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HMS Wheatland a Hunt Class Type II Escort Destroyer. Web page dedicated to HMS Wheatland and the history of the ship with a message board attached for naval enthusiasts. HMS Wheatland was built by Yarrow and was launched on 7th June 1941. 

A History of HMS Wheatland provided by Graham Overton

HMS Wheatland she was a type 2 Hunt class destroyer named after “The Wheatland Hunt” in Shropshire. She was built by Yarrow’s and completed 3rd November 1941. Robert joined the ship before completion, and he served on this vessel from 17th October 1941until 4th October 1942. On completion the Wheatland was allocated to Portsmouth Command and in December, attached temporarily to the Home Fleet, she took part in operation “Anklet”, the aim of which, was to land in the Lofoten Islands which are off the north-west coast of Norway, to cut the enemy lines of communication with northern Norway. All the landings were unopposed and German prisoners were taken.

The Wheatland returned to Portsmouth Command and served on patrols until March 1942 when she was allocated to the 8th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet. From that time until September she was chiefly employed escorting Russian convoys.

The following is a list of actions during the above period:

 Early in May 1942 the Wheatland left Scapa Flow (which is in the Orkney Islands in the far north of Scotland) for Iceland to escort the King George V, the flagship of the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, she had been damaged in a collision on 1st May, while providing heavy cover for a pair of Russian convoys.

On 23rd May Wheatland left Iceland with the Duke of York, flagship of the Commander-in Chief, Home Fleet and a battlefleet that was to cruise northeast of Iceland ready to deal with the German battleship Tirpitz, in case she attacked convoys P.Q.16. (which left Hvalfiord on 21st May) and  the P.Q.12. (which left Murmansk, which is on the Barents Sea coast in the U.S.S.R. on the same day). The convoys were often sailed simultaneously, so that heavy cover could be provided for the Western half of the journey for both convoys. P.Q.16. was continuously shadowed by enemy aircraft and attacked by them for five consecutive days from 26th May. One merchant ship was sunk by a U-boat on the 26th; six were sunk by enemy bombers on the 27th, but the remaining twenty seven ships arrived safely on 30th May / 1st June. The homeward bound convoy (P.Q.12.) had an uneventful trip, arriving in Iceland intact on the 29th May. Wheatland and the battlefleet returned to Scapa Flow on 29th May.

At the end of June 1942 the Wheatland again left Scapa Flow with H.M.S. Duke of York, being one of fourteen destroyers escorting the battlefleet to provide distant cover for convoy P.Q.17. this convoy suffered severe losses. Of the thirty-three merchant ships that had cleared Iceland, only eleven completed the voyage. P.Q.17. was subjected to air and U-boat attacks and on the 4th July was ordered to scatter because intelligence had been received that the battleship Tirpitz and the cruiser Hipper were at sea. The convoy was too far eastwards to reverse its course and so could not safely reach battlefleet protection. The Wheatland arrived back in Scapa Flow on 8th July 1942.

The next pair of Russian convoys left Loch Ewe (which is in the north-west of Scotland to the north of Skye) on 2nd September 1942 and Archangel (which is on the White Sea coast in north-west U.S.S.R.) on the 13th. This convoy had a new “escort” aircraft carrier, H.M.S. Avenger and a force of sixteen Fleet destroyers led by the cruiser H.M.S. Scylla, this was in addition to the permanent escort. The Wheatland and a sister ship H.M.S. Wilton escorted the Avenger.

 German surface ships made no attempts on the convoys’ outward journey, but torpedo-bombers sank ten of the forty ships, three others were sunk by U-boats, most of the damage being done on the 13th September, (it is unlucky!). About sixty-five aircraft were used in the attacks and thirteen were destroyed by ships fire. Next day about fifty torpedo-aircraft were employed of which twenty were destroyed, five by fighters from the Avenger. The returning convoy lost three of its fifteen merchant ships, two escorts and a Royal Fleet auxiliary to U-boat attacks. It wasn’t all one-sided; we managed to definitely sink three U-boats, U589 on the 12th September, U88 on the14th and U457 on the 16th.

 The Wheatland received battle honours for “The Arctic 1942”, she went on to gain battle honours in North Africa 1942-43, Sicily 1943, Mediterranean 1943, Salerno 1943, Adriatic 1944. This vessel certainly saw a lot of action, but Robert was only involved in the Arctic battles.

 

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 Shows the action on 26th May 1941 by Swordfish from HMS Ark Royal on the German battleship Bismarck. Fresh from her triumphant encounter with HMS Hood, Bismarck was struck by Swordfishs torpedo which jammed her rudder and was finished off by the home fleet on 27th May 1941.
Sink the Bismarck by Geoff Lea. (Y)
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 A pair of Spitfire Mk.IXEs of 611 Squadron make their way home from a patrol during the summer of 1942. At this time 611 Squadron were based at Kenley and were the first squadron to receive the new Mk.IX putting it on equal terms, for the first time, with the formidable Focke-Wulf 190.

