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HMS SGB4 Grey Fox.

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Jenn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jenn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 February 2008 at 9:00pm
Thanks Christian.
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David View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 June 2008 at 1:22pm
Dear Jenn

I have a picture of the damaged bow of "Grey Fox" following the action of July 1942 - and quite a lot of other wartime images, including her crew under Peter Mason, who was skipper that night, and which must presumably include your grandfather?

My father was No. 1 of Grey Fox from the day she completed her trials and became her captain soon after D-Day, so he must have known your grandafather very well. You might be able to trace the recommendation for his mention in despatches at the National Archive, Kew - if you gave me his number, rank, initials and surname, etc, I should be happy to undertake a search on your behalf.

Best wishes

David
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Pioneer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pioneer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 June 2008 at 1:38pm
Welcome aboard David
Could you put a couple of your images up here - I'm sure that we would all like to view them - meanwhile enjoy your trip.
Rgds
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David View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 June 2008 at 4:50pm
Hello there and thanks for your message - I will try and get a couple of scans done. Best wishes. David.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MTB07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2008 at 11:08am

Hi jennie

I have a photo of SGB 04 Grey Fox taken after a furious night encounter with six German Mine Sweepers off Etaples along with Grey Wolf. They sank two minesweepers, but a third collided with Grey Fox with such force that everyone on her bridge was thrown on their faces and a huge hole was driven in her hull. Grey Fox struggled home, with bows almost awash, but with only one casualty.

Richard [MTB 07]
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pioneer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2008 at 11:21am
Hello Richard
I had hoped David would place an image up in here - could you oblige?.
If you have any difficulty in reducing the size to 50k - drop a PM and I will try and assist.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2008 at 12:58pm
Hi there,
 
That would be great to see, by coincidence I was at a dinner of business users of the River Medway, and was sat next to the current owner.
 
Johnk
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pioneer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2008 at 3:47pm

Here is a rather murky and blury image of SGB 4 from Richard. Sorry, but I was unable to get it any sharper (owing to pixelation) but the damage can be clearly seen.

Are you sure that it was the owner of Grey Fox (and not Mr Swann who owns the ex Grey Goose) John? 
 
Picture Courtesy of "MTB07"
 


Edited by Pioneer - 30 November 2008 at 3:51pm
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johnk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2008 at 4:37pm
Ah, yes you are quite right, I am getting mixed up, not unusual! Grey Goose, Sir Peter Scotts vessel, sorry about that, need to engage brain next time,
 
Johnk
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2008 at 3:11pm
Dear all

Herewith a picture of damage to "Grey Fox" after her collision with an R-Boat on the night of 9-10 July 1942 - the hole measured 22ft. high and 18ft. wide at upper deck level. Other than the description of the action in Peter Scott's "Battle of the Narrow Seas", there is an excellent account of life aboard "Grey Fox" by Denis White, her Leading Telegraphist, which was published in "The Review" of the Naval Historical Collectors & Research Association (Spring 2002, Vol. 14.4). Herewith, then, some extracts from that account re. the night of 9-10 July:
 


"So far as I remember the almost simultaneous result was a sharp heel to starboard as the ship turned, and a burst of gunfire from our own gunners. This was followed by what my mind registered as an explosion on the port side forward. I was thrown violently out of my seat and against the ship's side. As I picked myself up the ship slowly righted itself and I have an indelible picture on my mind of seeing sea water pouring through the open watertight door in the bulkhead between the galley flat and the wardroom passage through which spare ammunition had been passed. At that precise moment there was no one forward of that bulkhead and by good fortune, or perhaps design, the watertight door closed from forward and as I pulled it together the inrush and water pressure behind it helped to shut it making it easy to knock the clips on. We were well down by the bows and I think fear of sinking was uppermost, but our forward gunner was still firing. Some minutes later the First Lieutenant came down and between us we completed shoring up the bulkhead with timbers kept at the far end of the galley flat for that purpose. I then learned from Lieutenant Erskine-Hill that what I had thought was an explosion was the sound of the German R-Boat as it rammed itself through the ship's side into the wardroom and forward messdeck. It shortly afterwards fell away and sank, leaving a large gash in our bows ... The next couple of hours or so were considerably nerve-wracking, sitting on watch with the ship very much down by the bow and wondering, apprehensively, whether the bulkhead against which I sat would hold. The level of water on the other side could clearly be seen by the condensation line which was somewhere near shoulder high, with the deck of the wireless office awash ... We were apparently wavering sluggishly all over the place but heading slowly in the correct general direction and managed to get within sight of Newhaven under our own steam. However, we could not be trusted to keep a straight course to enter harbour unaided and "Grey Wolf" took us in tied alongside. I do not remember ever being so relieved to get off watch! Daylight revealed what a remarkable escape we had had. Lieutenant Erskine-Hill solved the problem of inspecting the damage by the simple expedient of rowing the dinghy through the hole in the ship's side!".

Hope this and the other photograph of "Grey Fox's" crew of interest - actually a little later in the War when commanded by Tom Boyd (who won the DSO for his part in the St. Nazaire raid), but the line-up includes Denis White (second row, first from left) and my father, Lieutenant John Erskine-Hill (front row, fourth from left), who together had shored-up "Grey Fox's" bulkhead that memorable night. I still have a couple of bits from the R-Boat (metal and wood) saved by my father as souvenirs of the occasion!

Kind regards

David



Edited by Pioneer - 02 December 2008 at 7:37pm
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