Task Force should be : sent to the Falklands, even if it could only be defended by a handful : of Sea Harriers... :     While I understand what you are saying, I am not sure that it is the same thing. The Argentines did not have any loiter time around the islands, which was a far cry from Force Z and all of the Japanese land based airpower available. But, I will have to allow that Western powers may well have been ignorant of that fact, given the pretty ugly stereotyping that was common at the time.
    Clearly, the Gallahad(?) incident and a couple of others tell us that _any_ opportunity can be enough, unfortunately.
    Speaking of which, didn't I read something about the Argentina making noises about the Malvinas once again?
                            Bruce
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"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
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On 5 July, 04:07, snipped-for-privacy@realtime.net (Bruce Burden) wrote:

Oops, my bad: it was the Bartolomeo Colleoni that was sunk, Bande Nere escaped...

Although the three Australian ships were a modification of the "Leander" Class, AFAIK the modifications weren't specifically for that duty, merely a rearrangemrnt of boiler and machinery spaces to make them less vulnerable to damage. Indeed, the first two (HMASs Perth and Hobart) were originally HMSs Amphion ans Apollo, with only Sydney recieving her Australian name before commisioning (she was to have been HMS Phaeton). The redesigned hull was scaled down for the Arethusa class, which in turn was used as a basis for the Didos.

IIRC, the Admiralty argued long and hard against "Force Z" being deployed, but Churchill was intrangisent. Politically, he had to take account of colonial sensibilities, primarily those of the Australians, but he does seem to have had a lifelond misunderstanding of the realities of naval (and amphibious) warfare...

Yes, due to her short life she only had one captain. Leach was one of only three survivors (of 16) of the hit on the compass platform, and the only one not seriously injured. I was wrong in that the 15" brick did explode, but only after passing through - it would have been fused to detonate inside armour.

Not just the common sailors, Dudly Pound wanted to court-martial Leach (and Wake-Walker) for breaking off the action, but John Tovey threatened to resign and appear for the defence if this happened. although with the discovery of the wreckage of

That wasn't certain when the Task Force sailed: it was expected there would be airpower operating from Port Stanley Airport (hence the "Black Buck" missions), and also "25 de Mayo"s air group (A4s, even if the Super Entendards weren't ready) to worry about. It took a certain amount of character for Sir Henry to be such a forceful advocate for the sending of the Task force considering how his father's fate must have weighed on him. which was a far cry from Force Z and all of

Phillips certainly was of the opinion Japanese forces weren't up to much, and no-one had any idea of the superiority of the aircraft the Japanese were then deploying. However, of the around 90 aircraft attacking "Force Z", nearly half were high-level bombers which were pretty much ineffective, but the torpedo bombers hit with 6 or 8 of the nearly 50 expended. Repulse dodged 19 torpedos before she was caught between two groups attacking from different directions, while even PoW only collected three more after the first crippling hit.

True, but it's interesting that apart from "Sheffield" and "Atlantic Conveyor", all the other sinkings were of ships close inshore and under direct observation by Argentine ground forces (delayed action in the case of Antelope).

I wouldn't be surprised, I understand the current President is having domestic problems...

Regards,
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Interestingly, I know when Shinano was sunk by the US submarine, a lot of the casualties were Japanese and Korean dockyard workers, with a scattering of IJN personnel. Don't know if there were any other losses with this casualty mix, say since WWII.
Usually ships aren't moved that far for a refit and further build. The war was pretty much lost at this point by the Japanese but it would have been interesting to posit how a loss of specialized trades early in a conflict would have hurt one side in a conflict.
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X-No-Archive: yes

could have been a major effect.
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snipped-for-privacy@some.domain wrote:

Modern time observation, but I know my cousin that was stationed on USS Constellation during the 80s mentioned that there were always civilians on the ship - factory reps, technical advisers, and such - while he was afloat.
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X-No-Archive: yes

i wonder what the war time policy is, or even if it's different.
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snipped-for-privacy@some.domain wrote:

I got another friend at work who says he's been on the boat during peacetime and during wartime (Gulf War 1) and there's no diff.
I know that post WWII the relationship between civilian industry and the USN grew much tighter - the advent of the nuc-Navy may have been somewhat responsible for that, I dunno - or what previuos operational policy may have been. But I have observed that Civvies working alongside uniformed Navy personnel is pretty common at most/all times. Other branches may vary.
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X-No-Archive: yes

i bet the sub safe program really got the two sides together and really made a difference in quality. too bad the reasons for it were very expensive in lives.
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snipped-for-privacy@some.domain wrote:

..."unfortunately, most safety procedures are written in blood"...that's what the skipper had to say after we lost one of our officers in a SAR training accident. Helo blade struck the side of a cliff and came through the cabin and took the guy out - also lost one of the enlisted crew.
Now they train different. But I still had to stand under a missing-man flyover...for a guy I knew and worked beside for about three years. And I also (and still) know the mishap pilot. He wanted to turn in his wings then and there, but the guys wouldn't let him. He eventually went Civvie, but still flies I think.
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X-No-Archive: yes

some people can understand the act-of-god thing in accidents and some have to eat all the grief. no one wins but some survive. sounds kind of cold but that's the way it is.
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