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Huberht Taylor Hudson 1886 – 1942 – Mystery Q-ships

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Huberht Taylor Hudson 1886 – 1942 – Mystery Q-ships

Postby aukepalmhof » Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:14 pm

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Huberht Taylor Hudson 1886 – 1942 – Mystery Q-ships

Hudson was a navigating officer in the Royal Navy who took part in the Endurance expedition as a mate. Able to turn his hand to many skills, Hudson proved an invaluable team member due to his ability to catch penguins for food whilst the party was trapped in the ice. The trials of the expedition took its toll on Hudson and by the time the party were rescued from Elephant Island he was in poor mental and physical health.
Nevertheless, Hudson also signed up to help the war effort and served on the ‘Mystery Q-ships’. These heavily armed merchant vessels had concealed weaponry and were designed as decoy vessels to lure enemy submarines into making surface attacks. Hudson survived WWI and such was his sense of duty that he later served in WWII as a Royal Navy Reserve Commodore when in 1942 he died when his vessel PELAYO built in 1927 was torpedoed by U-552. ... ng-heroes/

Of the Q ships you can find on the internet a lot of information, the vessel depict on the stamp is the HMS STOCK FORCE, I could not find of Mr. Hudson had been a crew member on that ship. There were many Q ships during World War I.

Q- Ships
1914 - 3 ships entered service
1915 - 29 ships entered service.
9 Q-ships lost. 2 U-boats destroyed by the South West boat Baralong
1916 - 41 ships entered service.
11 Q-ships lost
1917 - 95 ships entered service.
23 Q-ships lost. 6 U-boats destroyed. South West boat Penshurst sunk two U-boats
1918 - 25 ships entered service.
1 Q-ship lost
Total - 193 Q-ships in service.
44 Q-ships lost. 15 U-boats destroyed ... dwar.shtml

The STOCK FORCE was built as a coaster under yard No 273 by Dundee Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Dundee for the West Coast Shipping Co. Ltd., managed by W.S. Kennaugh and Co.
Launched as STOCK FORCE.
Tonnage 731.51 grt, 361.52 nrt, dim. 55.57 (bpp) x 8.83 x 3.60m.
Powered by one 3-cyl triple expansion steam engine manufactured by Earle’s Co. Ltd, Hull, 650 ihp, one shaft, speed 10.5 knots.
28 February 1917 registered in Whitehaven, Cumbria under the name STOCK FORCE.

February 1918 was she hired as a decoy ship by the British Admiralty and fitted out with 2 – 4 inch and 1 -12pdr. guns.
It looks that she has carried also the name CHARYCE as a Q-ship but when renamed I can’t find it.
30 June 1918 she sank under the name STOCK FORCE after she was torpedoed by the German UB-80 in position 49 48N 03 53 W.
The U-boot did not sink as given below but was after the war scrapped in Italy.
The crew of the STOCK FORCE was rescued.

At the end of July 1918, the British Royal Navy vessel HMS STOCK FORCE was under the command of Lieutenant Harold Auten of the Royal Navy Reserve. HMS STOCK FORCE was a ‘Q-Ship’, a heavily armed ship designed to look like a weak merchant vessel. The Royal Navy's use of Q-ships was begun in response to pressure put on Allied shipping by the German U-boats. The submarine U-boats were very effective and were near impossible to engage unless they surfaced, so the job of Q-boats was to draw the enemy into an engagement by a false display of weakness, whereupon their hidden armaments could be unleashed.

HMS STOCK FORCE succeeded in her purpose on July 30th, 1918, some four months before armistice was declared and the war ended. At 5 pm, she was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the English Channel, 25 nautical miles from the coast of Devon.
The torpedo hit the forward section of the innocuous-looking steamer, and the explosion sent a great quantity of debris high into the air. A number of officers and men were injured, and the forward gun battery was put out of action. The damaged bow began to settle into the water.

