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TJW
Post subject: Algerine Class MinesweepersPosted: June 16th, 2019, 1:30 am
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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 a steam turbine powered Algerine class, named HMWFS Gull (J11) & commissioned during February 1944.

Gull 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. Four throwers & two rails for depth charges were also fitted. Gull spent her World War Two service in local & Caribbean waters, performing patrol, minesweeping & escort duties along the West Florida coast & around the Caribbean. Following the war, she continued her minesweeping & patrol duties until finally being replaced by the ex RN Ton class minesweeper HMWFS Pelican 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 August 21st, 2019, 7:21 am, edited 6 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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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 three 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). Following the end of the war, one boat was decommissioned in early 1947. The remaining two boats continuing to serve into the 1960s, with Marlin 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. Three 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 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 gun.

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) & Barracuda (103). Like the Fairmile Ds, HDML crews came from the RWFN volunteer reserve. Following the end of the war, one boat was decommissioned in early 1948. The remaining two boats changed to P pennant numbers & continued to serve into the late 1960s, with Barracuda finally paying off at the end of 1966. The drawing below shows HMWFS Stingray in early 1941.

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Last edited by TJW on August 21st, 2019, 7:22 am, edited 8 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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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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TJW
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: June 19th, 2019, 7:33 am
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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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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, with the new flagship Blackwater, the two Grimsby class sloops, an Algerine class minsweeper, the Fairmile Ds & harbour defence motor launches, the fleet had grown to ten.

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.

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Last edited by TJW on August 3rd, 2019, 10:58 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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TJW
Post subject: West Florida Flying Corps & Royal West Florida Air ForcePosted: July 28th, 2019, 10:50 pm
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West Florida Flying Corps:
The Royal West Florida Air Force (RWFAF) traces its history back to the Imperial Conference held in London in 1911, where it was decided aviation should be developed by the various national armed forces of the British Empire. In early 1913 the West Florida Flying Corps (WFFC) was formed as a Militia unit from Territorial Force reservists. Although the WFFC did not see active service during the First World War, some West Florida pilots & aircrew flew as part of the British Royal Flying Corps & Royal Naval Air Service. Following the First World War, the Royal Air Force had a large number of surplus aircraft & in May 1919, the British Cabinet agreed to offer aircraft from surplus stocks to each of the Dominions. West Florida accepted an allotment of 30 aircraft, along with other related spares, supplies & equipment. The WFFC remained part of the Army until it was disbanded in August 1921. It was re-established in April 1922, & officially became the Royal West Florida Air Force in August 1922.


Royal West Florida Air Force:
On its formation in 1922, pilots & aircrew who had served in the Royal Flying Corps & Royal Naval Air Service formed the nucleus of the Royal West Florida Air Force (RWFAF). Its aircraft consisted of the 30 Imperial Gift aircraft it inherited from the West Florida Flying Corps. This included eight Avro 504 trainers, nine Bristol F.2 Fighters, nine DH.4 light bombers, & four Fairey IIIC float planes used for reconnaissance & coastal patrol.

Below is the ensign of the RWFAF, adopted upon its official formation in August 1922.


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TJW
Post subject: Royal West Florida Air Force - Inter War YearsPosted: August 4th, 2019, 2:33 am
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In early 1932 the RWFAF began upgrading from their World War One era aircraft. Bristol F.2s & Airco DH.4s were replaced by new Hawker Hart light bombers & Demon fighters. In 1935, their Avro 504 trainers were eventually replaced by DH.82 Tiger Moths. Finally, in 1938, the Supermarine Walrus took over maritime patrol & reconnaissance duties from the long serving Fairey IIIC. By the outbreak of World War Two in 1939, the RWFAF fleet had expanded to 50 aircraft including twelve Tiger Moth trainers, thirty Hawker Harts & Demons, & eight Supermarine Walrus.

The Walrus was ideal for operations in West Florida, where longer, well-developed runways for larger land-based aircraft were not yet readily available. The Walrus was able to perform its reconnaissance & maritime patrol duties from a number of locations along the coast. The drawing below shows a Walrus Mk.1 from No.4 Squadron RWFAF in late 1939.


