Sunday, 20 March 2016

Composite list of HDML's still active.

Kia ora katoa, welcome all.  This site is my tribute to all things Motor Launch, be they HDML (Harbour Defense Motor Launches) or also known as SDML (Seaward Defense Motor Launches).  I served in the Navy from May 1975 until 2002, retiring after 12 years a Chief Petty Officer, with 3 years (1976 - 1979) on both Tarapunga and Takapu.  I was a very junior survey assistant back then but became so enamoured with them I want my own one.

This is a living document and as such needs active updating, please contact me below in Reply for any edits/etc you feel need addressing (or my email - zappydodah@hotmail.com).   
Of the 16 originally delivered from USA in 1943 and worked by RNZN, 9 still remain in differing stage of seaworthiness.  The 7 others were broken down for parts and are spread around various other owners.  The following mainly deal with the 9 survivors with plenty of data per ML. (as an aside Australia had 34 HDML's of which only one remains.)

I am open to receiving photos/data/ditties to enhance this site especially unawares and staged Crew shots (with accompanying names/ranks/evolution).

Current catalogue of Photo's in this blog numbers 92 (and growing).

Click Here to View ML T-Shirts.







The later to be commissioned HMNZS Tarapunga being taken off the Liberty delivery ship (USS Kootenay Park) by Floating Crane Hikitia at Wellington 30th April 1943.

Discovered tonight (24/4/2018) the following (from this website)

USS Frank Joseph Irwin - Q1183 and Q1184 arrived Wellington NZ 18 January 1943
USS Pere Marquette - Q1185 and Q1186 arriving Wellington 5 April  1943
USS Kootenay Park - Q1187 to Q1190  arriving Wellington 30 April 1943
USS Mount Robson Park Q1191 - Q1194 arriving in Auckland 25 August 1943
and ML's Q1348 to Q1351 arrived 28 February 1944 but no shipping details.


Where it all started, men go down to the sea  in ships and then memories are born.


Click here for comprehensive ML data. and this image is one of the four Liberty Ships, the SS Frank Joseph Irwin, that delivered them here.





Click here for ML database by UK Navypedia site.
UK HDML model showing full WWII Livery.


What follows is a labour of love. ( and I will say there are variant sources for this and they are acknowledged.)



Procedure Alpha

This image of Inverell M233 and 5 ML's in Port Entry at Port Nicholson had been a puzzle now partially solved. Under the zoomed microscope I can make out the two near vessels (P3564 Koura and P 3562 Parore) with next two a probable only (P3554 Maroro) then next even harder to be sure (possibly P3552 Paea) the last (on Port Bow of Inverell) is undefinable. The image appears to be pre 1968 (Old White Ensign)

Click on Here for Navy Museum write up on ML's

Click on this link for details in Wiki and the ML information's.

Click here for The Australian  HDML story.


Click here for comprehensive database on HDML/SDML - Medusa Trust. and this page highlights fate of HDML's in toto. Click Here 480 built and a handful remain (NZ has most)

Click on here for NZ Naval Board Report, two mentions of ML's (1946)

Click on here for another site with HDML (and Fairmile) data.


Follows is standard livery fit for WWII HDML

Type: Harbour/Seaward Defence Motor Launches
Displacement: 54 tonnes
Dimensions: 22 x 4.8 x 1.6m
Machinery: 2 x shaft Grey Diesels bhp 330 = 10-12 knots
Wartime Armament:
2 x 50cal machineguns
1 x 20mm Oerlikon
2 x twin mounted Vickers machineguns
8 x depth charges
ASDIC
Peacetime: Unarmed

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Mako   (ZMSR Call sign)
(Crest is a Shark)


now at Queensland - 2017

Madden Lewis - builder

Sausilito  Location

Q1183 and P3551



Mako in Hauraki Gulf 1943














Model version of Mako.




Mako and Esmeralda

Mako in Brisbane (looks like the Brisbane River)




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Paea (ZMSS)
(Crest is Broadbill Swordfish)




at Whangarei 2017


Madden Lewis - builder

Sausilito  Location

Q1184  and P3552


Refitted and actively sailed by Keith and Heather  (as at 2018)

On the dates early March 2018, the two restored  SDML Paea and Kuparu were in Whangarei, the first time I am guessing for over 30 years.  Both vessels are lovingly restored and an active museum(s).