Spitfire Mk.IXE by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 Focke-Wulf FW.190A-5/U8 of 1 Gruppe, Schnellkampfgeschwader 10 in 1943. All national markings were painted out, except for the call sign C on the fuselage and repeated, crudely sprayed, on the engine cowling.

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The B-17 Flying Fortress 'Memphis Belle' returns from one of her 25 mission over France and Germany.  Memphis Belle, a  B-17F-10-BO, USAAF Serial No.41-24485, was supplied to the USAAF on July 15th 1942, and delivered to the 91st Bomb Group in September 1942  at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine.  Memphis Belle deployed to Scotland at Prestwick on September 30th 1942 and went to RAF Kimbolton on October 1st, and then to her permanent base at Bassingbourn on October 14th.1942.  Memphis Belle was the first United States Army Air Force heavy bomber to complete 25 combat missions with her crew intact.  The aircraft and crew then returned to the United States to promote and sell war bonds.  The Memphis Belle B-17 is undergoing extensive restoration at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

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Larry Lewis DFC by Graeme Lothian. (P)
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 Spitfire of 610 Squadron which has been damaged during combat during the height of the Battle of Britain is shown over the white cliffs of Dover.  No. 610 (County of Chester) Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force's first major combat with the Luftwaffe was on 27th May when a Heinkel bomber protected by about 40 Me110s, was engaged.  The combat which followed saw the Heinkel and three Me110 fighters being shot down.  Throughout August 610 Squadron was involved in bitter fighting over the Channel and Home Counties of England.  During the Battle of Britain No.610 Squadron operated from Biggin Hill, Hawkinge, and, on one occasion, from Croydon.  The Squadron put up a terrific show and 40 enemy aircraft were confirmed as having been destroyed by 610 Squadron during August.  The loss to the Squadron was eleven pilots killed during the battle.

Return of the Heroes by Ivan Berryman.
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 Having played a vital part in the battle for the Mediterranean for over two years, HMS Ark Royal finally succumbed to a U-Boats torpedo in November 1941. She is shown here with a pair of Swordfish Mk1s of 821 Sqn ranged on the deck, passing the cruiser HMS Sheffield off the Mole, Gibraltar, earlier that same year.

HMS Ark Royal and HMS Sheffield off the Mole, Gibraltar by Ivan Berryman (Y)
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HMS Eagle and the commando carrier HMS Albion during the withdrawal from Aden in November 1967.  One of HMS Eagles Sea Vixen is passing overhead and RFA Stromness is at anchor in the distance.

HMS Eagle and HMS Albion by Ivan Berryman.
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At 12.30pm on the 21st of October 1805, Admiral Lord Nelson on board his flagship, HMS Victory, breaks the line of the combined French and Spanish fleets.  The Victory is delivering a devastating stern rake to the 80 gun French ship Bucentaure, the flagship of the combined fleets, commanded by Vice-Admiral P. C. J. B. S. Villeneuve.  Starboard to the Victory is the 74 gun Redoutable.  This ship, the Victory and HMS Temeraire, seen left, became locked together soon after, the unequal exchange resulting in the Redoutable having the highest casualties during the entire battle.

Breaking the Line at the Battle of Trafalgar by Graeme Lothian
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The Pursuit of the Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman (P)
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HMS Ark Royal by Ivan Berryman.
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HMS Coventry by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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Glosters Return by David Griffin (Y)
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 22 SAS Squadron in the Gulf, having been dropped by Chinook of the 7th Squadron RAF.

The Winged Dagger by Simon Smith. (Y)
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The Capture of General Cambronne by Richard Knotel.
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<b>Ex display prints in near perfect condition. </b>

The Infantry Will Advance by Carl Rochling. (Y)
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Battle of Roveredo by William Clarkson Stanfield (B)
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1st Texas Infantry by Jim Lancia.
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DHM505.  1st Regiment French Light Infantry at Waterloo by Brian Palmer.

1st Regiment French Light Infantry at Waterloo by Brian Palmer.
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Operation Dynamo, Dunkirk, France 24th May - 4th June 1940 by David Pentland. (GL)
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B43. Damon Hill/ Williams Renault FW.18 by Ivan Berryman

Damon Hill/ Williams Renault FW.18 by Ivan Berryman
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Grand Slam 2005 by James Owen. (Y)
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Blitzkrieg by Mark Churms. (P)
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Tribute to Lester Piggott by Stuart McIntyre.
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Neil Hodgson puts in 100% to achieve Pole Position, his 1st Double Win, the 1st Win for the Ducati 999 and the race and lap record at Valencia, March 2003.
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The Flying Finn by Ray Goldsbrough
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