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Lend-Lease Sherman To Be Recovered From North Sea


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#1 Roman Alymov

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 1241 PM

Russian Navy (North Fleet) working on recovery of Sherman tank(s) from US ship Tomas Donaldson (?) near Kildin iland.

Murmansk TV report http://tv21.ru/news/...7/?newsid=70954


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#2 Marek Tucan

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 1321 PM

Interesting, I wish them luck!

Kildin Island... Unless my Google-Fu fails, it is an island right off the mouth of the Murmansk bay, right? How did the ship sink? Air raid or mine?
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#3 Roman Alymov

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 1420 PM

I How did the ship sink? Air raid or mine?

The veteran in the video (Head of Polar convoys society) said the ship was running under own power but getting water – he is not saying why, probably due to damages from previous attacks. So it sunk faster than reached Murmansk.

    Tank recovered

%28140720220840%29_TXNI7JfQ6e0.jpg

 

%28140720220516%29_hBfzP3xG9H4.jpg


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#4 MiloMorai

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 1428 PM

The Thomas Donaldon (Master Robert Headden) was the twentieth ship as the convoy formed into one column to enter Kola Inlet and was hit at 13.15 hours on the starboard side by one torpedo about 20 miles from the mouth of Kola Inlet. The torpedo struck the engine room, killed one officer and two crewmen on watch below and destroyed the engines. Due to her dangerous cargo the master ordered the crew of eight officers, 34 crewmen and 27 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) to abandon ship after 10 minutes. The most left in the two port lifeboats and a raft and were picked up by HMS Bamborough Castle (K 412) (T/Lt M.S. Work, DSC and Bar, RNR), while others jumped overboard and were picked up by HMS Oxlip (K 123) (T/Lt J.K. Craig, RNVR). One man died after being rescued. The master and eight crew members remained aboard and were later taken off by HMS Honeysuckle (K 27) (T/Lt J.A. Wright, RNR), which took the ship in tow toward Kola Inlet. At 16.30 hours, a Soviet tug took over the tow but the Thomas Donaldson sank stern first at 17.45 hours, one-half mile from Kilden Island in 68°26´30N/33°44´20E.

 

http://www.uboat.net...hants/3475.html


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#5 X-Files

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 1546 PM

Spinoff about the sinking of the Henry Bacon;

 

"During a storm the Henry Bacon was separated from the convoy and came into a life and death fight with the enemy. After having downed five enemy planes the vessel was sunk. The Henry Bacon carried 19 of the evacuees... all 19 were saved. The master and all officers but one were lost, together with others on the vessel.

 

 

http://www.usmm.org/...henrybacon.html

 

23 to 1 odds.

 

Gunners jerked the canvas covers off the guns none too soon. Big,
black Junkers 88s broke out of the overcast, flying 30 feet above
the wave tops. There was no need for the Armed Guard officer on the
bridge to give the order to fire. Every gun that could bear went
into instant action. Carini counted 23 planes. Twenty-three bombers
against one ship. Heavy odds for even a cruiser or a battleship.
Aircraft carriers had been sunk by fewer planes than this. There was
no nearby ship the Henry Bacon could call for help.

 

 

 

 

The Bacon carried four lifeboats, plus a number of rafts, but men on
a raft would have little chance of survival in winter seas. Carini
maneuvered the ship to provide a lee for lowering the boats. They
would be lucky to get even two boats safely into the water.

The first boat lowered away successfully and pushed off. When the
second boat was safely overside, Third Mate Joseph Scott counted the
passengers. "I can take six," he shouted. "Six more ... and hurry."
Several merchant crewmen and Navy gunners climbed down into the boat
as it rose on the crest of a wave. The ship was settling and waves
were breaking over the bulwarks.

Chief Engineer Donald Haviland looked up at a young Navy gunner on
deck. The boy couldn't have been more than 17 years old. "Put me
alongside," he said to the third mate. "Let that kid have my place.
It won't matter so much if I don't get back
."

Haviland climbed back to the deck while the sailor scurried down the
scramblenets into the boat, which pulled quickly away. The ship
was going down soon, and they didn't want to be sucked under with
her. A raft with several men on it bobbed some distance away. The
wind and waves were taking the lifeboats away from the ship, and no
pullling on the oars would bring them close enough to pick up the
men on the raft.

Men in the boats saw Haviland, Boatswain Halcomb Lammon, and several
other seamen on the foredeck, probably making a raft out of dunnage.
Captain Carini waved from the bridge
. The boats drifted off into the
mist as the Henry Bacon, her ensign snapping proudly at the gaff,
settled slowly beneath the sea. By the time convoy escorts arrived
to look for survivors there were only a few boards and crates to
mark where the Henry Bacon and 22 of her men went down
.

 

 

http://www.corvallis...urmansk_run.htm


Edited by X-Files, 20 July 2014 - 1555 PM.

