CALLING ALL VESSELS COMMANDEERED FOR COASTAL PATROL DURING WWII
On November 19th 2016, the Royal New Zealand Navy are holding the 75th Naval Review & have extended an invitation to the owners of any historic vessels that might be interested in taking part in the Review procession. Interested owners can check out the Op Neptune website http://nznavy75.co.nz/international-naval-review/ & are asked to make contact with Commander John Butcher via Andrew Watts – the email address is, ANDREW.WATTS@nzdf.mil.nz , please include details on your vessel & a photo/s.
The 1932 Colin Wild built classic launch ‘Wirihana’ was one of a number of vessels commandeered by the Royal New Zealand Navy during WWII to run supplies and to patrol the coastal waters around the Hauraki Gulf and up to the Bay of Islands. Her identification was Q01, photos above & below. Wirihana took part in the 50th Naval Review along with a number of the other classics that served as patrol boats and will be participating again this year.
A lot of our classic fleet played a very important defence role during WWII, its not well recorded but the Hauraki Gulf was mined. It is NZ Governments best kept secret. The NZ press often quote the closest NZ has come to war was the Rainbow Warrior bombing! This is BS, they just don’t know. A lot of the records make the patrol work sound like a boys own trip but Wirihana and the other boats were on patrol for two years summer and winter, it would not have been much fun in these small launches.
The crews made their own navigation sketches so they could recognise headlands by their outline in poor visibility. Similar to those in the NZ Pilot. They had no chart plotters or navigation aids (only a compass) and often ran without Navigation lights.
So woodys if you own or know someone that owns one of the launches – get in touch today with the RNZN
Chris McMullen found the letter below on board ‘Wirihana’. Chris commented that he would imagine the writer has now passed on. Chris hopes the letter may draw
some history from others with photos and letters hidden away. Photography
was illegal during the war but it certainly did not stop people from
recording their life at the time.
Chris recalls going to school with a John Rhodes who he thinks lived at Bassett Rd.
Remuera. Maybe the same family?
Below is light hearted list of NAPS boats out of Whangarei. Sent to me by Brian Fulton.
08-1-2016 Input From Chris McMullen
A German Raider mined the outer Hauraki Gulf. An account is recorded in the translated from German, a book listed as “The Black Raider”by Kurt Weyher and Hans Jurgen Ehrlich.
Chris’s copy dated 1955. Below are the relevant pages but there is more. This happened June 13th 1940. As a result the SS Niagara was sunk 19th of June 1940.
The Raider Orion sunk many ships off the New Zealand Coast.