Advanced search  
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 7   Go Down

Author Topic: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?  (Read 109656 times)

Chris Johnson

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Trying to give a fig but would settle for $100,000
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2011, 09:18:43 AM »

Looking at photos of the Norwich City taken at various times, including her unfortunate brush with the drawbridge in Canada (I think, at work and don't have references handy) there were quite clearly four boats on board - two smaller ones mounted on each side of the bridge wings and two larger ones on either side of the deckhouse aft of the bridge. The boats mounted aft are half again as large as the ones on the bridge wings, but without something of a known size it's hard to give a length estimate for any of them. Suffice it to say that getting ANY of those launched at night, in high seas, and with the ship exploding and burning around you, would not be easy given the boat davit technology of the day and the (probable) level of crew training in that procedure. 

My eyes fail me so often.  I hadn't even noticed the sign next to the beached lifeboat before it was mentioned.

So four boats but possibly only two lifeboats (with provissions etc..) but I'm not splitting hairs, honest  :)
Logged

Ricker H Jones

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 120
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2011, 09:38:12 AM »

Correct.  There were four boats carried by the Norwich City.  The two Board of Trade certified life boats were one either side of the deck house aft of the funnel.  They were approximately 26' and weighed in the vicinity of 1800 pounds each--difficult for a single individual to launch from the shore, but they were incredibly seaworthy.  The other two boats were ship's utility boats on davits on either side of the bridge.  These smaller boats would be used for harbor  work such as painting the hull, or transporting personnel ashore. With the wind out of the northwest the night of the fire, it would be very likely that the starboard boat was consumed by the fire that destroyed the bridge.
Logged

Chris Johnson

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Trying to give a fig but would settle for $100,000
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2011, 09:50:05 AM »

Correct.  There were four boats carried by the Norwich City.  The two Board of Trade certified life boats were one either side of the deck house aft of the funnel.  They were approximately 26' and weighed in the vicinity of 1800 pounds each--difficult for a single individual to launch from the shore, but they were incredibly seaworthy.  The other two boats were ship's utility boats on davits on either side of the bridge.  These smaller boats would be used for harbor  work such as painting the hull, or transporting personnel ashore. With the wind out of the northwest the night of the fire, it would be very likely that the starboard boat was consumed by the fire that destroyed the bridge.

That explains it to me then.  Two life boats, both accounted for. One utility possibly consumed by fire and the other may have come loose at some time to be washed up on the beach with the others.

Thanks for the clarification :)
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6101
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2011, 10:10:29 AM »

With the wind out of the northwest the night of the fire, it would be very likely that the starboard boat was consumed by the fire that destroyed the bridge.

One of the utility boats, and possibly both of them, were washed ashore.  The starboard side utility boat was on the leeward side, sheltered from the storm and the easier one to launch.  The fire apparently did not reach the bridge until after the crew had abandoned ship.  If only one utility boat made it ashore I would think it was most likely the starboard boat.  The port (upwind) boat would be less likely to be consumed by the fire but more prone to be washed off the davits by breaking waves. (Hamer was washed overboard trying to launch the port side lifeboat.)
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6101
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2011, 10:23:13 AM »

I've put up a couple of photos of Norwich City showing her boats.
Logged

Dan Swift

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 348
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2011, 10:33:34 AM »

Life boats 'probably' with the name, ship's hull 'probably' with a name, articles inside 'marked' with the ship's name, a lot of 'probability' that the name of the ship was somewhere to be found.  If I am deserted on an island with a large steel shipwreck that may provide shelter, supplies, or to help identify where I am...I am exploring that vessel as throughly as possible.  Curiosity if for no other reason, I am still checking it out.  Multiple opportunities to find out it's name! 

Sad more than a dozen people explore an island only 3 months after AE's & FN's landing there and find no evidence of them.....anywhere.  That is disturbing.  Hopefully it is because they didn't bother looking at the southeast side of the lagoon since the pennisula on the southwest side must have looked so promissing.   
TIGHAR Member #4154
 
Logged

Chris Johnson

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Trying to give a fig but would settle for $100,000
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2011, 10:33:51 AM »

I've put up a couple of photos of Norwich City showing her boats.

Thanks Ric, the second photo shows more clearly the boat by the bridge.  On the other picture it blends in with the bridge colouring.
Logged

Dan Swift

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 348
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2011, 10:41:16 AM »

Confused.  A condition that comes much more easily for me these days.  The name is clearly on the both sides of the bow.  So I don't understand the discussion (question).  AE and FN both could read!  Somebody help me out here. 
TIGHAR Member #4154
 
Logged

Chris Johnson

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Trying to give a fig but would settle for $100,000
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2011, 01:25:44 PM »

From Jeffs Post: FN steal a boat? Did FN take off in a boat?

How likely is it when it took nearly 2 ship crews to rescue the Norwich City Survivors.  Nice romantic idea though, the ex sea captain setting off like captain Bligh of the Bounty across the sea toward rescue.
Logged

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2011, 01:39:56 PM »

I'm sure there are plenty of ways Fred or Amelia could have launched one of the Norwich City's work/lifeboats, if, and only if, they had more than a vague knowledge of small boat handling, seamanship and surf boats. I can imagine all sorts of serendipitious combinations of wind, tide and plain dumb luck that could have floated one of those wooden monsters over the reef and into open water with no more effort than a soap bubble through still air.

