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#789501 - 26th Apr 2013 1:02pm Thetis/Thunderbolt
rocks Offline

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Registered: 2nd Apr 2011
Posts: 6654
Loc: 3/4 of the way there....
iv just found this very informative web page with lots of clicky photos

http://www.cyber-heritage.co.uk/thetis/subs.htm
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#789513 - 26th Apr 2013 2:01pm Re: Thetis/Thunderbolt [Re: rocks]
Pinzgauer
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Excellent link. Thanks rocks.

I think the location to contact should read "Gwespyr", not "Gwespye".

I read the original book "The Admiralty Regrets...". No punches pulled. Highlighted the total cock-up of "The System" back in those days. I look forward to reading the revised edition.

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#789529 - 26th Apr 2013 2:40pm Re: Thetis/Thunderbolt [Re: rocks]
rocks Offline

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Registered: 2nd Apr 2011
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Loc: 3/4 of the way there....
i was talking to a couple of old chaps at the top of the priory tower last week and one of them mentioned that a phone call was made to someone at the top about the disaster and the reply was "never mind the men save the sub" very sad story
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#789537 - 26th Apr 2013 2:56pm Re: Thetis/Thunderbolt [Re: rocks]
Gibbo Online   content
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Registered: 27th Dec 2010
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Not wishing to be negative, but its very badly written.

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#789540 - 26th Apr 2013 3:17pm Re: Thetis/Thunderbolt [Re: rocks]
CVCVCV Offline
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Registered: 4th May 2010
Posts: 1452
Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
My late uncle, LIEUT. Roy L. Bird, R.N.R., served in Thunderbolt.

He's pictured in the Skull & Crossbones flag photo. He was responsible for navigation and they say that he had this incredible knack for dead-reckoning, always somehow getting them right where they needed to be, right when they needed to be there... apart from that, they say he spent most of his time sleeping!

After many successful sorties including a couple of special missions related to manned torpedoes, he was erroneously sent to the U.S.A. to collect a ship, otherwise he'd have been on board on her last fateful trip to the Med. No-one knows whether he would have made a difference, or would he have been killed too.

He did survive the War, to become Harbour Master in Singapore and eventually retired with his family to New Zealand.

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#789559 - 26th Apr 2013 4:58pm Re: Thetis/Thunderbolt [Re: rocks]
rocks Offline

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Registered: 2nd Apr 2011
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thanks for sharing that CVCVCV and have you seen this particular photo of your uncle before?
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#790366 - 29th Apr 2013 3:03pm Re: Thetis/Thunderbolt [Re: rocks]
CVCVCV Offline
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Registered: 4th May 2010
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Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
YW Rocks

Yes I do have a copy of that very photo - I managed to purchase a high-res copy of it from the Imperial War Museum.

I had to learn what all the symbols on their Jolly Roger flag stood for:

Bar : Enemy ship sunk (by torpedo)
Bar with -U-: Enemy U-Boat sunk
Crossed cannon barrels, each star = Target destroyed by Gun-fire.
Daggers (in bottom r/h corner): signify "Cloak and Dagger" operations (secret missions). (In Thunderbolt's case 2 daggers were to do with "manned torpedo" attacks, I understand).

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#790373 - 29th Apr 2013 3:30pm Re: Thetis/Thunderbolt [Re: rocks]
CVCVCV Offline
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Registered: 4th May 2010
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Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
From : www.submarine-museum.co.uk
HMS Thunderbolt
14 March 1943
Depth charged off Sicily by Italian Corvette "Cicogna".

At 2210 on Friday 12th March the Italian merchant ship Esterel was torpedoed two miles north of Capo San Vito. Following the attack the torpedo boat Libra was ordered to seek out the submarine responsible - HMS Thunderbolt. The Libra made contact with the Thunderbolt that night and carried out seven depth charge attacks with no result. On Sunday 14th March the Italian corvette Cicogna obtained a contact and shortly after 0734 a periscope was sighted 2000 yards off the corvette’s bow. At 0845 the periscope was again sighted, this time less than 10 feet away. Depth charges were launched at once and the corvette increased it speed and turned for another attack when an explosion lifted the submarine’s stern out of the sea at an angle of 90 degrees. The submarine sank through a discharge of air and oil. A further two depth charges were dropped resulting in air bubbles, oil and smoke appearing on the surface were the submarine had sunk. The Cicogna remained on station for an hour but no further contact was made.

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#790385 - 29th Apr 2013 3:55pm Re: Thetis/Thunderbolt [Re: rocks]
rocks Offline

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Registered: 2nd Apr 2011
Posts: 6654
Loc: 3/4 of the way there....
thanks for the extra info and also for the meanings of the flag, i had no idea they had meanings, as the saying goes "you learn something new every day" smile
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#790507 - 29th Apr 2013 8:01pm Re: Thetis/Thunderbolt [Re: rocks]
CVCVCV Offline
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Registered: 4th May 2010
Posts: 1452
Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
You're very welcome; I only wish I'd known my uncle before he died - I only learned about his WW2 story long after... I guess that the ones who actually lived through it didn't feel the need to tell everyone and just took it as read... "survivors' guilt" may play a part in that, I could well imagine...


Edited by CVCVCV (29th Apr 2013 8:01pm)

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#790515 - 29th Apr 2013 8:13pm Re: Thetis/Thunderbolt [Re: rocks]
rocks Offline

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Registered: 2nd Apr 2011
Posts: 6654
Loc: 3/4 of the way there....
you maybe right as my grandad couldnt even watch a war film he couldnt even watch the Lassie film were the dog was in the war frown i remember being a child and my mother telling me to never ask grandad about the war its too upsetting for him
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