The greatest event at Whangarei was the accompaniment with HMNZS Hawea, an Inshore Patrol Vessel of the modern navy.

















Paea as Q1184 August 1944












Waitemata Hbr

Paea in Survey livery Mid to late 70's (possibly Auckland)




Paea with USS Texas in Auckland 1983.
Needing some rank's, names, event. (Taken pre-1963)

Rear L - R   Far Left ?? Near Left ?? Centre PO?? Near Right ??  Far Right ATO(??) Andy Edwards

Front L-R  Far Left ??,  Near  Left S/Lt Algie Walton (TBC)??, Near Right PO??, Far Right ??


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Q1186 

These  images are probably the only existing images of Q1186 (top left). The ML to right (Tarapunga Q1187) is inboard of  Q1184 (Paea).  All three ML's alongside HMNZS Philomel.




















Madden Lewis - builder


Sausilito - Location

Sold by Navy in 1946.

Sold to Sydney then to Fiji
Possible name is Wings Afloat



Edited to add from Ian Rose (18/3/2018):

Ian Rose Interesting Q1186 possible never had a P number she was cannibalised for spare parts in 1947- 48 Hull was sold 1948 for 660 pounds to J B Jobling Auckland who rebuilt her as private launch and named Wings Afloat he resold her in 1956 to the old Coast Guard and renamed Stratus resold again 1958 then did a runner to Sydney as Wings Afloat unknown since 1970.

From the Auckland Coastguard website (found 19/3.2018)

Stratus (Cutter No. 1) (ex-WingsAfloat, ex-MLQ1186) Photograph page 65 Another vessel that started life as a 72-foot HDML, she was built in San Francisco and purchased by Coastguard probably in late 1956 from a Mr C. V. Jobling who had bought her from the Navy in 1948 as a gutted hull without engines. Jobling had substantially altered her appearance with the fitting of a large deckhouse. She was found to have significant dry rot. The necessary repairs, which also involved restoring the wheelhouse to near original appearance, cost the Coastguard dearly. Although she ran successfully for a time, lifting the Coastguard image and providing some good training for many Coastguards who are still involved in boating, her running costs - she had two Chrysler Crown 8-cylinder petrol motors — crippled the Service. Sold in 1960-1961 for financial reasons, her value on the books was then about £2200. She is still afloat in Australia and was last reported in Brisbane in 1993. 


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Takapu   (ZMDU)
(Crest is Gannet)




at Milford Sound
(as at Feb 2018 For Sale)

Madden Lewis - builder


Sausilito  Location


Q1188  and P3556


From Geoff Haskins (former CO Takapu)


Here's a picture, from the past (about 1957 - research suggests 1955 to 1958 when she was bearing the revised Pennant P3556A), Takapu at the tide gauge site at the entrance to Manukau (Paratutae Island). My signet ring is on the seabed there

Click Here for Survey ML's write up (TP,TK,Paea)


The image below is about 2016 in the Fiordland Sounds as charter boat.
Departing DNB for GBI about 1976-79

Click on Link below for video.



Takapu and USS Longbeach in Auckland 1976.

Two Takapu's

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Tarapunga (ZMTA)

(Crest is a Red Billed Gull)


Sadly burned and sunk in Marlborough Sounds 2014

Everett-Pacific  Boatbuilder
Everett Location


Q1187 and P3566  



Tarapunga arriving Waitemata Harbour on Decommissioning June 1979.


Tarapunga burning and sinking Marlborough Sounds 2015


Image from 2002 in Marlborough Sounds. (Photo from Here Click here)


Tarapunga in roughers taken by Tony Marsden (EM(1)) from Mako.

Tarapunga decommissioned from Survey Fleet and renamed HMNZS Mako II (with same Pennant Number) as explained in this article on TP/TK




Takapu and Tarapunga dressed ship.
















This image below celebrates the first and only time both ML's rafted up with Monowai, in Whangarei 1979.  ML's were undertaking Great Barrier Island East coast survey and Monowai was in on R&R from BOP survey.



