WW II MAC's - Ships Nostalgia
03:43

Welcome
Welcome!Welcome to Ships Nostalgia, the world's greatest online community for people worldwide with an interest in ships and shipping. Whether you are crew, ex-crew, ship enthusiasts or cruisers, this is the forum for you. And what's more, it's completely FREE.

Click here to go to the forums home page and find out more.
Click here to join.
Log in
User Name Password

WW II MAC's

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 5th August 2014, 00:39
John Tremelling John Tremelling is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 151
WW II MAC's

I am doing a little research on MAC's of WW II, a subject about which I can find little detail at the moment. Does anyone know of any good books?

Better still, did any members serve on MAC's. Whilst I know that they sailed under the Red Ensign, did they have RN Captains? Presumably aircraft crews and handlers were RNAS or perhaps even RAF? Did they come under the command on MN Captains or operate independently?

Any anecdotes appreciated.

John Tremelling
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 5th August 2014, 09:52
A.D.FROST's Avatar
A.D.FROST A.D.FROST is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,139
Escort Carriers (K.Poolman) Catafighters(K.Poolman) SIF Record 43(Ship history) manned by MN crews incl MN Masters and RNAS(Fleet air arm)

If you trawl though the forum Histories search MACSHIPS you may find what you are looking for.

Last edited by A.D.FROST; 5th August 2014 at 10:24..
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 5th August 2014, 18:31
ericfisher's Avatar
ericfisher ericfisher is offline  
Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1942 - 1956
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 96
Hi John, I served on the Empire McKendrick a MAC ship from Dec '43 to June '44. I have a good memory of many details and will happily answer first hand any questions you may have. Cheers, Eric
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 5th August 2014, 20:20
John Tremelling John Tremelling is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 151
Thanks for the book reference A.D. I shall see if I can get hold of a copy to give me a framework for further research.

Eric, my knowledge, or lack of it is such that I will have many questions. I shall do a little more research and get back to you. Sadly Canada is too far to spin a yarn over a pint. My main immediate query would be, did the aircraft crews subject themselves to MN Captains control or escort Captain. Presumably each MAC had its own flight commander. I have never really thought about it before but now that it is in my mind the command structure intrigues me. As a sparks I am sure that you must have been involved in some way, although I imagine most control would have been by flag or lamp. RN Yeomen? So many questions.

John T
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 6th August 2014, 01:52
ericfisher's Avatar
ericfisher ericfisher is offline  
Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1942 - 1956
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 96
Each MAC had it's own flight C/O. I was also an R/O. We had 5 R/O's, 2 worked with the SOE. and the aircraft. We all had previous training at both an RNAS air station and an R.N.wireless facility. Flying and operating FAA control at the Arbroath station using a number of FAA biplanes. The whole crew were under the regular M.N. captain, the SOE and the Commodore for all operations. Everyone got along great together. Much more when you would like. I use Skype if that's any help and if not, Skype to landline is very cheap. I did help a chap with his thesis for his Masters Degree about MAC history, name of Scaplehorn using Skype. Note my avatar, is the McKendrick. Hope to hear from you soon. Eric
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 6th August 2014, 02:00
ben27's Avatar
ben27 ben27 is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Hotels / Catering
Active: 1944 - 1953
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 10,666
good day ericfisher,m,today,02:31.#3.re:ww2 mac's.just reading this thread.i noticed your post.and that you were on the woolworth carries.or minni.they had all kinds of names as you would know.i was on the H.M.S.PATROLLER,AND THE H.M.S.REAPER.we handed the reaper back to usa when the japs surrendered in norfolk virginia,happy days,regards ben27(p.s.i was in the t124x)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 8th August 2014, 21:45
John Tremelling John Tremelling is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 151
Thanks again Eric. A little known subject, but like all such subjects, the more I learn the more interesting it gets. Do you know which college Mr Scaplehorn attended? A copy of his Thesis sounds like a good start.

I shall also look for the McKendrick. Seems an interesting modelling project. What aircraft were you using?

