H.M.S. DIANA

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rattler


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Joined Oct 19 2013
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MALE
74 years old
Cumbria
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H.M.S. DIANA

About Me

I joined HMS Diana March 1968 as LOEM, WEOW Weapons Electrical Office Writer, served aboard until de-equipping in Guz late 1969 just before she was sold to Peru. During the commission we called at Gib, Capetown, Biera Patrol, chased the Joanna V into Biera (we won the Beira Bucket) full speed to Majunga Madagascar to drop off PO with Appendicitis, Gan, Singers, Hong Kong, Okinawa, Hiroshima, Sydney. On the return journey we called in at Gibraltar for Guard Ship duty. It was during this that we were surrounded by the Spanish Navy, 1 Aircraft Carrier, 1 Cruiser, and a few Destroyers, General Franco had decided that he wanted the Rock back, the buzz went round Diana that they only had enough fuel to stay a few days, and that none of the ships had any ammunition for there guns anyway, sure enough they didn't stay long, but the Spanish Army took up residence at La Linea. I was in the IS platoon, we were mustered at the El Pulverin a night club near the sports ground and were marched through Gib being cheered by the Gibraltarians.  Anyone remember this!. Regards Rattler

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1 Comment

Reply Taff Dugmore
7:43 AM on October 24, 2013 
I joined HMS Diana as a JREM in 1968 when she was off Okinawa. I flew from RAF Lineham to RAF Bahrain, RAF Gan then on to Singapore. After 2 weeks in Singapore I flew to Hong Kong. From there I flew to Okinawa and spent a few days with American airmen. I joined Diana after landing on HMS Hermes in a COD Gannet, then winched down from a Wessex helecopter onto the rear gun deck.
It took just over 3 weeks to get there. (I'd spent all of the 7 I was paid before leaving the UK). The paymaster refused to pay me any back pay as I should have been paid in Singapore. In Singapore they wouldn't pay me because I was in transit. No win situation.
A few days later we entered Okinawa. Then we went to Hiroshima, Eta Jima (Japanese Naval Base/Museum), then Beppu and spent Christmas 1968 in Hong Kong.
Being the youngest person onboard I rang in the New Year 1969. Then home via Singapore, South Africa, Freetown (for fuel) and back to Guz. Then we went to Lison and Gibraltar as guard ship. I was on the wooden MFV used as the "Loop" guard boat when the Spanish Navy turned up. A WW1 aircraft carrier, 2 WW2 US Chieftan Destroyers, a troop ship and other very old ships.The Spanish had an old tug boat with a coal fired boiler and nicknamed Smokey Joe as their "Loop" guard boat. You could see black smoke when they flashed up its boiler to go to sea. We had SLR riffles, they had a 20mm cannon near the bows, but at least I'd been trained as a sniper. I left Diana the same time as you when it paid-off.

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