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Cascadia
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: August 4th, 2019, 6:09 pm
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Why don't you use WhyMe's FD-Scale version?

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TJW
Post subject: Re: The Dominion of West FloridaPosted: August 5th, 2019, 8:38 am
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Cascadia wrote: *
Why don't you use WhyMe's FD-Scale version?
Cascadia, I'm still really new to this stuff, so I'm not sure what the different scales are & what they're used for.

Researching & coming up with the AU story, I can do, but the drawings, not so much.


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TJW
Post subject: British Commonwealth Air Training PlanPosted: August 8th, 2019, 10:59 am
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In the period preceding World War II, it became clear that there was a shortage of able pilots & aircrew to keep the RAF sufficiently supplied as the War in Europe drew closer. In response to this shortage, the British government instituted the Commonwealth Air Training Plan, a massive, joint military aircrew training program involving the UK, Canada, Newfoundland, Australia, New Zealand & West Florida. It remains as one of the single largest aviation training programs in history & was responsible for training nearly half the pilots, navigators, bomb aimers, air gunners, wireless operators & flight engineers who served with the RAF, Fleet Air Arm, & Commonwealth air forces during the war. Negotiations regarding joint training took place in Ottawa during the first few months of the war & the agreement called for the training of nearly 50,000 aircrew each year. Article XV of the agreement stipulated that graduates from Dominion air forces were to be assigned to squadrons either formed by their own air forces, or with a specific national designation, under the operational control of the RAF. These units later became known as Article XV squadrons. During the war, two West Florida Article XV squadrons were formed.


No. 470 Squadron:
Formed in the UK during April 1941 as a fighter squadron, in accordance with Article XV of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan, 470 squadron flew Supermarine Spitfires for the entire war. After it’s working up period in No.13 Group, the squadron moved to RAF Redhill & No. 11 Group. One type of operation undertaken here was fighter escort for Circus raids, in which a small number of RAF bombers were used as bait to draw up enemy fighters. In July 1942, the squadron was withdrawn for rest in No.13 Group. The start of 1943 saw them back in No.11 Group, this time based at RAF Biggin Hill. From July through November 1943 the Squadron was mostly engaged on offensive fighter sweeps, & bomber escorts. In November, they returned to 13 Group for a short rest period. RAF Hornchurch became 470 Squadron’s new home during early 1944. Preparations for D-Day were under way & the squadron undertook ground attack duties in the lead up to the Allied invasion of Europe before deploying to France, Belgium & the Netherlands in support of the allied advance. Following the end of hostilities with Germany, the squadron returned to Britain before finally being disbanded in November 1945.


No. 471 Squadron:
Formed in Panama City during April 1941 in accordance with Article XV of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan, 471 squadron was destined for service in Europe with the RAF. While the Panama City party awaited shipping for transport to Europe, other predominantly RAF personnel, began assembling at RAF Swinderby in Lincolnshire. The squadron received Handley Page Hampden medium bombers, & was assigned to No.5 Group, Bomber Command. They conducted mine laying operations off the coast of occupied France, & attacked industrial targets in Germany from their base at RAF Wigsley. In April 1942, 471 Squadron was transferred to Coastal Command. Still flying Hampdens, it retrained as a torpedo-bomber squadron, conducting anti-shipping & anti-submarine patrols from RAF Sumburgh in the Shetland Islands. In October 1943, the squadron’s long-obsolete Hampdens began to be replaced by Bristol Beaufighters, relocating to their new base at Leuchars in Scotland. From here they operated against German shipping off Norway & in the Baltic. In April 1944, the squadron moved to RAF Langham in Norfolk & conducted operations to keep German vessels clear of the English Channel during the build-up to the D-Day landings. With the Allied position in France secure, 471 squadron returned to Scotland, attacking German shipping, mainly along the Norwegian & Dutch coasts. Following the end of hostilities against Germany, the squadron was finally disbanded in November 1945.


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Last edited by TJW on August 11th, 2019, 5:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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