Comet 1910 HMS - Destroyer

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E28
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COMET. Sank 6th August 1918.

Post by E28 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:03 pm

It is remarkable how, even with the best intentions, the loss of a ship can be mis reported.

In the case of the H class, previously Acorn class destroyer Comet her loss on this date , Tuesday 6th August 1918 is more the remarkable due to the official and primary papers held.

So, did the Comet sink.
Or was the Comet sunk.
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E28
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Re: COMET. Sank 6th August 1918.

Post by E28 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:05 am

On Sunday, 4th August 1918, "COMET", escorting S.S. "GORDONIA" to Taranto from Malta was damaged by collision with that vessel in position 37.43 N. 17.37 E., and was unable to steam.
At 1300, she was taken in tow by French Armed Trawler "RICHELIEU", and at 1630 "WARREGO" arrived and took her in tow in position 37.50 N. 17.50E.
"COMET" then had stern awash up to after Engine Room Bulkhead and was unable to move propellers; eventually her stern dropped off. (sic)

That dated 9th August 1918, letter from Commodore Commanding, British Adriatic Force.

The collision happened mid way on this trip, 210 miles, 050 degrees from Malta, 90 miles 100 degrees from Cape Spartivento, Italy.


The following is from Comet at the time.

Regret to report HMS Comet in collision 37.48 N. 17.46 E. Serious damage done to stern large portion which has dropped off.
After engine room bulkhead intact and HMS Comet being towed direct to Malta escorted by HMAS Warrego and 2 Italian destroyers. (sic)
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E28
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Re: COMET. Sank 6th August 1918.

Post by E28 » Thu May 05, 2011 8:25 pm

With Comet badly holed on the stbd side, the stern could very soon fall off as water filled her compartments as far fwd as the engine room bulkhead, and she began to settle deeper by the stern.

There was a more pressing issue when it was realised the hydraulic release for a depth charge was still set to fire.
Unfortunately it was still hanging from the damaged stern, 15' under water.
Rendering it safe involved super human efforts by two men, diving under the damaged stern to render the primer safe.
This was an immensely hazardous undertaking, which should the charge explode, would kill both men instantly, and probably sink Comet, with further loss of life.

The work was undertaken by the CO of Comet, Commander Henry de Beauvoir Tupper, RN, assisted by A/B Edward Spalding, who not only volunteered, but was not a crew member, but taking passage on board.

For their joint actions on the 4th Aug 1918, the King was graciously pleased to approve the award of the Albert Medal for gallantry in saving life at sea, gazetted 21 Feb 1919.
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E28
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Re: COMET. Sank 6th August 1918.

Post by E28 » Sat May 07, 2011 11:15 am

scan0001.jpg
Comet is shown here during the year preceeding the Great war.
Built as 1 of the 20 Acorn class, all RN destroyer classes and types were re classified in Sept 1913, these now became the new H class.
These were the 1st destroyers to introduce funnel bands, and Comet had 1 red on her fore and middle funnel and none on her 3rd, just visible.
The H denotes her class only, this all pre dating the Pendant numbering system, when Comet then carried H.25 through to 1916, and then nothing.
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Re: COMET. Sank 6th August 1918.

Post by E28 » Tue May 10, 2011 7:55 pm

S.S. Gordonia.

Builder - John Readhead & Sons, South Shields, years active 1888-1909.
Yard no - 405
Launched - XX-ANY-1908
6720 dwt, XXXft x XXft x XXft
Propulsion NK, 7.5 knots, 20 tons coal day.
Single deck.
Built for the Gordon Steamship Co, Gordon Steam Shipping Co of London.
Renamed 1919 - Redgate.
Sold 1919 to Redgate S.S. Co Ltd formed 1919 as part of Turnbull Scott Shipping Co. (?)

Apologies if this a little scant, trade ships are not my area.

Further details added by George 23/06/11
3860grt
later names
1919 REDGATE
1929 EIRINI N. RALEA
1938 SANTIAGO
Broken up at Troon arrived 01/1953.
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Woody
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Comet 1910 HMS - Destroyer

Post by Woody » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:23 pm

HMS Comet
Destroyer, Acorn Class – H.25
Laid down 1/2/1910 and launched by Fairfield Govan, Yard No 472, on 23/6/1910. Sunk 6/8/1918 in the Mediterranean.
772t normal, 970t deep load
75m x 7.7m x 2.6m
3 shaft Parsons Turbines, 4 Yarrow boilers, oil, 13,500shp giving 27 knots.
2 x 4in BL Mk VIII, 2 x 12pdr 12 cwt and 2 x 21in TTs.
Crew 72

Completed 12/1/1911 and joined the Second Flotilla (the class replacing the Rivers)
The 2nd DF became part of the Grand Fleet from August 1914 to the spring of 1916. From 1915 they were sent out to the Mediterranean in batches over the next three years until all the survivors were there by 1918.
6/8/1918 Sunk in the Mediterranean. The common account is that she was torpedoed by an Austrian submarine but no submarine has claimed her sinking. She is also reported to have been lost in a collision with the SS Gordonia, while escorting her to Malta, with the loss of 4 lives.
See E.48’s comments
Attachments
C1 Comet.jpg
C2 Comet dressed.jpg

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Woody
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Re: Comet 1910 HMS - Destroyer

Post by Woody » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:38 am

Acorn Class
Also known later as the H Class
20 were built, 9 of them on the Clyde
1914-15 they formed the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
At some stage they were fitted with an AA gun and depth charges

See also:

Acorn: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=11588

Alarm: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=12926

Brisk: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=13347

Cameleon: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=10709

Fury: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=9583

Goldfinch: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=11719

Sheldrake: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=6767

Staunch: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=14807
Attachments
C H Class LD.JPG
Line drawing of the Acorn Class

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