Both HMNZS Takapu and Tarapunga dressed ship for ML's 35th Birthday celebration 1978 at Port Fitzroy GBI.


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Alert 

Sold 1946
Sea Cadets and Deer Recovery 

now in Auckland area 

Everett-Pacific  Boatbuilder

Everett Location


(Q1189) just need a P number


Found today (28/4/2018) in WWII configuration.


.
Lyttelton 2017 Courtesy Bryan Shankland 

Waitemata Hbr 2018 Photo Courtesy of Scott Perry.


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Olphert and Parore. (ZMST) 

(Crest is a Parore Fish)



 Everett-Pacific  Boatbuilder
Everett Location

Decommisioned 1979 then to Evans Bay then Nelson 2008 then Shakespeare Bay , Picton.


Parore berthed  maybe in the Marlborough Sounds probably dated pre 2008




Q1190 and P3562
                                                    In Shakespeare Bay Marlborough Sounds (circa 2015 ish)












 



Pickersgill Harbour - uncertain date

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Tamure  (ZMSX)

There was never a crest issued to Tamure.  There is very little information on the Name "Tamure"  except the reference to the following website for Ngati Toa school (Tamure is a Tohunga or High Priest.)

Tamure reference - click here.

HMS Viti then back to RNZN as Ngapona II then back as Tamure..

Grays Harbour  Boatbuilder
Aberdeen  WA  Location

Q1193 and P3555



Tamure
Anchored Greenhithe as at 2018


Tamure in 2002 in Auckland. (Photo from Here - Click Here)

Tamure P3555 alongside in Wellington (Queens Wharf??)


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Koura   (ZMTB)
(Crest is a Crayfish or Lobster)




on the hard near Kopu

Ackerman BW Boatbuilder

Newport Beach Florida Location

Q1350 and P3564


Koura in Otago Harbour 1954 with whalers being pulled and a P51 Mustang low flyover.


                                           HMNZS Koura at Mansion House Bay Kawau Island.


HMNZS Koura - Tank Farm - Waitemata Harbour Auckland circa 1967




Koura at Kopu, Thames circa 2005

                                                 Possibly early 1950's

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Kuparu   (ZMSZ)
(Crest is John Dory fish)








Newport Beach Florida Location

Q1348 and P3563

State of vessel pre refit

Kuparu possibly Picton (no date) Donated by Graham Allcock

Kuparu Wellington Drydock (date unknown) Donated by Graham Allcock

Inverell and Kuparu Picton (all dressed ship) Donated by Graham Allcock

Kuparu alongside Wellington berth - date unknown.




At DNB - was targeted to be a Museum vessel at RNZN Museum TBY



Following post refit.

Kuparu in roughers.








This most recent image of Kuparu at Whangarei 6th March 2018.
This photo was in amongst many Kuparu photos so probably Kuparu crew on the Beers.  Looks like a Black Boat.  Can you identify anyone or location - if so email me at zappydodah@hotmail.com. Donated by Graham Allcock.


Click on Here for Kuparu Hauraki Gulf video.



Click on here for the Navy Today article on our Scott - the Kuparu Story.(Page22) Condolences for his wife.


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Haku (ZMRC)

(Crest is a Kingfish)




Click on following three links for ML recollections.

These are a collection of memories from Able Radio Operator David Wistrand of his time on HMNZS HAKU P3565.

Click Here for Tamaki Tram story

Click here for Black Watch story.

Tamaki Tram

Renamed Black Watch

now anchored off Herald Island Auckland

Ackerman BW Boatbuilder


Newport Beach Florida Location

Q1349 and P3565


Haku approaching ML Pontoon 1972 (HMNZS Taranaki astern)


Currently up for sale.(as at 2018) Asking $30,000.






Greenhithe mooring





Berthed circa 2018





Lyttelton Harbour



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Kahawai  (ZMSV)
(Crest is a Kahawai or Sea Trout)






Grays Harbour  Boatbuilder

Aberdeen  WA  Location


Q1191  and P3553

Originally Takapu (hence her Pennant Number)


Broken up and burned to the hull at 1998.