But ... in the real world, I think it would be more akin to trying to move a 500 pound block of sandstone across a longgggg sandstone driveway without benefit of lubrication, levers, rollers, fulcrums, ropes, pulleys, etc., etc.  The probability goes down to somewhere real close to zero.
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6101
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2011, 01:49:22 PM »

Sad more than a dozen people explore an island only 3 months after AE's & FN's landing there and find no evidence of them.....anywhere.  That is disturbing.  Hopefully it is because they didn't bother looking at the southeast side of the lagoon since the pennisula on the southwest side must have looked so promissing.   

You can read Bevington's journal account of exactly what they did and where they went. If AE and FN were at the Seven Site, alive or dead, there was no real opportunity for them to be found.
Logged

Bruce Thomas

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 651
  • Now where did I put my glasses?
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2011, 03:55:06 PM »

I can’t look at the pictures of Norwich City taken before its stormy, fiery midnight encounter with Gardner Island without John Masefield’s small poem “Cargoes” echoing in my brain.  “Dirty British coaster …” wrote Britain’s Poet Laureate, and this is what I’m reminded of looking at those photos.   I’m glad I wasn’t one of those unfortunate seamen aboard her that night, or any other night.

Built as Normanby, her “new” name, Norwich City, can be seen in pictures, painted in white, a little way back from the bow.  But in neither of the pictures from the New Zealand Survey Expedition of 1938 (this one of the starboard side, this one of the port side) can I discern any of those white letters remaining on either side.  Did the ferocity of the fire bake the paint off, so that the name was completely gone, eventually causing Captain Coleman of USS Bushnell in late 1939 to have to do research to learn her name (so that the shipwreck could be properly listed in the Navy’s published “sailing directions”)?

It’s been noted that both Harry Maude (in 1937) and the New Zealanders were at some point able to know she was named Norwich City.  Ric thinks that Harry Maude’s knowledge must have come from something he could see onboard, intimating that resources on Ocean Island were inadequate to have informed him of this later when he wrote his post-visit report while there.  Then, when Maude arrived with the first of the colonists while the New Zealanders were at work on Gardner the next year, it’s thought that Maude could have informed them of the shipwreck’s identity.

But now this thought comes to my mind.  Both the PISS initial visit that Maude and Bevington made in late 1937, as well as the Kiwi visit in late 1938, resulted in reports (Bevington's and Hay's) that say they tied their own vessels off to the wrecked hulk’s stern.  Most ships I’ve seen have their name and city of registration painted on the stern.  Might this have been how they were informed of her name, assuming the fire didn’t bake that off, too?

Then, in January 1939 (as noted by Petty Officer M. H. Hay), “One day a severe storm blew up and it was too much for the wreck on the reef. She just crumpled up, the stern half breaking off and disappearing into the deep water on the outside of the reef.”  (I’ll bet those Kiwis were glad they weren’t tied off to her stern that day!)  Later that year, when USS Bushnell arrived, with the bow scorched and the stern missing there would then not be any indication of the beached ship’s name.
 
But in July 1937, the stern with her name on it would have been there for any curious castaways to learn her name.
LTM,

Bruce
TIGHAR #3123R
 
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 04:05:11 PM by Bruce Thomas »
Logged

Brad Beeching

  • T3
  • ***
  • Posts: 158
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2011, 06:08:07 PM »

Every vessel I've ever seen had the name of the ship cut out of plate steel letters and welded to the stern of the ship. I'd be willing to bet Norwich City was that way as well. If anyone has pictures of the stern, you may be able to make out the shadow cast by the plate letters. I wouldn't bet on it being that way on the bow, but the stern prob'ly was done that way. So even if the paint was burned off you woulf still be able to read the name of the ship.

This &*%(*% ing Internet explorer wont let me open Hazegray.org you should be able to find an example of what I'm saying
Brad

#4327R
 
Logged

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3006
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2011, 06:09:52 PM »

I've put up a couple of photos of Norwich City showing her boats.

Once you've got the photos on the server, you can then use their URL to show them in the Forum:





LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3006
Re: Could AE and FN have known it was named "Norwich City"?
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2011, 06:15:43 PM »

This &*%(*% ing Internet explorer wont let me open Hazegray.org you should be able to find an example of what I'm saying

I despise IE as much as anyone else, but it is not an IE problem.  The server seems to be incommunicado. 
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 7   Go Up
 

Copyright 2024 by TIGHAR, a non-profit foundation. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be reproduced by xerographic, photographic, digital or any other means for any purpose. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be stored in a retrieval system, copied, transmitted or transferred in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, digital, photographic, magnetic or otherwise, for any purpose without the express, written permission of TIGHAR. All rights reserved.

Contact us at: info@tighar.org • Phone: 610-467-1937 • Membership formwebmaster@tighar.org

Powered by MySQL SMF 2.0.18 | SMF © 2021, Simple Machines Powered by PHP