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#6 Colin

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 1551 PM

I would have thought there would be more than one tank aboard. for the cost of mobilizing the ship it would seem to make sense to grab a couple or three. 


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#7 Roman Alymov

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 1558 PM

I would have thought there would be more than one tank aboard. for the cost of mobilizing the ship it would seem to make sense to grab a couple or three. 

Diver in the video report seeing at least three tanks.  But as far as I understand the ship wreck is in three parts, and taking even one tank out of the heap of metal was challenging.


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#8 Roman Alymov

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 1558 PM

I would have thought there would be more than one tank aboard. for the cost of mobilizing the ship it would seem to make sense to grab a couple or three. 

Diver in the video report seeing at least three tanks.  But as far as I understand the ship wreck is in three parts, and taking even one tank out of the heap of metal was challenging.


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#9 X-Files

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 1600 PM

 

I How did the ship sink? Air raid or mine?

The veteran in the video (Head of Polar convoys society) said the ship was running under own power but getting water – he is not saying why, probably due to damages from previous attacks. So it sunk faster than reached Murmansk.

    Tank recovered

 

 

What's weird is that the Thomas Donaldson had locomotives listed as deck cargo.


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#10 Corinthian

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 2119 PM

Are the folks fighting it out in Ukraine that desperate for armor?

 

;)


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#11 Colin

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 2225 PM

 

I would have thought there would be more than one tank aboard. for the cost of mobilizing the ship it would seem to make sense to grab a couple or three. 

Diver in the video report seeing at least three tanks.  But as far as I understand the ship wreck is in three parts, and taking even one tank out of the heap of metal was challenging.

 

ah ok, thanks to bad they could not have grabbed 2, more the merrier. Looks in good shape considering. They need to hose it down for a bit in freshwater, the salt crystals growing rips things apart.


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#12 Marek Tucan

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 0052 AM

Engine is probably in pretty bad shape, especially tubes - if they want to get it going, would be hard, but possible. Then again, what is the purpose? Full restoration or just display in some museum? If it was supposed to become "just" a reminder of the Arctic convoys, it might even make sense to just conserve it as is.

 

Either way, well done!


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#13 Panzermann

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 0253 AM

 

 

 

I How did the ship sink? Air raid or mine?

The veteran in the video (Head of Polar convoys society) said the ship was running under own power but getting water – he is not saying why, probably due to damages from previous attacks. So it sunk faster than reached Murmansk.
    Tank recovered

 

 
What's weird is that the Thomas Donaldson had locomotives listed as deck cargo.

 

 
Considering the different gauge of Russian railroads, that is interesting.  Is there any evidence of them among the wreckage?

 

 
Why not? It is not hard to build a different gauge locomotive and the correct СА-3 coupling. And the USSR was in desperate need for well, anything and everything.


Edited by Panzermann, 21 July 2014 - 0316 AM.

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#14 Sardaukar

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 0254 AM

It's not weird at all. Lend Lease supplied lots of locomotives built on Soviet rail gauge. I have even read that 90% of locomotives acquired by Soviet Union during war were Lend Lease. Not sure if I recall correctly, though. 


Edited by Sardaukar, 21 July 2014 - 0255 AM.

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#15 R011

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 0258 AM

The Soviets hardly built any locomotives during the war and so imported about two thousand of them (and eleven thousand rail cars) from the US.  Presumably, this allowed them to concentrate on building tanks.


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#16 Panzermann

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 0303 AM

The locomotives were replaced over time obviously, but  I Would like to know if some of the lend-lease rail cars are still rolling?


Edited by Panzermann, 21 July 2014 - 0317 AM.

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#17 Roman Alymov

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 0429 AM

 

Anyone know what class was imported? Im guessing S160s, simply because the setup of them looks to make them relatively easy to build to a different gauge.

 

No, its not wierd. Id just not heard of it before.

 

Soviet Union received 1900 locomotives over lend-lease program, vs. only 800 built locally over the same time. Not sure about all types supplied, but some where USATC S160 (initially based on WW1 design built for Russian Empire) and later E-type (build both during WW1 and WW2 in US but with Russian design)


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#18 Roman Alymov

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 0642 AM

More photos

%28140721025514%29_OYQPifryar8.jpg

 

Piace of 3-inch pipe installed by recoverers to prevent gun lock details from being stuck by rust. All gun details are still covered in greace.

 

(140721025528)_NQAifyYF_pc.jpg


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#19 sunday

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 0707 AM

Very nice. Thanks, Roman!


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#20 Marek Tucan

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 0851 AM

Wow, the grease survived so long? Would be good for restoring or conserving the vehicle. Looks in pretty good shape given the time... Then again, I guess all the degradation processes and even rusting may come at a slower rate due to low water temperature?
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