Bombed but not out
Convoy WP 169 left Milford Haven on the 9th June 1942, amongst the ships on this small coastal convoy was RFA Ennerdale bound for Portsmouth where the convoy was due on the 11th June.
Image Ennerdale
RFA Ennerdale
On the evening of the 10th June whilst the convoy was approximately 10 miles from Portland Bill, they were attacked by up to nine enemy twin engine bombers.  As the enemy planes swept across the starboard beam of Ennerdale they were engaged by the starboard guns and the fire was so accurate that the planes veered off across the stern releasing bombs as they went, the bombs fell in the sea close to the stern off the ship, but did no immediate damage.
Image Heinkel 111
German Heinkel 111
The planes then climbed away from the ships in preparation for another attack, though before they came round again an object was seen off the port quarter.  Within a few minutes one of the enemy bombers was spotted making a run in over the starboard bow, as it came within range all of Ennerdale’s guns opened fire and the bomber was seen to sustain damage to the port wing of the aircraft.  The plane dropped a stick of one or two bombs close to the starboard bow, the bombs passed under the ship and detonated close to the port side, a tremendous concussion was felt throughout the ship and a plume of water was seen to shoot up to about 75 feet, as it feel back it cascaded over the ship flooding the bridge.
Image Convoy under attack
Convoy under attack
A few minutes later another plane approached the convoy from ahead and was again engaged by all guns, this plane was also hit by very accurate fire from the convoy and passed close to Ennerdale without dropping his bombs. As the attacking aircraft flew away the ship resumed her course, and it was then found that she was taking in water in one of the deep tanks which fortunately was empty at the time.
On closer inspection it was found that the shell plating on the port side between frame 168 and 170, was dished in, inspection of the forward pump room found that the three cargo pumps had also received damage from the bomb blast, the damage put this pump room out of action as the forward pump had its steam lines split at the connections and the pipe cradles were also damaged, as well as the cylinder feet, suction valves and three way casting for the filling and discharge lines.  The centre pump, which was used for lubricating oil, had the cylinder feet and the three way valve damaged and unserviceable, and the after pump had sustained damage to the mountings.
The damage was reported to the Admiralty, who decided to put her into a dry dock to assess the damage that could not be seen, repairs were quickly made to the ship and she was soon back at sea and steaming for the 

Convoy WP 169 sailed from Milford Haven on 9th June 1942, amongst the ships on this small coastal convoy was RFA Ennerdale bound for Portsmouth where the convoy was due on 11th June. Ennerdale_Bombed_but_not_out

Convoy WP 169 sailed from Milford Haven on 9th June 1942, amongst the ships on this small coastal convoy was RFA Ennerdale bound for Portsmouth where the convoy was due on 11th June.

Ennerdale_Bombed_but_not_out

RFA Ennerdale

On the evening of 10th June whilst the convoy was approximately 10 miles from Portland Bill, they were attacked by up to nine enemy twin engine bombers.  As the enemy planes swept across the starboard beam of Ennerdale they were engaged by the starboard guns and the fire was so accurate that the planes veered off across the stern releasing bombs as they went, the bombs fell in the sea close to the stern off the ship, but did no immediate damage.

 

Hienkel_111

German Heinkel 111

The planes then climbed away from the ships in preparation for another attack, though before they came round again an object was seen off the port quarter.  Within a few minutes one of the enemy bombers was spotted making a run in over the starboard bow, as it came within range all of Ennerdale’s guns opened fire and the bomber was seen to sustain damage to the port wing of the aircraft.  The plane dropped a stick of one or two bombs close to the starboard bow, the bombs passed under the ship and detonated close to the port side, a tremendous concussion was felt throughout the ship and a plume of water was seen to shoot up to about 75 feet, as it feel back it cascaded over the ship flooding the bridge.

 

Convoy_under_attack

Convoy under attack

A few minutes later another plane approached the convoy from ahead and was again engaged by all guns, this plane was also hit by very accurate fire from the convoy and passed close to Ennerdale without dropping his bombs. As the attacking aircraft flew away the ship resumed her course, and it was then found that she was taking in water in one of the deep tanks which fortunately was empty at the time.

On closer inspection it was found that the shell plating on the port side between frame 168 and 170, was dished in, inspection of the forward pump room found that the three cargo pumps had also received damage from the bomb blast, the damage put this pump room out of action as the forward pump had its steam lines split at the connections and the pipe cradles were also damaged, as well as the cylinder feet, suction valves and three way casting for the filling and discharge lines.  The centre pump, which was used for lubricating oil, had the cylinder feet and the three way valve damaged and unserviceable, and the after pump had sustained damage to the mountings.

The damage was reported to the Admiralty, who decided to put her into a dry dock to assess the damage that could not be seen, repairs were quickly made to the ship and she was soon back at sea and steaming for the Clyde.

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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