Gower Shipwreck – Unknown Whiteford Sands

Towards the northern most extreme of Whiteford Sands sits the partially buried steel hull and boiler of an as yet unidentified wreck. Revealed only at low tide the entire outline of the hull can be discerned whilst the boiler is presumably still pretty much in situ. Both retain very interesting features such as the rivets on the rear of the firebox, and much like the wreck nearby at Whiteford Point the shifting sands periodically reveal and cover the remains. Continue reading “Gower Shipwreck – Unknown Whiteford Sands”

German WW2 Panzer Relics in Bulgaria

In the dark days of the Cold War, communist Bulgaria fortified its border with Turkey, which was a member of the rival NATO alliance, by embedding scores of Soviet and Nazi tanks in a network of concrete bunkers. The bunkers have been abandoned for years. In 2004, Bulgaria joined NATO. The old German panzers were left rusting and all but forgotten.

Many of them fell prey to scrap metal hunters, who, in many cases, have left little but the chassis of a tank intact.

Iwo Jima tank wreck

There is one WWII USMC tank left on Iwo from the battle…an M4A3 of 4th Tank Bn…I have been working on identifying this tank and have gotten it locked down finally. I have identified the tank, the crew and the circumstances of the loss – and even have found photos of the tank taken right after it was destroyed.

There are no other tanks on the island – either US or Japanese…they were all removed and scrapped back in the 50s and 60s by Japanese contractors.

Fishing boat stuck on the barrier reef

Rarotonga is the capital of the Cook Islands, a lovely volcanic island surrounded by a pristine barrier reef.
The Cook Islands which consists of 15 islands in the sparkling Pacific Ocean. The islands hold fascination to scientists who study it’s volcanic origins. Rarotonga is a raised island cone with rainforest leading down to a barrier reef. Inhabited by Polynesians, it was a British protectorate from 1888 and eventually became a New Zealand dependency in 1901. In 1960’s The Cook Islands became a self governing state.

The Duke of Lancaster

Along with her sister ships the TSS Duke of Rothesay and the TSS Duke of Argyll she was amongst the last passenger-only steamers built for British Railways (at that time, also a ferry operator). She was a replacement for the 1928 steamer built by the London Midland and Scottish Railway, RMS Duke of Lancaster.

 

Built at Harland & Wolff, Belfast and completed in 1956, she was designed to operate as both a passenger ferry (primarily on the Heysham-Belfast route) and as a cruise ship. In this capacity, the Lancaster travelled to the Scottish islands and further afield to Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway and Spain.

From the mid-1960s, passenger ships such as the Lancaster were gradually being superseded by car ferries.[1] Rather than undertake the expensive option of renewing their entire fleet, British Railways instead began a part-programme of conversion. In order to maintain ferry services whilst these modifications took place, the Lancaster’s duties as a cruise ship ceased. On 25 April 1970 the ship returned to service, having had her main deck rebuilt to accommodate vehicles via a door at her stern. The ship now provided space for 1,200 single-class passengers and 105 cars, with a total cabin accommodation for 400 passengers.

The three ships continued on the Heysham-Belfast route until the service was withdrawn on 5 April 1975. The Duke of Lancaster was then briefly employed on theFishguard-Rosslare crossing, before becoming the regular relief vessel on the Holyhead–Dún Laoghaire service until November 1978. The ship was then laid up at Barrow in Furness, Cumbria.

The Duke of Lancaster arrived in Llanerch-y-Mor in August 1979 to start her new life as the Funship. Despite Delyn Councils’ own resolution in favour of the project (which led to the financial commitment) they subsequently refused numerous planning applications, even for signage, opposed the granting of bar licenses, issued a magistrates’ summons over a lack of sufficient fire escapes, applied for a High Court injunction to close the ship on safety grounds, refused permission to trade on the car park area although the Coed Mawr was allowed trading at the time without planning permission, required the Funship to charge an admission fee to supposedly protect the trade in Holywell town centre although the Funship targeted tourism and even sabotaged a Welsh Development Grant awarded for sea defence and landscaping purposes. All this was followed by the serving of 13 separate Enforcement Notices, around 1985, blighting the site until 1990 when the Council lost on their actions at the hands of the Secretary of State for Wales. The Council were ordered to pay unprecedented costs. They had failed yet again. In 1994 the Council struck once more claiming monopoly rights in the High Court. They claimed the Funship Market was within a 6 mile radius of their newly opened Holywell Market and was direct competition, therefore had to close. They applied to the High court for an interlocutory injunction forcing the Funship to close whilst the case went for trial.

That was probably the death knell for the Funship with her owners sick of the attacks they closed the business in 2004. They have continued to fight the case over the years and are still doing so but unfortunately the ship has stood closed ever since.