Best wishes over there,

John T
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 9th August 2014, 18:08
ericfisher's Avatar
ericfisher ericfisher is offline  
Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1942 - 1956
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 96
Hello John, Mr. E.J.Scaplehorn submitted his Thesis, 'Merchant Aircraft Carriers' for his Masters Degree in Naval History Sept. 2009.

My copy is not good because of my faulty printer at the time.

I have Copies of the Ships Movement Cards, Convoys, etc. among many of other ships I sailed on. Am presently working on my voyages of all my ships and at the moment I'm on my second ship Fort McMurray. The next will be the Emp. McKendrick. This is all part of my bio. for the family records.

To your question of aircraft, we carried 4 Fairey Swordfish (n'named Strinbags) you've heard of them before I'm sure.

Yes, I was the 5th. R/O, . Three carried out the usual M.N. watches, The 1st. and 2nd's duties were to communicate with the aircraft, SOE, etc. The prior training we all had in R.N. radio procedures also included some flying experience in old Gloster Gladiators and Swordfish. This was my first time in an airplane (biplanes at that)!

As you can understand, it was a complete mix of M.N. and F.A.A. crew flying the Red Duster. In fact 100 with 50 of each. All for now John. Ask any more whenever you wish Regards, Eric

Last edited by ericfisher; 9th August 2014 at 18:09.. Reason: Spelling, should be Stringbags
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10th August 2014, 14:13
R396040 R396040 is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 664
I sailed on the La Cumbre in the fifties one trip Continental ports to Newport News Va USA.. She had formerly been the Empire McDermott and in the Officers saloon there wa a lovely oil painting of her in that he wartime role as merchant aircraft carrier. Much different to the trip I did on her carrying coal.
Stuart
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 14th August 2014, 10:17
John Tremelling John Tremelling is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 151
Thanks again Eric, and for your anecdote Stuart.

Eric, I know a little about 'stringbags', and it was those, and Sea Hurricanes, of which I have several models, which inspired my interest in MAC's. I believe some MAC's carried Sea Hurricanes, although I believe that they were mainly employed on CAM's. I believe that it was some of the Tankers which carried Sea Hurricanes, perhaps you know?

I live in Cornwall UK, near RNAS Culdrose, and the Fleet Air Arm Historic Flight Swordfish regularly attends, a magnificent aircraft with a terrific history considering that it was obsolete almost from her birth.

I would like to build a model MAC, and with you as a link Empire McKendrick seems a good project. To date I have only the usual rather impersonal details leaned from my modest library and the net. Must keep searching.

I am having difficulty tracing Mr Scaplehorn's thesis, which University did he submit it to?

Very best wishes,

John T
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 14th August 2014, 10:40
A.D.FROST's Avatar
A.D.FROST A.D.FROST is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,139
MAC.JPG
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 14th August 2014, 12:09
John Tremelling John Tremelling is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 151
Further to my last message, I see that as 'Vasil Levsky', Empire MacKendrick was stuck in the Bitter Lakes on the Suez Canal during the 1967 6 Day War. I was on a tanker on the last convoy through the canal at that time and as you probably know the tankers were taken through at the head of the convoy, the tail end got stuck, probably the same convoy? A small world.

Furthermore I see that there is a 1:60 scale cutaway model of the Empire MacAlpine in the NMM at Greenwich. Presented by the Admiralty in 1946, I must get up to see it. The text online states a number of inaccuracies, but basically a good model. Many years ago I lived near and worked in Greenwich for several years and often visited the museum but never remember seeing it.

John T
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 14th August 2014, 12:11
John Tremelling John Tremelling is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 151
Thanks AD, just seen it.