Below decks, the ship’s doctor, Surgeon Probationer G.E. Strahan, worked waist deep in saltwater as the wounded were hurried to him.

Part of the Q-ship’s decoy tactic was to deploy what was known as a “panic party”. This was a group of men whose job it was to make a show of abandoning ship, thereby drawing the enemy U-boat into surfacing to finish the job.
HMS STOCK FORCE‘s “panic party” was duly deployed, under the command of a Lieutenant Workman, who had already sustained an injury in the initial strike. In small boats, he and his men commenced rowing away from their damaged ship. Half a mile away the threatening shape of the German submarine rose to the surface.

The captain, Lieutenant Harold Auten, remained at his post. The crews of the HMS STOCK FORCE‘s two undamaged guns stayed hidden. For about a quarter of an hour, all was quiet. In the shattered bow, one member of the gun crew lay trapped under the wreck of the foremost gun. The water was rising around him, but he and the rest of the crew knew that any attempted rescue would risk shattering the illusion which they had so far successfully maintained.
He lay quietly, bravely accepting his fate. The crew of the submarine was wary of a trap, but as they watched the foundering Q-ship they could see nothing to suggest that she was anything other than what she seemed – a fat supply vessel and easy prey for the shells of a powerful U-boat.
When the small boats which had fled the ship were seen to change course and row back toward HMS STOCK FORCE, the submarine captain gave the order to close in. Slowly he brought his vessel toward his seemingly helpless enemy until they were only three hundred yards apart.
Still, Lieutenant Auten did not give the order to fire. The submarine drew along the port side of the stricken vessel, but only when it was perfectly aligned into the range of both of HMS STOCK FORCE‘s surviving guns did Lieutenant Harold Auten finally break his cover and give the order to open fire. It was a full forty minutes since the initial torpedo strike.

Lieutenant Auten was 27 years of age in July of 1918. Usually, he was known as a pleasant fellow with a welcoming manner and an easy smile, but he was not smiling now. His mouth was set, and his eyes were hard as he watched the efficient destruction which his hidden guns now wreaked upon the German submarine. HMS STOCK FORCE fired once, twice, three times. The hunter became the hunted, the predator became prey.
The first shot from HMS STOCK FORCE destroyed one of the U-boat’s periscopes, and the second hit its raised command tower, blowing it apart and sending body of the man inside flying far into the air. The third shot ripped into the hull of the submarine where it emerged from the water.
The sea poured in through the gaping hole at the submarine’s waterline. Unable to retaliate, the U-boat’s bow lifted up out of the water as the stern sank back. The gunners on the STOCK FORCE pounded a relentless barrage of shells into the sinking vessel, until at last, it disappeared beneath the waves, defeated.

t took nearly four hours for HMS STOCK FORCE to succumb to the incredible damage sustained in the initial torpedo attack. Her crew worked flat out to keep her afloat while they awaited rescue, which arrived at last in the form of a trawler and two torpedo boats. As the rescued men looked on, their damaged ship finally went down with her colors flying proudly, victorious.
The gunner trapped beneath the wreck of the forward gun had been rescued, near to drowning, and was lauded for his bravery when the engagement was reported on some months later.
The captain, Lieutenant Auten, had behaved coolly and sensibly throughout the action and had achieved victory by combining all the potential of the Q-boat’s subterfuge tactics with his own bravery and that of his crew. The Q-boats were a closely guarded secret during the war, and so when Lieutenant Auten was honored with the Victoria Cross, soon after the action and with the war still ongoing, very little detail was given out about the reasons for the award.
His reputation grew after the war, though. He wrote a book about the Q-boats and even starred in a silent film about the STOCK FORCE, in which he played himself. He returned to the Royal Navy to serve in World War II where he again gave distinguished service.

He survived the conflict and went on to live in peace in the United States, where he died in 1964 at the very respectable age of 73. ... -copy.html and various internet sites.
South Georgia & Sandwich Islands 2020 £1.05 sg?, scott?
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