Despite having large amounts of its exterior paintwork covered in rust, the interior of the ship is in good condition. It was featured in the 2011 series of BBC Two’s Coast.

In early 2012 several local arcade game collectors made a deal with Solitaire Liverpool Ltd and were able to purchase most of the coin operated machines left behind inside the ship at the time the fun ship closed. Removing the games required the use of cranes and other heavy lifting equipment.

The plan is to transform the ship into the largest open air art gallery in the UK. As of August 2012, the Latvian graffiti artist “Kiwie” was commissioned to spraypaint a design on the ship. The ship is slowly being covered with graffiti described as “bright and surreal”. The first phase of the project saw Kiwie and other European graffiti artists paint murals on the ship between August and November 2012, and the second phase (starting at the end of March 2013) included the work of British-based artists such as Snub23, Spacehop, Dan Kitchener and Dale Grimshaw. One of the artworks is a picture of the ship’s first captain, John ‘Jack’ Irwin.

Source : Wikipedia

 

PBY Catalina, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

In 1960, Thomas Kendall, his family, and a photographer from Life magazine set off on a round the world pleasure trip in this Catalina.
On 22nd March they touched down in the Gulf of Aqaba.
The following day they were attacked with automatic gun fire from a headland nearby by local people who had mistaken them for Israeli commandos.
Mr Kendall and his secratary were injured and 4,000 litres of fuel poured onto the sand. After interogation in Jeddah they were all released.

Dornier Do-17

The wreck of the Dornier Do-17 plane being raised to the surface of a ship at Goodwin Sands, Kent, at the mouth of the English Channel, on June 10, 2013. Experts from the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum had spent five weeks preparing to lift the aircraft, which is believed to be the only Dornier Do-17 bomber plane left from the war. The aircraft was a mainstay of the German bomber fleets during the Battle of Britain in 1940.-

USS LST-480

The remains of the USS LST-480, is seen in West Loch near Pearl Harbor.- The naval vessel sank in an accidental explosion on May 21, 1944 which killed 163 men and sank several other Landing Ship Tank vessels. The LST ships were being loaded with ammunition and gas and were preparing for a voyage to the Marianas Islands, for what was expected to be a brutal invasion, codenamed “Operation Forager.”

Fw 190 A-3

On 1 Nov 2006, a Fw 190 A-3 was salvaged from the ocean off the island of Sotra, near Bergen, Norway.-
Its pilot had made an emergency landing in December 1943 and had scrambled to safety and was rescued soon after; his aircraft had sunk to the bottom of the sea. After its retrieval from 60 m deep water, the Fw 190, “Yellow 16,” from IV/JG 5 was only missing its canopy and the fabric-covered wing and tail surfaces.-

AAB_zps501cbad7

C-47 ‘Dakota’ in Siberia

This Douglas C-47-DL, serial number 42-32892, factory 9118 was deliver to the US Air Force on February 24th 1943. It was then handed to the USSR Air Force on 12th march 1943 under the lend-lease programme, where it was given the ID ‘USSR-H-328′. It was sent to the 7th Arctic Aviation Regiment of the 1st Air Division.

According to order number OK/071 of April 16th 1943 it was enlisted by the Office of Polar Aviation to conduct ice reconnaissance. From October 22nd to November 1th 1943 it explored the Kara Sea under the command of the pilot, MA Titlova.

From 3th June to 24th July 1944 it made further sorties from bases in Anderme for further reconnaissance of the Kara Sea. In 1945 it was sent to the Chukotka Polar Air Arm where it was given the number A-3072.-

[​IMG]

One book describes the final fate of this aircraft.

“Emergency, Saturday April 13th 1947 in the area of the river Dudypty, North of the village Volochanka. Failure of the left engine. Successfully made a landing and sat for around twenty days, until discovered by the crew of F. Shatrova. 28 people survives, some with minor frostbite on their hands and face (mostly children). Commander Tyuikov, airborne radio operator Smirnov and seven passengers were missing – they had gone in search of help in the snowy tundra and never returned.”

Kittyhawk P-40

A Kittyhawk P-40 that crashed in the Sahara desert on June 28, 1942 has been found in remarkablygood condition by Polish oil company employee Jakub Perka. Perka was exploring the desert west of the Nile 200 miles from the nearest city when he found the downed plane. It was damaged from the crash landing and bears scars from flak encounters, but other than that, the single-seater fighter plane appears to have been frozen in time by the desert heat.-

 

The Convair 400

Here are also two plane wrecks near the Sonesta Beach Hotel, purposely sunk in 70 to 90 feet of water. The Convair 400, put down in the 1990s, was largely intact until Hurricane Lenny uprooted it. The YS-11 was sunk in 2004, adja­cent to the Convair 400 (wreck diving). Some claim the planes are confiscated drug runners, while other sources say Aruba Airlines once flew them.