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shipman

Truth and rumours - Bismark was shadowed by two American battleships

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Two mystery topics..........

1.   I've read several accounts of a large sailing ship passing through the action at the WW1 Falklands battle, but as far as I'm I'm aware that ship has never been identified. I'd love to know if anyone knows more. I'm sure the crew had a thrilling, if brief tale to tell.

2.   I read somewhere a long time ago of reports that the Bismark was shadowed by two American battleships during the period when the persuing RN forces supposedly 'lost' their enemy. At that time the USA was neutral and the 'fog of war' would downplay any American involvement no matter how passive. If the story is true, wouldn't the American ships have reported the encounter to their own command, if not to the RN forces? Any information?

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2 hours ago, shipman said:

1.   I've read several accounts of a large sailing ship passing through the action at the WW1 Falklands battle, but as far as I'm I'm aware that ship has never been identified. I'd love to know if anyone knows more. I'm sure the crew had a thrilling, if brief tale to tell.

Apparently the Norwegian flagged 'Fairport'

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As concerns your #2 above, one would expect that any USN ship would have reported the contact, although it may have been later to avoid letting the Bismark know she had been spotted.  If nothing else, it should have been in the ship's log and cruise reports, thence in the naval records. 

 

I doubt that after some 80 years that type of information would still be classified, so a committed researcher should be able to prove/disprove by reviewing records/logs etc. from that time frame.

 

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I have never heard the story of the Bismarck being followed by US Battleships. She was  located by a  PBY piloted by a US Navy pilot when she slipped the Brits and this was paramount in her sinking.

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Posted (edited)

I believe Smith was the co-pilot of the British PBY and was on board "training" the British pilot after being the ferry pilot from the US. He received the DFC for his actions against the Bismarck. Lt. Johnson and Ensign Rinehart serving the same role in two other PBYs also sighted and reported the Bismark later in the day. 

 

He was also a neighbor of you and I Jim. Living in Friday Harbor.

Edited by lmagna

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Thanks for your interest, guys. the 'Fairport' is an intriguing suggestion, which I'll do my best to research.

It is well known that the PBY had a pivotal role in the British search for the Bismark, but thanks for that.

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Jolly Roger you appear to be quite correct about the 'Fairport'. Just found this little snippet describing another sailing ship observed during that battle:-

''Another unidentified sailing vessel was spotted the same day not far from Fairport's course line by George Hanks, a sick bay attendant on HMS Carnarvon. In his diary, Hanks recorded, "About 3 p.m. a big sailing ship appears on the horizon and no doubt but what those on board her had a magnificent view of the battle just as it was at its zenith."

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The sailing ship at the Falkands was the Norwegian full rigged ship Spangereid that was originally the British ship Fairport!

Enter  "sailing ship spangereid"  in Google search and you will find images of it as Fairport and also as Spangereid.   

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Yep, no place to be fighting a war.

Not far from there is my grandfather; he went down with HMS Courageous after two torpedoes from a U-boat, 17 September 1939. My mother was born while he was away. he left a wife and five kids. One way or another the family still feels the pain. King and country.......and all that. Odd thing is; my mother died on 17 September.

Strange old world innit?

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