John T

Last edited by John Tremelling; 14th August 2014 at 12:14..
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 14th August 2014, 12:13
John Tremelling John Tremelling is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 151
Cretin indeed, just managed it. Clever arnt I?????
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 14th August 2014, 12:21
Long gone Long gone is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 779
Another book is 'Bring Back my Stringbag' by Lord Kilbrachan, which details his FAA career, including his time in the 'Adula', and also the difficulties faced by a resident of the Irish Free State fighting for Britain in the World war 2.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 14th August 2014, 19:26
ericfisher's Avatar
ericfisher ericfisher is offline  
Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1942 - 1956
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 96
Thanks AD, It describes also the Emp McK. In fact I signed on in Leith 8/12/43 while she was being fitted out in Burntisland. This was before the R.N. training. Arbroath is just a little further up the coast where I did my flying, somewhat scary but only ground takeoffs and landings. Was a great experience though!

Her history can be found on The Index of Naval Aircraft Carriers at the FAA Archives. Can send you a copy if you wish.

After three round trips to Halifax with some incidents, one with a Uboat skirmish and others with takeoff and landing mishaps, I signed off in L'Pool 27/6/44.
The last question, Mr. Scaplehorn's Thesis was submitted to the University of Exeter, subtitled Civilian Fighting Ships. Sept. 2009.

There were no Hurricanes that I knew of, only on CAM ships I think. The procedure was to fly them aboard from Maydown, Northern Ireland, and off to Shearwater N.S. then the reverse for homeward convoys. More to come when and if you wish John. Regards, Eric
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 15th August 2014, 09:12
A.D.FROST's Avatar
A.D.FROST A.D.FROST is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,139
More info on this forum
https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showth...ight=MAC+SHIPS
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 26th August 2014, 13:30
John Tremelling John Tremelling is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 151
Eric,

I note from reading of CAM's, that they were at the head of the convoy in order that they could turn into the wind in order to launch aircraft. Was that the same to launch and recover from MAC's?

John T
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 30th August 2014, 18:30
ericfisher's Avatar
ericfisher ericfisher is offline  
Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1942 - 1956
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 96
John, We were always at the rear end of convoy stations in order to clear other ships and to head into the wind for takeoff and landing then to catch up to our allotted station. Arrester wires, batman and hangar elevator were also on the after end of the flight deck. Cheers, Eric
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 2nd September 2014, 16:48
John Tremelling John Tremelling is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 151
Thanks Eric, I am getting the gist of it. Were it not so serious it sounds fun.

Regards,

John T
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 3rd September 2014, 02:48
ericfisher's Avatar
ericfisher ericfisher is offline  
Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1942 - 1956
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 96
Good on you John. Not to repeat myself, but if you scroll my posts there's some more on the Mac's. Also, look up the thread 'A Most Remarkable Man' about Eric Brown the author of 'Wings on My Sleeve'. He had a fabulous career as a test pilot and was on one of the first MAC ships, which he survived after it was torpedoed and sank. His CO, Captain McKendrick did not and I wondered if that had any connection with the name of my ship. I downloaded the book on my Kindle, makes very good reading, not expensive.

There were a few incidents involving our aircraft, most were silly mistakes. One was more serious, a surfaced Uboat was caught transmitting the convoys' position on HF/DF. Three of our aircraft and two others from the other Mac ship used the bearings to catch him still on the surface. Our pilots showered him with their rockets but didn't seem to do much good and instead of diving gave our fellows a warm reception with his deck gun.The aircraft claimed some hits and the planes were a bit shot up but nobody got hurt and all made it back aboard safely. They took pictures, but when developed only showed the sea in black and the white streak of the subs' wake. The pic was posted on the wardroom notice board with the caption, 'Our Sub'. The reason, the observer leaned over the cockpit with his camera snapped the pic then sank back to his seat. Later he is supposed to have said," There was so much flak I thought better of leaning out again". Strange, when his Stringbag was only made of Balsa wood and fabric! Didn't take long for the CO to remove it though.

Regards, Eric
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Apple Mac Dickyboy Computers and The Internet 11 22nd August 2013 21:09
Apple Mac billyboy Computers and The Internet 2 14th April 2012 00:39
James T Mac James T Mac. Say Hello 7 12th October 2010 17:50
PC or Mac jazz606 Computers and The Internet 2 26th February 2007 18:10
Mac Hamish Mackintosh Say Hello 14 12th January 2006 15:22



Support SN


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.