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Sunday, 30 May 2010


(Photo courtesy of RNZN Museum)  
Ship No 315

Second in line of the three ship order for H.M.N.Z.N.
She was 157 feet and 6 inches length overall with a beam of 27 feet and 6 inches and a draught of 15 feet and 6 inches.

She was launched from the yard on 7th July 1941.

Ship details:
Type: Bird Class Trawlers

Pennant No.: T102

Commissioned: 1941

Displacement (full load): 937 tonnes

Dimensions: 51.2m length, 48m height, 9.1m beam, 4.7m draught

Engines: 1-shaft reciprocating engine, oil fired, max speed 13 knots

Armament: 1 x 102mm [4”] gun

Minesweeping equipment

ASDIC [anti-submarine equipment]

1 x twin Hotchkiss light MG mounting

1 x 20mm gun (from 1942), a further 2 x 20mm fitted unofficially in 1943
Complement: 33-35 officers and ratings

Hell or High Water: New Zealand Merchant Seafarers Remember the War
This class was based on the design of an experimental Royal Navy minesweeping trawler were the first new ships to enter service with the Royal New Zealand Navy, their principal peace time function was training, and in wartime, minesweeping and escort duties. After working up in Northern England she went to New Zealand In December 1942, the four ships of the 25th Minesweeping Flotilla, comprising the three 'Bird class' corvettes HMNZS Kiwi, Tui, and Moa, with HMNZS Matai as senior ship, had deployed to the Solomons.

H.M.N.Z.S. Kiwi (T102) was to take part in many adventures during the long and dangerous days of World War II including the sinking of the Japanese Submarine I-1 while working in tandem with her sister ship H.M.N.Z.S. Moa.

A remarkable feat for these gallant little ships to under take, and her full story will be told on the new website.

HMNZS Kiwi post-war
During this action she rammed the submarine, which was over twice her size, damaging her bow and was sent back to Devonport for repairs. After repair, she returned to the Solomon’s area, remaining there till almost the end of the Second World War, returning to Auckland in August 1945 to help in the clearance of the Auckland minefields, going into reserve shortly afterwards. She re-commissioned in 1948- 1949, 1951-1952, and 1954-1956 for use as a training ship, before finally paying off in 1956. She was sold for scrap in 1964 and broken up shortly afterwards.
(My thanks to RNZN Museum)

The Japanese Submarine Force and World War II The Japanese Submarine Force and World War II
When first published in 1995, this book was hailed as an absolutely indispensable contribution to the history of the Pacific War. Drawing heavily from Japanese sources and American wartime intercepts of secret Japanese radio messages, a noted American naval historian and a Japanese mariner painstakingly recorded and evaluated a diverse array of material about Japan's submarines in World War II. The study begins with the development of the first Japanese 103-ton Holland-type submergible craft in 1905 and continues through the 1945 surrender of the largest submarine in the world at the time, the 5300-ton I-400 class that carried three airplanes. Submarine weapons, equipment, personnel, and shore support systems are discussed first in the context of Japanese naval preparations for war and later during the war. Both successes and missed opportunities are analyzed in operations ranging from the California coast through the Pacific and Indian Oceans to the coast of German-occupied France. Appendixes include lists of Japanese submarine losses and the biographies of key Japanese submarine officers. Rare illustrations and specifically commissioned operational maps enhance the text.

1 comment:

Russell Ward said...

Loved these ships. They were real honeys even if typically corky in a seaway. Nothing but the best went into them. I watched sadly as only a schoolboy can as Kiwi was scrapped in '64. Managed to get a few keepsakes including her chart table and have a half finished model of her -one day.... Sister ship Tui lasted a little longer as a survey ship. Moa was lost in a bombing attack in the war.