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TJW
Post subject: Algerine Class MinesweepersPosted: June 16th, 2019, 1:30 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Acknowledgement to Superboy for their drawing of HMS Minstrel, which was used as the basis for HMWFS Gull.

Algerine Class Minesweepers:

Over 100 Algerine-class minesweepers were launched between 1942 & 1944, with most serving in the Royal Navy (RN) or the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Their size made them suitable not only for minesweeping, but also as ocean-going escort ships & many were used in that role. To maximise production, alternate designs were made to use either steam turbines or reciprocating steam engines. In late 1942, the Royal West Florida Navy began construction of two steam turbine powered Algerine class, to be named Ibis (J10) & Gull (J11). Both vessels were commissioned during February 1944.

They had a standard displacement of 860 tons, with a maximum speed of 16.5 knots. The ships’ complement consisted of 85 officers & ratings. The Algerine class was armed with a QF 4-inch gun & four single mount Oerlikon 20 mm cannons. In early 1945, the two aft mounted Oerlikons were replaced with single Bofors 40mm mounts. Both ships were fitted with four throwers & two rails for depth charges. Ibis & Gull spent their World War Two service in local & Caribbean waters, performing patrol, minesweeping & escort duties along the West Florida coast & around the Caribbean. Following the war, they continued their minesweeping & patrol duties until finally being replaced by two ex RN Ton class minesweepers in 1961.

After decommissioning, Gull was refitted as a survey ship to replace the retiring Grimsby class sloop Egret. She recommissioned in 1963 with the new pennant number A11 & continued to serve in this role until paying off for the final time in early 1973. The below drawing is of HMWFS Gull shortly after commissioning in 1944.

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Last edited by TJW on July 22nd, 2019, 5:47 am, edited 3 times in total.

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TJW
Post subject: Royal West Florida Navy Small ShipsPosted: June 17th, 2019, 8:54 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Acknowledgement to Krakatoa & Rowdy36 for their drawings of MTB-624 & the British Harbour Defence Motor Launch. These were the basis for HMWFS Swordfish & HMWFS Stingray respectively.

Fairmile D Motor Torpedo Boat:
The British Fairmile D was one of the most heavily armed coastal vessels regularly employed by Allied forces in World War Two. In total, 229 boats were built in the UK between 1942 & 1945. They proved to be highly weatherable, operating equally well in cold Norwegian coastal waters or the warmer temperatures along the North African coastline. Like all Fairmile designs, it was based on prefabrication so components could be built at small factories & be delivered to various boatyards for assembly. By early 1943 eight had been built in West Florida shipyards. With regular RWFN officers & sailors needed to man the navy's larger vessels, crews for these boats would come from RWFN volunteer reserve.

The Fairmile Ds could be fitted with a mix of armament that gave them the capabilities of both a Motor Gun Boat (MGB) & a Motor Torpedo boat (MTB), & the RWFN employed them in a number of roles, including coastal convoy escort, routine patrols, minesweeping & survey work. Standard armament was two single QF 6-pounder guns, one twin Oerlikon 20mm & two twin .303 Vickers K machine guns. Up to six depth charges & two 21-inch (533mm) torpedo tubes could also be carried. Fairmile Ds originally had MTB pennant numbers, but these were changed to P pennant numbers in 1948.

The Fairmile D boats in RWFN service were named Dolphin (91), Swordfish (92), Marlin (93) & Barracuda (94). Following the end of the war, two boats were decommissioned in early 1947. The remaining two boats continuing to serve into the 1960s, with Barracuda finally paying off in early 1965. The drawing below shows HMWFS Swordfish in late 1943.

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Harbour Defence Motor Launches:
During World War Two, over 450 HDMLs were constructed, mainly by yacht builders, in the UK & a number of other allied countries. Four HDMLs were built in West Florida between 1940 & 1941. They were designed to accommodate a crew of ten. The armament commonly fitted was a QF 2-pounder gun on the foredeck & an Oerlikon 20mm cannon on the stern cabin, along with a Vickers K or Lewis gun was also fitted on each side of the bridge. HDMLs also carried 6 to 8 depth charges on the aft deck. The 2-pounder was often replaced by another 20mm Oerlikon or Browning .50 calibre machine guns.

HDMLs were originally intended for defence in local waters, but they proved such a seaworthy & versatile design, they were used in every theatre of operations during the war. They could be found escorting convoys, performing coastal patrols, carrying out covert activities & undertaking anti-submarine patrols. They also played major roles in deception operations to draw German attention away from the Normandy landings. After the war, many HDMLs were adapted for other purposes, such as survey, search & rescue, dispatch boats, fisheries patrols & training.

The HDMLs in RWFN service were named Stingray (101), Tarpon (102), Mackerel (103) & Wahoo (104). Like the Fairmile Ds, HDML crews came from the RWFN volunteer reserve. Following the end of the war, two boats were decommissioned in early 1948. The remaining two boats changed to P pennant numbers & continued to serve into the late 1960s, with Wahoo finally paying off at the end of 1966. The drawing below shows HMWFS Stingray in early 1941.

[ img ]


Last edited by TJW on July 18th, 2019, 11:49 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Colosseum
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: June 17th, 2019, 11:26 pm
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Joined: July 26th, 2010, 9:38 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Contact: Website
Nice stuff - please make sure to add your name in the credits (maybe a "modified by TJW") -- that way it's made clear to viewers that this is superboy or Krakatoa's original work, with alterations made by you.

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USN components, camouflage colors, & reference links (World War II only)


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TJW
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: June 19th, 2019, 7:33 am
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Joined: November 26th, 2018, 12:16 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Thanks for the feedback Colosseum. Much appreciated. I'll fix those up over the next couple of days.


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TJW
Post subject: Royal West Florida Navy - World War TwoPosted: July 17th, 2019, 5:18 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Royal West Florida Navy (RWFN) - World War Two

As with other colonies of the British Empire, the Royal Navy provided security for West Florida. The Naval Defence Act 1912 formally created the West Florida Naval Forces as a separate division within the Royal Navy. The Act authorised the Government to establish a naval force organisation which would pass to the control of the Admiralty in the event of war.

The West Florida Division of the Royal Navy, also known as West Florida Station was formed in 1921 & remained in existence until the creation of the Royal West Florida Navy in 1935. Prior to the outbreak of World War Two in 1939, the RWFN consisted of three warships, the modified Shakespeare class destroyer leader Pensacola & the two locally built Grimsby class sloops. By the end of the war in 1945, the fleet had grown to fifteen. However, with the decommissioning of Pensacola, along with two of the Fairmile Ds & two harbour defence motor launches, the fleet consisted of 10 vessels when the Korean War began in 1950.

Below is the white ensign of the Royal West Florida Navy. The star was originally red. However, this was changed to blue in 1950 when it was thought that the red star could be confused with the red star on the naval ensign of soviet warships.

[ img ]


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