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Manga  (ZMBJ)
(Crest is Barracouta)





Unknown location and date
                                         Entering Waitemata Harbour (Date unknown)


                                             News Item of Manga in Nelson. (Date unknown)
Madden Lewis - builder


Sausilito  Location


(Q1185 and P3567) last known whereabouts is 1987 at Helensville

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HMNZS Ngapona I (P3561) and II (P3555)

(Crest is a Kaka or native Parrot)




Grays Harbour  Boatbuilder

Aberdeen  WA  Location

Q1194 and P3561


Broken up






Q1194 at Navy Open Day 1944 at HMNZS Philomel




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HMNZS Maroro  (ZMSW)
(Crest is a Flying Fish)




Grays Harbour  Boatbuilder

Aberdeen  WA  Location

Q1192 and P3554


Wrecked Fiji.














Tamure and Maroro.


From Ian Rose - "I was last on Maroro in October 1964 and can only remember being tied up there (Town Wharf) in March 1965.

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Pakatoa

Ackerman BW Boatbuilder



Newport Beach Florida Location


Q1351 and no P Number


Pakatoa

Yes She is the PAKATOA, an ex HDML Q1351, once demobbed she was a ferry between Mount Maunganui and Tauranga as AOTEAROA. In 1965 she was sold to Kerridge who operated her on the Pakatoa service in conjunction with the hydrofoil. She became part of the Dromgoole Empire about 1969 but was laid up at the yard where you took the photo from about 1974.

 HDML Pakatoa.She still exists albiet in a sad condition after being damaged by fire. She is at Matakohe, on the Kaipara Harbour,north of Auckland. 
















Manga broken up for parts near Helensville.



Which leaves by my tally one unaccounted for, I have Q1186 needing a name or P Number  someone will know.


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HMNZ Dockyard Boatshop and slipway (before Babcock and toward the end of slipping ML's - out of service) Two ML's could slip at once indoors.  ML's, toward the end of their lives, were regularly slipped and maintained (mainly prepping and painting hull/superstructure).

It was actually very cool task to do, gave us plenty of pride about our handiwork. The Boatshop staff were top notch.  They loved the ML's, as much as we did.  On the wall outside Mike Gerard (Boss) office were an array of ML pictures, all in various states of wear and tear.  I'd appreciate if anyone has any pictures of ML's in the Boatshop to add to this blog.

This image courtesy of Scott Perry - Kuparu in the Boashop getting reskinned.



HMNZS Kuparu in Boatshop


Koura slipping.



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Group photos
From Left to Right, Kahawai,  Maroro,  Haku,  and Mako.


ML Pontoon aka Whitebait Corner.
Left to right. P3562 (Parore)  P3567 (Manga) P3556 (Takapu), P3566 (Tarapunga) P3563  (Kuparu)
and by logical deduction P3552  (Paea)

Another Find!!

HMNZS Paea  P3552 (L), Mako P3551 (C) and Manga P3567 (R.)

At Russell for Waitangi Celebrations, all used as ferries.
Left foreground The Green Parrot outboard of HMNZS Manga, with unknown RNZNVR ML inboard.  At rear unknown RNZNVR ML left, and HMNZ Ships Takapu and Tarapunga. Photograph also taken from unknown ML. (Taken pre 1968 - old White Ensign)


Latest image from Whangarei (5 March 2018)  75 year old HDML's Paea and Kuparu in company with Patrol Vessel HMNZS Hawea.



7 (maybe 8) SDML's Line Astern (1965 at Auckland)  Courtesy Ian Rose former ML stoker (was in this photo)  Skipper Dave Davies on lead ML (HMNZS Maroro) was SOFPAR.

Refitted and passion of Love for their owners, Kuparu and Paea alongside in Whangarei (2018)


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Rogues Gallery

These 3 photo's of HMNZS Haku crossing the Wairoa Bar.
















Tony Marsden supplied the following 8 images from his time on Mako and features many familiar events in ML History.   Enjoy!! 


Tony's Bio:
Tony Marsden ex EM1

Joined on 26th January 1956. Ended towards the end of 1965

Tamaki (the Rock one) to Philly Electrical School & eventually to Black Prince. Then Royalist for its first Far East Cruise. We were away for 15 months.

