Mystery Trawler

Roger Griffiths
12th November 2006, 16:19
Has anyone got a clue as to which vessel this may be. I am told she could be a Fleetwood boat. Sorry thats all the clues I have.
thanks and regards

12th November 2006, 16:58
Hi Roger.

This is a difficult one. The paper is presumably from WW2 The principal identification feature are the funnel colours. The second is the shape of the veranda bridge. Looks like a Beverly built ship, rather than Smiths Dock.
The third would be the armament.
Any Ideas?


12th November 2006, 19:21
Thought she could be fitted for minesweeping but it is very unusual to see the main armament fitted aft. Looking at the expertise available on this site I am sure she will not remain a mystery for long.

Roger Griffiths
17th November 2006, 22:28
Hello again,
I was sent this information off forum any comments please.

rgds Roger

"She was obviously not a sweeper as she had no means of streaming, nor
does she appear to have any secondary armament. The position of the
gun defies logic, in hi-angle the recoil would do considerable damage,
at least lifting the chains off the rudder quadrant but more likely
affecting the stern gland and what about ballast to
counter; the boat could be on the fore deck. The removal of the
gallows suggests that she was purchased rather than requisitioned but
no monkey bridge fitted. Bearing in mind the date of The Sphere, if
the vessel is ex Fleetwood as suggested, one vessel that could just be
a contender is the CORENA (FD195) (148401); she was requisitioned and
then shortly afterwards purchased."

17th November 2006, 23:18
I am going to stick my neck out here. Although the Sphere is dated 1941, could they possibly have used a photograph from World War 1? I am wondering if this is a photo of a Dover Patrol vessel, which would account for no AA armament or mineeeping gear. A long shot but one never knows.....

18th November 2006, 16:03
I second Peters opinion. It looks a lot like WW1 conversion. Does anyone recognize the background landscape?


Roger Griffiths
19th November 2006, 20:19
Thanks for the input.
I suppose the photograph could be WW1 but I have my doubts. The apparel of the sailors on deck suggests a later date.
The mooring buoys to the left look like Admiralty pattern. This suggests that it is a Naval port but which one...?


Jan H
27th November 2006, 20:40
Could it be that she is the "Sphene" ?? (1934) Built at Cochrane, Selby as H 114 and after the war H-202 Mendip

Roger Griffiths
27th November 2006, 22:51
Hello Jan,
Thank you for your input
I have KING EMPERIOR O/N 136221 reg Hull 7/1/1915 as H202 transfered to Leith 31/7/1935 LH 130
MENDIP O/N 163922 reg Hull 3/11/1930 sold 9/12/1939 as H114

The name of the publication was "THE SPHERE" which seems to be some kind of military magazine published between 1801 and 1945


28th November 2006, 18:31
This is proving to be rather difficult enigma.

The funnel colours should be the best guide to the identity of the ship. I have not seen any markings with two narrow white bands like this one seems to have. That would indicate a small company with few ships, which would narrow the possibilites.


28th November 2006, 20:03
I am not sure that this is a civilian funnel mark. I have seen photographs of other RN trawlers/drifters carrying two white bands on the funnel.

23rd February 2007, 21:31
The Mistry Ship Is Gava Fd 380 Finished Up In Aberdeen

Roger Griffiths
23rd February 2007, 22:46
Thanks for the input. Can you tell me why you are so sure she is GAVA O/N 141959?
Again, many thanks for your posting.

24th February 2007, 00:13
It's a good picture anyway; "Rat catchers" was a WWII term.
Are those markings on the side? According to Toghill, GAVA
was 256grt; 100nrt; 93hp; launched 1920; owned by New Docks Steam Trawlers; Built Aberdeen; Req 1939 conv APV; then in '42 M/S.
Target towing Sep 1942; returned June 1946 to owners.
She was armed with a 12 pounder; P Nr 4.14; FD380
Does that look like a 12 pounder?

24th February 2007, 00:56
I have just searched for vessels owned by New Docks STC,
and have a list of 11, which I have searched on
All the vessels funnel markings are the same, a broad band of light colour.
Not the two thin light lines on your photo.
Picture and story of GAVA on
Aberdeen reg.

24th February 2007, 02:53
Just gone through my jpgs and found this one of FD77 Wyre Colonel,
Looks like same funnel markings?

2nd March 2007, 23:58
those are definately the colours on the funnel of the wyre trawler co. and the background shows Knott End just at the mouth of the approaches into Wyre Dock. the background on the other ship is a total mistery to me, and not Fleetwood.

3rd March 2007, 00:21
I have just put your picture into psp, and altered the contrast,
the cutting appears to be dated February 7 1941?
Narrows it down a bit.

7th March 2007, 18:11
Gava Funnel Colors Black/white/red/white/black Prewar/postwar Black/white/pink

1st May 2007, 08:36
Done a bit of digging on this one and, although no nearer to identifying the vessel, I am convinced that she's not a Fleetwood one. Neither is she in the River Wyre. The Admiralty moorings suggest a naval port but where? As pointed out previously, the stern mounted gun defies common sense. The only time it could be used is for targets approaching from astern and consider the damage firng it would do to the ship.
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