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Author Topic: SS Richard Montgomery  (Read 217890 times)

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Offline kyn

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2010, 13:11:31 »
"Richard Montgomery".

Thank you for your minute of the 29th July.  My minute of the previous day seems to have suffered by compression.  I did not, of course, have it in mind that the legal advisers at the Embassy would be able to speak with authority on the Port of London statutes, but assumed that they could give some assistance in dealing with the general question of the U.S. Government?s claim of sovereign immunity to avoid responsibility resting on them as owners of the vessel.
On the second point, I agree that the initial claim of the P.L.A. rests against the owners of the vessel at the time of the sinking.
  My purpose in asking Mr. Edwards to clarify the question of present ownership was not merely to find out whether the U.S. Government had disposed of the ship, but, if so, whether the terms of the disposal explicitly passed to the new owners the responsibility for salvage.  I did make this point clear in the letter to Mr. Edwards.

S.R. Walton.
30th July, 1952
Mr. A.W.G.Kean
Copies to Mr. Denis O'Neill
Mr. A.H. Kent

Offline kyn

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2010, 21:49:37 »
"Richard Montgomery"

Any agreement made by the U.S. Government with a third party could not affect the P.L.A's statutory right of recovery.  It could only create rights between the U.S.G. and the third party.
The matter is of course one of wreck removal, not salvage.
No doubt you will ascertain whether there are any reciprocal arrangements with the U.S.Government relating to wreck removal.  I do not know of any, but if you think it would be helpful I should be glad to look through Sir William McNair's and Mr. Roskill's old files.
With respect, I think it advisable to take legal advice at all stages of what is largely a legal matter.  If there are any further meetings during my absence on leave (from this week-end to September 4th) you may wish to consult Mr. Macmahon in the first instance.
Mr. Walton.
Copies to:-
Mr. O'Neill
Mr. Kent.

Offline kyn

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2010, 11:44:20 »
TREASURY SOLICITOR'S DEPARTMENT,
MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT BRANCH,
BERKELEY SQUARE HOUSE,
LONDON, W.1.
3rd September, 1952.
Dear Kent,
We are concerned over here with the liability for the expenditure involved in raising a wreck in the River Thames, which is the property of the U.S. Government.  The vessel was sunk during the war an has not yet been raised.  Inquiries have been made to know if a liability of this character is dealt with in any of the mutual Forbearance arrangements between the British and U.S. Governments.
Command Paper 6416 setting out the British/American "Knock for Knock" Agreement does not appear to extend to raising wrecks, but it is possible that with your experience you may know if similar arrangements were made to cover matters of this kind.  Keen, who was dealing with the case, does not recall any such arrangements, but I should be glad if you would let me know if, in your view, this is correct.

Yours sincerely,
????????????
A.H. Kent Esq.,
Treasury Solicitor's Department,
Storey's Gate,
LONDON. S.W.1.

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2010, 13:56:35 »
Not sure how much knowledge there is here about this subject, but the Wikipedia has a page on it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Richard_Montgomery

The Coastguard Station at Garrison Point keep a VERY close eye on the wreck and anyone snooping around it is seen off by the local plod in double quick time!!

I have heard and read a lot of nonsense about the likely impact if the wreck does go bang. Sheerness will be pretty much trashed. The size of the tidal wave would depend on the amount of water over the wreck at the time, but worst case would be if it went bang at the height of an equinox spring tide, you'd be looking at about a 20ft wave, or so I've read.

As far as the post about possible WMD on the wreck is concerned, if there were any real nasties aboard, our American cousins wouldn't have just handed the UK govt a wad of cash and told us to go clean it up, they would have been all over it like a rash and would have made damn sure that the WMD would have been taken off first and by their own people.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2010, 22:10:46 »
I have a book about the wreck of the Richard Montgomery but I can't find it at the moment. But I do remember that the cargo was of bombs for the US 8th Air Force. After the vessel grounded she started to break up and a stevedore was called in to rescue the cargo, about two thirds of the cargo was recovered before the vessel started to break up even more making it too dangerous to continue. The first cracks in the hull appeared just forward of the bridge on number 3 hold which still contains all the munitions that were loaded. The after holds were completely emptied and the holds 1 and 2 partially emptied before the attempt was abandoned. There is nothing to suggest that the cargo was other than conventional aircraft bombs, a full cargo manifest was included in the book with details of what was recovered. That still however leaves several hundred tons of high explosives sitting in the Thames estuary!

seafordpete

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2010, 18:50:28 »
When i was a lot younger in the 60's my parents used to take us to Sheerness for the day and it was possible to take an organised trip on a boat seating about 20 persons from the beach out to the wreck, which from memory got close enough to be able to read the signs and see the masts in some detail.

Should have gone there in the 50s they used to sail between the masts at high tide, no exclusion zone then

Offline Stewie

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2009, 14:59:53 »
When i was a lot younger in the 60's my parents used to take us to Sheerness for the day and it was possible to take an organised trip on a boat seating about 20 persons from the beach out to the wreck, which from memory got close enough to be able to read the signs and see the masts in some detail.

