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Can you help us identify these pictures?

If you can help identify any of the locations, people or events in these images please submit your answer to the editor

Mystery photo No. 13

Can you identify the ships in this photo and where andwhen was taken?



Mystery photo No. 12

Can you identify the ships in this photo and when was taken?

This photo is of H.M. Dockyard Portsmouth .


Ewen Scott wrote: In the foreground – County class destroyer Fife D20. Her presence indicates the photo dates to after she commissioned in June 1966.

Carrier in background – Victorious. Only 3 carriers carried the Type 984 radar on the bridge. Victorious, Hermes and Eagle. The arrangement of the masts and island superstructure and the thick black band to the top of the funnel identify it as Vic. She had recommissioned in April 1966 and sailed for the Far East in July only returning in June 1967.

Carrier to the right – Centaur. This is clearly a Centaur class carrier from the shape of the bow. By mid-1966 Albion & Bulwark had been converted to commando carriers and had lost the catapults clearly visible. Centaur had paid off for the final time in Sept 1965 after which she became a home to the crews of various ships refitting at Portsmouth except for a period between Oct 1966 & May 1967 when she was at Devonport as accommodation ship for the refitting Eagle and then again from April 1970, before she was scrapped in 1972.

Carrier in the dock – Leviathan. A Majestic class carrier launched in June 1945, she was never completed. She was used in and around Portsmouth as an accommodation ship, slowly being stripped, officially & unofficially, of spare parts to keep other ships of a similar generation running. Her boilers were stripped for the Dutch Navy Karel Doorman shortly before she was scrapped in 1968.

So I would date the photo to summer 1966.


Tony Slater says.... The ship in the foreground of photo 12 is definitely FIFE at Fountain Lake Jetty. She still has B turret therefore the date is before July 1975 after which she was fitted for Exocet.

Malcolm Shykles says.... D20 HMS Fife, Summer of 1965, Possible Carriers, Ark Royal, Bulwark and Hermes.

Mystery photo No. 11

Where is this?

This photo was taken at a training establishment in Britain sometime between the First and Second World Wars.


Ray Rylatt in Ontario, Canada correctly identified this: The photo was taken about late 1930’s It was the Passing out parade at HMS Impregnable (later known as St Budeaux RN Barracks) situated at Bull Point St Budeaux Plymouth.


Mystery photo No. 10

Where is this airfield?

This unidentified airfield was amongst the collection of images belonging to Sub-Lt A Jones R.N.V.R,, a pilot with 1846 naval Air Squadron after training in the U.S.


Sandy Sproule wrote: This RAF Katunayake (Negombo) in Ceylon now Bandaranaike international airport Sri Lanka.


Mystery photo No. 9

Can you identify where this photo was taken?

The only clue we have is the white ensign flying from the yard, that and it is a very desolate landscape. The design of the control tower also seems a little odd.


No takers yet...


Mystery photo No. 8

Can you identify when and where this photo was taken?

The only clue we have is the LCI(L)s (Landing Craft Infantry (Large)) moored behind the throng of combined operations personnel.


No takers yet...


Mystery photo No. 7

Can you identify when and where this photo was taken?

This is a location in the UK on the South Coast, and shows survivors from a famous ship coming home.


Sandy Sproule wrote: This is the main gate at HMS Daedalus, Royal Naval Air Station Lee-on-Solent looking down Eagle Road. The gate is there to this day. The officer marching behind the bandsman looks remarkably like Eugene Esmonde, VC, DSO.

[Editor] This picture shows the survivors from the sinking of HMS ARK ROYAL arriving at the Fleet Air Arm Barracks at Lee-on-Solent in November 1941. Lieutenant Commander(A) Eugene Esmonde, DSO, RN was the commanding officer of 825 squadron on bard ARK ROYAL at the time of her sinking so it is highly probable that he is the officer leading the men through the gate.


Mystery photo No. 6

Where is this?

It is a location in Ceylon but where?

Ian Jones wrote: Is it Diyatalawa Camp Ceylon? [Very possibly, yes. Editor]


Mystery photo No. 5

Which establishment?

Can anyone suggest which naval establishment these Wrens belonged to? The white bands on their caps would suggest they are officer candidates. .

Eldred Clark wrote: I think that this is RNC Greenwich — There was a WRNS OCTU there when I was doing the Met course in early 1942


Mystery photo No. 4

Which establishment?

Can anyone suggest where this cricket ground was and which naval establishment these Wrens belonged to?


No takers yet...


Mystery photo No3

AA Fleet Review? ?

Believed to be a Royal Naval Review, certainly pre WW1. The photo donor believes that the location is Torbay, can anyone say when this took place and what was the occasion?


Tony Atkinson wrote: The bottom of the two photographs shows the Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert sailing through the lines of capitol ships in Torbay. The headland to the left of the photograph is Berry Head, Devon.

Paul Lloyd suggests: I believe this may be part of the home fleet cruise of 1907 and may have been as a demonstration to the visiting Japanese prince. See the page from the Times, dated May 6, 1907 - (opposite) article about Naval and Military Intelligence.



Mystery photo No.2

An escort aircraft carrier ferrying aircraft... But which ship? ?

Is she assuming American or British? Are these spitfires or Hurricanes (no folding wings) with a Swordfish or Albacore? parked near the bows. Or are they American fighters on her deck?


This is the USS Altamaha (CVE 18), departing Alameda, California, 16 July 1943, bound for Australia with a load of P-51 Mustangs and a lone SOC Seagull.


Mystery photos No.1

A trio of photos taken outside the same building... but where, and which ship is this crew from?

No big clues for this, other than they are in temperate climate uniform (so the palm trees maybe misleading) and the photo donor believes them to be Coastal Forces, possibly an MGB or MTB crew. Anyone any ideas?


From the London Branch, Coastal Forces Veterans cfv.org.uk ... the location for these photos is the Coastal Forces base HMS BEE at Weymouth. The base was commissioned in the summer of 1942 and occupied the Pierhead Theatre, a hotel, and a row of requisitioned boarding-houses. Newly formed crews and their boats participated in exercises at sea here to bring them up to operational readiness, which is why many crew photos of crews exist with this same background. Regards

Stephen Morse of Auckland NZ writes: The trees in the background are New Zealand Cabbage trees, so not necessarily tropical. The officers are RNVR (or possibly RNZRNVR), so probably not Merchant Marine. They have on their caps HMTS. Could be His Majesty's Telegraph Ship or His Majesty's Training Ship or His Majesty's Troop Ship. RNZN came into existence in 1941. It looked a bit like Auckland NZ, just up the road from the RNZN base at Devonport. There are also lots of NZ cabbage trees in Bournemouth.

Frank O’Neill suggests: HMS St Christopher, Fort William, and supplies the third photo, this one is of the crew of MTB 639. The commanding officer, Lt. Stewart Gould is in the middle of the front row




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