21 May 2024 Military Aviation » Naval Aviation » UK » Fencer  

HMS Fencer


Voyage between 10.08.46 – 12.09.46.

Chatham – Gib & Malta – Port Said, Egypt and return.

10th August.

The aircraft carrier sailed at 11:00 with 143 passengers, including 9 dockyard workers, 28 Maltese and Gibraltese Scouts and 17 school boys.

At 15:00, while uncomfortably close to Goodwin Sands in wind force 7, overheating of a plummer block was found to be overheating.

Reducing speed to slow, the ship made way to Spithead for a proper examination and any necessary repairs.

11th – 13th August.

The ship anchored at Spithead at noon, and examination of the hot bearing found that it had been “wiped”. Continuous work on repairing the bearing enable the ship to sail at 10:00 on the 12th. Bad weather was experienced for several days, resulting in severe seasickness.

15th – 16th August.

The ship anchored off Gibraltar at 15:45. 15 passengers were disembarked and another 4 taken on. A day’s outing was arranged for the schoolboys, whilst the Maltese Scouts were looked after by their local colleagues. Leave was granted to all hands.

Unfortunately, two passenger stokers, aged 18 and 19, were arrested by the police and sentenced to one and two months hard labour by the civil court.

The ships’ captain considered the sentences as sever, on the grounds that the assaults were of a minor nature, and this was their first offence, as far as was known. On the other hand there had been a number of such assaults, and the harsh sentences were presumably given to serve as a warning.

Fencer” sailed for Malta on the 16th at 23:00hrs.

19th – 27th August.

Ship entered Grand Harbour at 13:30 hrs. It was learned that passengers that were to be picked up weren’t ready, and the ship was to spend six days in harbour, experiencing an August heat wave. (webmaster’s note: Not uncommon for August.)

On the 26th, the carrier sailed to Marsaxlokk harbour to embark three Sea Otters and some spare wings.

Fencer” sailed for Port Said on the 27th, returning to Malta on the 31st at 17:30hrs, arriving at Malta’s Grand Harbour at 07:30 on 3rd September.

Departure from Malta unknown, but arrived at Gibraltar on 7th September, sailing for the UK later at 23:00hrs, arriving at Plymouth on the 10th, Portsmouth on the 11th, Sheerness on the 2th.

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