Offline Ex-Chalky

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2009, 12:08:15 »
An uncle of mine was on one of the tugs that went out to the Richard Montgomery at the time, he said something about hatch covers not being properly secured in time, and it not being properly anchored.   Of course, that may not be entirely accurate.
In the interests of preserving the environment no trees were harmed in the transmission of this mess

smiler

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2009, 19:40:27 »
I have wondered for years will the Mongomery blow up, working daily quite near it I have never been concerned obout it, if it goes then I wont know so why worry?
This is an extract that I wrote at the time.

!978 Sheerness floods
As it got near the afternoon's high tide, we were told to make our way up to the sea wall, where there was a breach, that had allowed  the Town to be flooded, a mobile Readymix lorry, was backing along the top of the sea wall to deposit its load into the breach, we were to cover this with sand bags to protect it, before the sea washed it away, it would take about two hours to dry. As we got to the top of the sea wall we got the full blast of the wind coming straight in from the sea, this made it very difficult to stand, we became aware of large timbers washing in with the waves, they must have come from the deck of a ship out at sea, these were whole trees sawn into planks then banded into bales, as they hit the sea wall they split open, like surf  boards coming at us like battering rams. If any of us got hit we would have been badly injured or worse.
Behind us was the flooded moat of the old dock, the sea was rising, the waves were hitting the top of the seawall and breaking over us . There was only one way back. "If the sand bags don't come soon  it will be too late" the voice of a colleague voiced all our thoughts.
The sea was now lapping the wet cement, and a fierce spray began washing it away. No sand bags had arrived, my donkey jacket and overalls were soaked through, and my Wellington boots were full with water. I held my hat in place , and had to take my glasses off, my face was stinging with the wind my eyes running, a large timber was thrown up at us, landing on the sea wall. We must leave or be washed away by the tide.
We made our way along the top of the sea wall to the shelter of an upturned deck chair hut, that was still full of deck chairs, with the door still padlocked, we cowered behind it in the lea from the gale force wind, we stayed till three o'clock
Water came over the wet cement, and washed it away, the Beachfields  Park soon got  flooded, we made an attempt to place boards between the walls that  once had been the picnic area, but the boards just floated as the water reached them, an archway between The Travellers Rest Cafe, had a torrent of water coming out into the High Street, as there was so many shops and  super stores we were told to block this off, before the water got into them, but a confrontation with the owner of The Travellers Rest, who now got the whole of the flood into his shop and cellars, had to be restrained, the water now crossed the Main Road and flooded the station  the Railway lines were submerged for some way back along the track.
A worker inspects the top of the sea wall, a steel Cason that is being used to reinforce the sea wall now lies against the Lifeguard hut.
Is the onshore wind going to bring the Richard Montgomery ashore?

Offline de Mol

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2009, 16:01:40 »
Thank you Kyn.

Found a picture of the Dornoch,wanted to know what sort of ship it was.Might be of interest :)

She was a Clovelly Class Auxillary Fleet Tender.

http://www.hydrographicsociety.org/news/Corporate-Members-News/2001-10-NORCOM%20TECHNOLOGY.htm

Martin.


Offline kyn

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2009, 21:31:53 »
Interesting, thanks for adding this!  I think the checks used to be yearly however i don't know about now, seems about 3 years between the sonar checks though.

Offline de Mol

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2009, 16:46:45 »
From the Medport News 1981:
"Another look at RICHARD
During late July and early August,Ministry of Defence diving oprerations from the R.M.A.S. Dornoch
using a Royal Navy diving team,were carried out from gemini inflatable craft on the wreck of the
RICHARD MONTGOMERY.The operation ,which lasted six weeks,forms part of the regular observation
and monitoring of the state of this thirty-seven year old war-time wreck."

How often are these carried out?

I can remember my father telling me he had Emergency Plans locked up in his Office Safe.
The plans were to be used and steps taken accordingly if the worst case was to occur.

Martin.


Offline kyn

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 18:36:45 »
A couple of snippets from a document exploring the effects of detonation of SS Richard Montgomery 1970







If you want the whole document order AVIA 37/916 at the National Archives.

Dave Weller

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2008, 21:28:29 »
I could not find the results of the board of trade enquiry findings into the sinking, I did find out things about the officers of HMS Leigh (Southend Pier) and that the money, if paid for the clean up went missing about 1980 (Thatcher/Tebbitt).
 I only looked on Google, the survey results are available, 

seafordpete

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Re: SS Richard Montgomery
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2008, 08:25:37 »
The US denied it was the RM for many years saying that the RM had gone down off Whitstable. I saw a survey done about 1977 when I was on a course at Lodge Hill. The contents were still viable then, most in well greased transit containers. The risk is of the bomb filling deteriorating and becoming ultra sensitive and a chain reaction being set off if one goes up. The cargo was mostly high capacity blast bombs, ie thin skins. Used to be a great place to go on the "trip around the bay" boats when I was a kid, at high tide they used to sail  over her between the masts. Pete

 

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