Lachlan, then Black Prince again. Mako, &  Royalist again for a few months .Philly, Tamaki again (as Ship’s Co)

Mako, Otago & out.
L-R  Lt David Broadbent, ME (1) Ron Smith, Wildlife Ranger with Catch,(Behind Ranger AB "Woggy" Stewart, PO Fred Wingrove and AB Ron "Chook" Burly.


HMNZ Ships Haku (near) and Paea (Rear) alongside Diving Pontoon.


HMNZS Mako with HMNZS Paea line astern (exiting Waitemata Harbor pre 1968)


Mako's Peanut (Dinghy) at Bungalow Beach, White Island 1960 - 
L-R (in white T Shirt Ron Smith, Me - Tony Marsden and Ranger


Manga Crew1962/63
Back Row - L-R:  AB Barry Jenkins, POME Tosh Cooper,  EM Jim Green,  Tony Marsden,  ?? Possible R/O
Front Row - L-R:  ???, Coxn,  ???


Mako White Island (Whaakari) 1960 With Boathook Ropework is Coxn Fred Hanson, Fred Wingrove (Left rear) Ron Smith pulling the Peanut, and Two Rangers in Dinghy.


  Tagging Gannets - Ron and Fred to the right.



The two boats rafted together with lack of water, are the one on left with the Rear Admirals Pennant is Maroro the other is Haku pic was taken in Dagg Sound 1964 my self (Ian Rose) and Pat Huxtable were the Stokers on Maroro.

To enhance the previous blurb:   On 15 May 1965 while in Fiordland, HMNZS Haku with CNS Rear Admiral Washbourn embarked, and HMNZS Maroro in company, anchored in Revolver Bay, Preservation Inlet. Unfortunately, the Commanding Officers had not calculated the tidal range.




Inside looking outside.  A rare inside image of our beloved ML's.

The following photo and text are from CPORS Tony Woolford (Click Here For Full Memoirs) 

Also in 1955 we were steaming in our MLP3555 to Kawau for Easter weekend training and unfortunately we hit a reef close to Motuketekete Island ripping a large hold in the bottom.  This was my only time I had to call Auckland Radio with a Mayday.  We eventually got back to PHILOMEL next day after beaching and re floating with temporary repairs accompanied by HMNZS PAEA and towed stern first by the fleet Auxiliary tug ARATAKI.  That wasn’t my only grounding.  From time to time the four Reserve Motor Launches (ML’s) would go on exercises together.  On one occasion in the Hauraki Gulf while the skippers were having a meeting on one of the other ML’s and we were anchored in Islington Bay.  I was the Radio Operator on PAEA and the fast receding tide went unnoticed until too late.  We were left high and dry only held upright by some of the ships ropes tied to Pohutukawa trees on shore.
















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An anecdote or three.

In or around 1978, an American gentleman and his wife were staying at a waterfront Hotel in Auckland, and he was having his morning coffee when he saw the two Whiteboat ML's (Takapu and Tarapunga) leaving Devonport Naval Base heading out to Great Barrier Island.  He managed to get hold of COMAUCK who  invited him over for a chat.

Turns out this guy was one of the design team of the HDML's in the USA and he was utterly amazed to see so many of them still operating.

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Maintenance tips.

As the Survey ML's were white, the exhaust from the outlet and aft from the exhaust would stain the paint.  It was a helpful proceedure to clean the hull (fresh water) and coat it in Neopol furniture polish.  Very helpful tip.



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History of HDML builders in USA. 

First is Madden Lewis, Sausalito - Click Here 

Second is Everritt-Pacific of Everritt - click here

Third is Grays Harbour, Aberdeen WA - Click here

Last is Ackerman BW - Newport Beach, Florida - no longer exists and no historical records..

