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Author Topic: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery  (Read 6115 times)

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Offline Signals99

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2016, 09:24:33 »
The rocket launchers mounted on the gun shield of the Flower Class Corvettes were for 'Rockets-Illumination', which fitted to supplement the star-shell complement of many RN ships.

They were of a simple tube construction fitted with small fins which contained a solid fuel rocket motor, plus a small well made parachute, attached to an illuminating charge, which, after the motor ran out, a small explosive charge detonated discharging the 'chute and burner. This unit then descended slowly, illuminating the area required (hopefully).

Up until 1952/3 thousands of these rounds or pyrotechnics were in stock at RNAD Lodge Hill, where most were destroyed on the burning grounds at Lodge Hill. Large quantities came from RNAD Priddys Hard at Portsmouth to be destroyed as well.

(Edited for spelling and grammar - Bilgerat)

Offline grandarog

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2016, 18:50:12 »
A couple of the photos of the gun turret show 2 rockets quite clearly. Judging by the scale to the Gun barrel I would say they are, 103 mm Bofors illumination rockets.

Offline conan

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2016, 15:47:12 »
The caption to the photo says 'illumination rocket rails' Which it seems were parachute flares for night time work.
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline grandarog

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2016, 14:47:42 »
Excellent series of Flower Class Corvette pictures showing loads of views of HMCS Sackville the only onepreserved of its class..
 Just calls the items on the turret Rocket Rails..
The hedgehog dischargers are on deck so the rockets were probably 2".
I cant find any specs for them on Armament details.

http://www.steelnavy.com/Sackville.htm

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2016, 14:38:20 »
Thanks, Herb Collector, very interesting pictures.Incidently, the middle one shows how important it is when taking a picture, to check the background- looks like a " sky hook"!

Offline smiffy

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2016, 13:41:50 »
Not sure if it's the same, but something similar fitted to the turret of a Flower class corvette...


Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2016, 21:53:19 »
I have found out a little more about 'Tonsil'.
Its official name was 'Rail Anti-Aircraft Rocket Launcher' (RAARL) colloquially known as 'Pillar Box'. It was developed by Professor Alywn Crow at Fort Halstead and used mainly as a Anti-Aircraft weapon on armed merchant ships.

Photos Imperial War Museums.

The Pillar Box in action. 11 and 12 November 1943, DEMS (Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship) Ranges, Cardiff.

IWM (A 20389) Men of the Merchant Navy learning how to load the "Pillar Box".

IWM (A 20390) A Colour Sergeant instructor of the Royal Marines instructing men of the Merchant Service in how to load the "Pillar Box".

IWM (A 20391) The operator of the "Pillar Box" at the alert position. The rocket is fired by pedals. GPO (Chief Gunner's mate) C F H Pitman, one of the chief instructors at the DEMS Training Centre, who comes from Portsmouth. Since the war began no less than 43,000 DEMS personnel have passed through his hands at a rate of 900 per month.
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Offline otis

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2016, 15:38:48 »
It could just be a mis-leading page layout, but the multiple launcher in the top image on the second link not an UP anti-aircraft weapon, but a Hedgehog anti-sumarine launcher. These were fitted to RN destroyers and smaller vessels .
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline conan

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To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline grandarog

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2016, 21:51:23 »
Hi Signals99,
             We used to drop practice depth charges on padded Sub HMS Seraph from RAF Shackletons. Also do low passes up the starboard side of ships and drop a couple of 8 1/2 lb practice bombs (Smoke in Daylight and Flame at night).Let them train the guns on us.
            Crept up behind a giant Russian battle wagon up in the Arctic Ocean ,2 aft turrets and 2 fwds radar tracked round on us all the way by. Wouldn't have stood a chance if for real.
            Your mate Bert was partly right about the rockets on Hood.It carried as part of its awesome firepower , 5 20-barrel "Unrotating Projectile" mountings. They were the big brothers of the 2 inch ones mounted on the lorries.
           They fired 20 x 7inch rockets with HE warheads.
           As the Hood exploded as result of hit on a Magazine maybe the war heads did contribute to the blast.

Offline Signals99

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2016, 03:31:56 »
Greetings Grandarog, not certain what your connection with the 'Andrew' was but may be you can enlighten me regarding something I was told by a Mr Bert Hill, a fellow employee at Lodge Hill:

The story was that this particular type of rocket had been mounted on HMS Hood and was partly responsible for her loss? Any truth in this, or was it just one of Bert's yarns?

(Edited for spelling and grammar - Bilgerat)

Offline grandarog

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2016, 20:33:49 »
Possibly because they spread like spray from a bad cough. :) Navy humour at work!

Offline mikeb

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2016, 20:23:05 »
As a matter of interest, do we know why they were called "Tonsil"?

Offline grandarog

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2016, 19:09:51 »
  As far as I know the launchers were in blocks of 20 tubes and fired 2 inch rockets with HE heads armed to explode at 1500 feet.Hopefully at least the blast from one of the cluster would disable the VI guidance. It must have worked as the coast batteries were credited with 8 kills.
  Allegedly from rumour they were banned from firing over built up areas ,as when the battery at Gillingham fired at a German bomber, which they missed ,the falling rocket debris caused nearly as much damage as a bombing raid.

Offline Signals99

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Re: Tonsil. Royal Navy Anti-V1 Rocket Battery
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2016, 12:34:09 »
Hi, when I worked at the Lodge Hill RNAD, I remember seeing a photograph of a rocket battery at the depot. It was mounted at a place called Forty Acre Fields, just across the road from the main gate, to the right of the loco sheds. I was told that it consisted of Unrotating Projectiles MK 4, launched in salvos of four in conjunction with three other batteries in the Medway Box Barrage. Don't hold me to this, it was a long time ago, but I recall it was named "D" Battery.

A quantity of fins and rocket motors were still on charge at the Chattenden magazines in the early fiftes.

(Edited for spelling and grammar - Bilgerat)

 

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