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Postby aukepalmhof » Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:51 pm

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HMS ROTHER (K 224) on Christmas Island 1995, Mi 412 45 c

The following write up I received from Mr. Erhard Jung.

A frigate of the British River class, built under yard No 1099 by Smiths Dock Co., Ltd. (South Bank-on-Tees, U.K.)
57 Of this class were launched on British yards, 70 in Canada and 12 in Australia.

26 Jun, 1941 laid down.
20 Nov, 1941 launched under the name HMS ROTHER (K 224)
Displacement 1.445 standard, 2.180 full load. Dim. 91.84 x 11.18 x 3.89m. (draught).
Powered by two triple expansion steam engines, 5.400 ihp., steam was delivered by two Admiralty 3-drum type boilers, twin shafts, providing a top speed of 20 knots.
Armament 2 – 4 inch, up to 16 – 20mm AA guns, later in the war, one Hedgehog multiple spigot mortar. Carried 200 depth charges.
Complement 140.
03 April 1942 commissioned. ... R&offset=0

On 31 March 1942 a Japanese fleet of 9 vessels arrived off Christmas Island and the island surrendered.
A Japanese naval brigade, phosphate engineers and 700 marines came ashore and rounded up the workforce, most of whom had fled to the jungle. Sabotaged equipment was repaired and preparations were made to resume the mining and export of phosphate.
Isolated acts of sabotage and the torpedoing of the NISSEI MARU at the wharf on 17 November 1942 meant that only small amounts of phosphate were exported to Japan during the occupation. In November 1943, over 60% of the Island's population was evacuated to Surabayan prison camps, leaving of total population of just under 500 Chinese and Malays and 15 Japanese to survive as best they could.
On 18 October 1945 HMS ROTHER brought a marine detachement which re-occupied Christmas Island.
Notable events involving ROTHER include:
12 Jul, 1942
HMS ROTHER (Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR) picks up 3 survivors from the British merchant PORT HUNTER that was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-582 west of Madeira in position 31º00'N, 24º00'W.
23 Aug, 1943
On the 23rd August 1943 the 40th Escort Group (Cdr. Dallison), consisting of the sloops HMS LANDGUARD, HMS BIDEFORD, HMS HASTINGS and the frigates HMS EXE, HMS MOYOLA and HMS WAVENEY were deployed on a u-boat hunt off Cape Ortegal. The whole operation was covered by the British light cruiser HMS BERMUDA.
On the 25th August the Canadian 5th Support Group (Cdr. Tweed), consisting of the British frigates HMS NENE, HMS TWEED and the Canadian corvettes HMCS CALGARY, HMCS EDMUNDSTON and HMCS SNOWBERRY were deployed to relieve the 40th Escort Group. While this was in progress the ships were attacked at 1415 hrs by 14 Dornier Do-217's and 7 Ju-88's. With the new German weapon, the Henschel Glider Bombs, (the "Hs293 A-1"). Designed by the German Professor Herbert Wagner. HMS LANDGUARD and HMS BIDEFORD were the first of the Allied and R.N. ships to be attacked and damaged by them. This being the first time of their being brought into action against Allied ships. Several sailors were injured on HMS BIDEFORD and one sailor was killed.
Another two days later on the 27th August 1943 the Canadian 5th Support group was relieved by the 1st Support group (Cdr. Brewer) consisting of the sloops HMS PELICAN, HMS EGRET and the frigates HMS JED, HMS ROTHER, HMS SPEY and HMS EVENLODE. Also the covering cruiser HMS Bermuda was relieved by the Canadian destroyer HMCS ATHABASKAN and the British destroyer HMS GRENVILLE. These ships were also attacked by the Germans. This time with 18 Dornier Do-217’s also carrying Henschel Glider Bombs. HMCS ATHABASKAN was heavily damaged and HMS EGRET was sunk with the loss of 194 of her crew. After this loss the u-boat hunt was blown off.
HMS PELICAN (S.O), HMS SPEY, HMS LOWESTOFT, HMS ROTHER and HMS ERNE were originally detailed as escorts for Convoy OS.33. However, HMS ERNE, which was fitted with HF/DF, did not sail as she had insufficient practice and was not considered to be efficient. Also, two French vessels, FS LÉOPARD (from Greenock) and FS COMMANDANT DU BOC (from Londonderry) were ordered to accompany the convoy to Freetown partly to act as additional support but also to obtain data on their endurance figures and fuel consumption at economic speed.
The escorts performed well as far as protecting the convoy was concerned and no losses were sustained by the merchant fleet while under their protection. For example, the formation reported on July 11 was FS LÉOPARD and HMS PELICAN, 7 miles and 2 miles ahead of the convoy respectively. HMS SPEY and HMS ROTHER, 7 miles on the port and starboard beam and HMS LOWESTOFT and FS COMMANDANT DU BOC, 2.5 miles on the port and starboard bow.
However, on July 12, 1942 in position 31.46N, 23.19W, FS LÉOPARD collided with HMS LOWESTOFT causing serious damage. HMS LOWESTOFT was holed in the forward boiler room so that the main engine was unworkable and even lost her funnel. LÉOPARD, with only 2.5 days of fuel remaining, took LOWESTOFT in tow and together they departed, making for the Azores.
HMS JONQUIL was then ordered to provide additional support and joined the escorts on July 14. Also, HMS PENN and HMS QUENTIN were ordered to rendezvous with the convoy and arrived July 15, 1942 so that the convoy remained well protected.
A number of attacks were carried out on the U-boats over the period of July 11 to July 14 but only one was successful; that carried out on U-136 on July 11, 1942 by HMS PELICAN. A copy of form 1203 (Report of attack on U-Boat) submitted by Commander Boyes Smith of HMS SPEY can be seen ... ainframe33

1945 Decommissioned, and put in reserve first at Harwich, later at Barrow-on-Furness
22 April 1955 arrived at the breakers yard of West of Scotland Ship Breaking Co., Troon.

Christmas Islands 1995 45c sg408, scott373b

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