ANECDOTES

Geoffrey Haskins Spent a great hour browsing your list. I would like to emphasize how important our work was to the NZ economy during my year (1955-65). Opening up Opua after years of inactivity, the Cook Strait Power Cable route selection, Marsden Point Oil Refinery, approaches, berthing area and "as builts"; a new whaling station on Great Barrier Island (Tryphena?) which lasted all of two years (how non-PC is that?); and the Lake Manapouri project. I suddenly remembered the call-sign ZMDU, all comms were with the PO radio stations. And the painted metal life-size cut-out takapu on the masthead - which was torn to pieces by an angry flock of real takapus off Mahurangi who took against the intruder.


Geoffrey “Geoff” Haskins is a former Royal Navy and Royal New Zealand Navy Survey Officer (with RNZN 1955 to 1965.) His most cherished memory here was serving as CO Takapu. Geoff is 92 years young.

Thane "Zaps" Zander (ML's Crew 1976 - 1979) recalls Bar Harbour events.


The Bar Harbours – Tarapunga's near misses.



Before readiing the Bar Harbour ditties one must first acknowledge the many stories surrounding ML's around the coast. In due course I intend to source material from those that served on Fisheries Protection duties, many of which had Bar Harbour tales to tell.



But I am just going to touch on Tarapunga's encounters. As I experienced these it's fair to acknowledge the crew back then too. In 1977 the Survey ML's (Tarapunga and Takapu) completed the Firth of Thames survey's and were issued an HI (Hydrographic Instruction) to survey the Approaches to the Manukau Harbour, which was mainly from seaward side of the Bar, in to the North and South channels and the main entrance.



Takapu conducted surveying duties on the South Channel and Tarapunga was undertaking survey duties on the North Channel. One thing we always knew – these bars are treacherous. On a very fine day (small swells and smooth sea) Tarapunga was about half way out of the channel doing a Lead Light run when three large rogue swells crashed over the whole vessel. Tarapunga stopped dead in the water such was the force of the waves. The breaking waves saturated everyone on the Bridge. And a damage report from the Forward Mess said there was a bout 2 feet of water right through the mess and with the pantry cupboard forced open eggs and condiments everywhere.



However almost as bad was when both ML's were then tasked to survey the Raglan Bar and harbour. Not as dramatic was when coming back into port on an utterly flat calm day, no swell and no waves, we were entering over the bar and this 1.5m swell suddenly grabbed Tarapunga and threw her over to one side (called broaching) which our Coxswain (Wheel or helm) and CO (LtCdr John Stokes) on throttles managed to ride out of trouble and continue in.



The thing about these events is if there hadn't been a better seaboat the story would have been different.

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There is a book out called Salty Dits, anecdotes from the ML's.  Here is the Blurb:


Salty Dits
Some tales from the MLs by those who served in them.
During the Second World War the New Zealand Government purchased three Bird class minesweepers and four Isle Class minesweepers.
To this small fleet, eleven minesweeping trawlers were built in New Zealand along with twelve anti-submarine, B Type Fairmiles. Sixteen Harbour Defence Motor Launches (HDMLs) were also purchased from overseas.
After the war, many of these 72 foot HDMLs were retained to work around the New Zealand coast.
This is their story as told by those who served in them.
Gerry Wright who compiled this book and served in the Royal New Zealand Navy, had command of one of these in 1965.
335 pages with black and white photos.
ISBN 978-0-473-17905-2
Available for purchase online at www.mascom.co.nz

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5 comments:

  1. My heart gave a skip when I saw the picture of Takapu. I was in her so long I hoped they would gift her to me when I left the RNZN. Se did some mileage together 1955-65

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank You Geoff for your comment. Takapu is probably the best of others though that doesn't mean the others aren't. Her sister ship Tarapunga burnt to the waterline about 3 years go.

    And I hear your call for being gifted one. I did 3 years on TP (76-79) and should I luck into some $$$ I have my eyes on one on the hard in Paeroa (Koura).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Some updates. Koura not with Paeroa museum for a while. Now in private hands of Rosco. In poor condition up on the hard in Thames.
    Alert is currently getting hull planks repaired also on hard at Thames but will come back to Auckland once repaired. I will send recent photos.
    Pakatoa is no more. Hull burnt out and I have her shafts props struts port holes etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Scott, any info is good info. If you have any up to date photo's you can email me them at zappydodah@hotmail.com. Cheers!! Zaps

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete