Monday, November 28, 2005

One hell of a LCDR

I wish the NYT would publish the American counterpart to these British obits.

Check out this guy's career.
Lieutenant-Commander Andy Chalmers, who has died aged 84, was first lieutenant of the submarine Venturer, which sank two German U-boats and prevented the export of heavy water and rocket plans to Japan.

On November 4 1944 Venturer, under command of the highly-decorated Lt Jimmy Launders, left Dundee on Operation Hangman to re-supply clandestine observers reporting shipping movements along the Norwegian coast.

Chalmers was at the periscope when he saw the conning tower of a U-boat surface a few hundred yards away, and called Launders to the control room. In a snap attack lasting six minutes, Chalmers handled the boat while Launders fired four torpedoes to sink U-771. Next day Venturer resumed its mission, entering Andfjord by night in clear windless weather to land its stores by rubber dinghy. Chalmers was awarded the DSC.

On February 9 1945, while submerged west of Bergen, Chalmers was in the control room when he heard faint underwater sounds on the hydrophones, and Launders spotted a periscope at about 5,000 yards range. Chalmers trimmed the boat in silence for three hours while Launders stalked his quarry, calculating the range by the loudness of its noise.

U-864, commanded by KorvettenkaptÀn Ralf-Reimar Wolfram, was making "suicidal" use of its periscope, which was protruding about four feet above the surface. Venturer fired four torpedoes, and two minutes 12 seconds later there was a loud explosion. This is the only known sinking of one submarine by another when both boats were submerged throughout the engagement.
...0In March 1946, Chalmers became first lieutenant of a British trials crew of the German U-1407, which had been scuttled at Cuxhaven but was raised and renamed Meteorite. He easily passed the "perisher" course in 1948, and during the next eight years commanded Spur, Truculent, Alderney, Sanguine, Trenchant and Alliance.

He was then commander's assistant in the training carrier Indefatigable and first lieutenant of the frigate Veryan Bay in the West Indies. In 1970 he retired from the Navy to work for the Probation Service.

Andy Chalmers, who died on October 13, married, in 1945, Jean Eleanor Hawkins; she survives him with their two sons.
All that, and he retired as a LCDR. Yes, the British taxpayer gets their money's worth out of their officers.

Fair winds and following seas Lieutenant Commander Chalmers.

No comments: