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Dark Identity

Printed From: BMPT Forum
Category: Boats (In alphabetical order)
Forum Name: Dark Class
Forum Description: Discussion on Dark Class boats
URL: http://www.bmpt.co.uk/forum_posts.asp?TID=11
Printed Date: 17 December 2018 at 7:28pm


Topic: Dark Identity
Posted By: Pioneer
Subject: Dark Identity
Date Posted: 03 January 2005 at 2:19pm
ex- HMS Dark Clipper was to be seen at Radio Beacon premises in Malta up until the summer of 2003, along side her, in the summer of 2001, there was another Dark class vessel. Can anyone shed some light on what happened to Dark Clipper and what was the ID of that second craft?

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Pioneer - Forum Moderator



Replies:
Posted By: tonclass
Date Posted: 13 December 2006 at 6:58pm

Hi Pioneer. New member here, but have some pix of 'Dark Clipper' and the mystery Dark (which incidentally is 'DARK FIGHTER' - P1113) taken in 1996.

When I learn how to post them on this thread, I will, or you can email me for copies.



Posted By: tonclass
Date Posted: 13 December 2006 at 10:46pm

Pix as promised.

1. D Clipper & D Fighter together.

2. D Fighter

3. D Clipper



Posted By: Christian
Date Posted: 14 December 2006 at 8:45am

Superb pictures Tonclass. I'm just putting this boat called Scuba Doo in the Dark Class topic, she was found by d-zine and is almost certainly ex Dark Scout (the aluminium one), and is very likely the last Dark in existence. She is at Port Canaveral in Florida, she had Caterpillars fitted in 1979 as did Dark Scout. 



Posted By: northeastuser
Date Posted: 12 May 2007 at 1:50pm

hello all, its so hot in the Ambra iv called it quits for today..

Hired a taxi and went looking for the dark boats in malta..im sorry to say they were both broke and disposed of a few years ago..nothing left. i will go to the maritime musem during the week and talk with them about what other boats may be in malta.

  I have found a couple of seaplane tenders as well as a hdml and a pinnace..will post pics when i get wire for camera to pc.



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Posted By: dgray
Date Posted: 12 May 2007 at 2:45pm
Hi Billy,

Anything any good/original looking there? Always room for another ST here....lol   We could travel in convoy.
 
Damn shame about Lewina.  I believe Medusa  has been gifted some of the bits.

Cheers
Don





Posted By: northeastuser
Date Posted: 12 May 2007 at 6:47pm

yes don there is one you would love, an almost completely original tender..looks like an st ,but wider with curved cabins and triple mast..it is like the one that has been concreted into the carpark(cant find the link now) but seems bigger ..wider and lower.i thinik it must be quite late build.

   its siting in a yard next to the water..no paint,grass up to the waterline..can only get pictures over the wall.will go back in a few days and find out more.it looks like its just come from service and been left there.

  Have to admit the pinnace here looks good.(same as 1262).rear cabin removed and mostly flush decked over with side railing built up to flaten the profile..dam nice work vessel.



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Posted By: johnk
Date Posted: 12 May 2007 at 7:57pm

What a pity re the Darks, though the aluminium one is still about, they looked in pretty ropey and dried out condition of course. Very hot and dry in Malta as you have found! Oh well, as they keep telling us, can't save them all, we do have models and pictures, which is OK of course but can't beat standing on the real thing, better still going for a trip on one.

John



Posted By: rozm2
Date Posted: 13 May 2007 at 9:28am
Originally posted by northeastuser northeastuser wrote:

  I have found a couple of seaplane tenders as well as a hdml and a pinnace..will post pics when i get wire for camera to pc.

 

What's the HDML like, original engines? I'm still on the lookout, come back in convoy!



Posted By: northeastuser
Date Posted: 13 May 2007 at 12:09pm
its well looked after and loved by the looks of it..in use as a fishing vessel..

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Posted By: tramontana
Date Posted: 27 October 2007 at 4:56pm
pioneer, I was wondering if you have any info on the Dark Class prototype 539 later re-numbered M.T.B. 1602 built 1950 with 3 packards fitted, was she scrapped or re-engined? Thank You.


Posted By: Pioneer
Date Posted: 27 October 2007 at 6:12pm

Hello 'tramontana'

A bit of a 'misnomer' really - as a prototype for the Dark class - as she is only so 'linked' due to the fact that she was built by Saunders Roe and constructed of Alloy. Her lines were very much 'of the day' and did not resemble the 'boxy' apparition that was the Dark.

I do think that she was scrapped rather than sold off - but I'm bound to be proven wrong here (shortly)  



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Pioneer - Forum Moderator


Posted By: Pioneer
Date Posted: 27 October 2007 at 6:48pm

Just had a brief look through Conway's All the World Fighting Ships 1947-1995

There it states that both of these experimental boats -Vosper 538 and Saunders Roe 539 (1601-1602) were put up for sale in 1956 - I don't remember seeing them.



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Pioneer - Forum Moderator


Posted By: clive
Date Posted: 27 October 2007 at 8:15pm

Are we talking of Dark Scout, as of the previous page?

(possibly Dark scout)



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masbie something in the water.   www.freewebs.com/masb32/


Posted By: Pioneer
Date Posted: 27 October 2007 at 9:05pm

No Clive.

HMS Dark Scout was a unique British member of the class - having a flush welded alloy Hull (other Brit members being alloy framed with traditional wood planking etc). Although there were other foriegn members i e Burmese, with riveted alloy Hulls.

The picture that you posted has been suggested as being the ex Dark Scout. Not wholly convinced myself



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Pioneer - Forum Moderator


Posted By: johnk
Date Posted: 12 March 2008 at 4:42pm

Hi All,

 

Just got latest Navy News and short letter in there from a chap who served on the Darks, very intersting albeit as I said a short letter.

 

Johnk



Posted By: mprints
Date Posted: 29 October 2010 at 9:41pm
Originally posted by tramontana tramontana wrote:

pioneer, I was wondering if you have any info on the Dark Class prototype 539 later re-numbered M.T.B. 1602 built 1950 with 3 packards fitted, was she scrapped or re-engined? Thank You.
I joined the forum today to let you know that I have recently discovered a collection of photos and drawings of 539 (P1602). My latest information is that it was sunk off the east coast of Anglesey at an unknown date (so far) and is still in around 50m of water awaiting someone to rescue her - any offers? 539 is the World's first all-aluminium hulled MTB and is also the Saunders Roe prototype. It is therefore of considerable historical significance and should be investigated for possible recovery and conservation!
Please see my page on SARO 539 on my website http://www.mprints.co.uk - www.mprints.co.uk or Google SARO 539 to see the photos and the story so far. I am particularly interesting in 539 as it was one of the first jobs my father Victor Mills must have done when he began work at Saunders Roe at the end of the war. He had been previously at Folland Aircraft, Hamble.


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Dave Mills


Posted By: Pioneer
Date Posted: 29 October 2010 at 10:44pm
These images by 'mprints' are truely an astonishing find and clearly shows that this craft did not resemble the Dark class except only with the use of all alloy in its Hull construction. The Dark class were extremly 'boxy' in appearance as can be seen in this very poor shot of P1115 Dark Hero on the Slips at Messrs Morgan Giles at Teignmouth.
 
 
 
The lines of MTB 539 were more pleasing to the eye - in my opinion - and the images on the 'mprints' web site shows a strong resemblance to the Vosper wooden Hull of 538.
Some interesting history there as well.
 


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Pioneer - Forum Moderator


Posted By: mprints
Date Posted: 30 October 2010 at 9:51am
539 was quite sleek in comparrison to the Dark class. I may have a drawing and some photos of the latter that could be added to my website. 
To hear what 539 may have sounded like I suggest browsing this excellent American website with its selection of sound clips of tripple Packard engined PT Boats.
http://www.sounddogs.com/results.asp?Type=1&CategoryID=1010&SubcategoryID=48 - http://www.sounddogs.com/results.asp?Type=1&CategoryID=1010&SubcategoryID=48
I quite fancy building a manned model of 539 at around 1/5 scale or 15ft overall length. I could run it up and down the Menai Strait close to where I live and where she was built and run sixty years ago. It could also be fitted with a sound unit of three mighty Packard V12 petrol engines. Has anyone found sound recordings of the twin 18 cylinder Deltic engined MTB's as I can only find Deltic locos at present?
The old Saunders Roe factory at Fryars Bay outside Beaumaris is now in a poor state and the slipways are no longer in use. My dream of rescuing the real 539 and displaying her at her birth place seems remote, but I do have an alternative location in mind Wink


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Dave Mills


Posted By: Christian
Date Posted: 01 November 2010 at 7:52pm
Here's another for the photo album, visiting Liege.
 
 


Posted By: johnk
Date Posted: 02 November 2010 at 3:06pm
Hi there,

Yes, I do find all this very intresting, this post war "boom" in design and construction of these craft, have a collegue on the Paddle Steamer Medway Queen group, who did early aluminium repairs to....think it was the Darks must ask him, and the man who inspects on behalf of the lottery fund, designed them! so you can imagine the banter between them.... 50m is quite deep, and what state she would be in.....do have the Gay Archer about and some of these other post war desgins at least did exist ashore, saw photos on this forum, but how many left now.....

Johnk


Posted By: mprints
Date Posted: 03 November 2010 at 7:44am
Hi Christian,
A good photo of P1602 (539). I had no idea where it had ventured to. May I include your photo on my website please?
I have just tried to contact another diver who should have knowledge of its condition. Also made contact with John Lambert (ship plans) who is very intersted in the drawings. 
I hope to be seeing an official report on the cause of the loss of 539 soon.
I found an excellent GA drawing of the Dark Class (Dark Adventurer?) and a side elevation of a German S Boat (E Boat) together with original photos of the German Benz V20 diesel engines and gearbox. I remember an E Boat arriving at Menai Bridge when I was a kid and my father Victor Mills taking me to see it. I think Saunders Roe were interested in comparing notes on design and technical features with the German design.
These photos and drawings will also go on my website although it may be a while as my broadband is on a crawl.
D Mills


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Dave Mills


Posted By: Christian
Date Posted: 03 November 2010 at 9:51am
Hi Dave
The postcard is available for purchase at http://www.delcampe.net - www.delcampe.net  search for LIEGE VEDETTE.
It is an auction, the price is 3.00 Euros with 2 days to go. If you click on the icon you see a larger image, and click again on the bottom right corner it enlarges again, and can be downloaded.
Regards, Christian.
http://www.delcampe -  


Posted By: mprints
Date Posted: 03 November 2010 at 12:01pm
Many thanks Christian. I bid for it. I would never have seen it without you.
Regards, Dave


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Dave Mills


Posted By: mprints
Date Posted: 17 December 2010 at 5:26pm
I bought the photo of 539 from Belgium and it's now on the website together with some more drawings and a fantastic technical illustration by my father of what two of the three the Packard engines of 539 would look like when built. The drawing was signed in Feb 1946, just a couple of months after he started working at the Saunders-Roe Anglesey factory. The drawing is purely conjectural as the final layout was a little different when compared with the photos of the engine room. 
The Daimler Benz E Boat engines are now also on the http://dave-mills.yolasite.com/german-e-boat.php - website .
Happy browsing


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Dave Mills


Posted By: mprints
Date Posted: 19 December 2010 at 5:26pm
Here's the pencil drawing by my father Victor Mills of the MTB 539 engine room. It is an early sketch carried out while the boat design was still on the drawing board around 1945. I have now included it in my website page on MTB 539 (P1602). It shows two of the three Packard 4M-2500 V12 petrol engines. The view is looking forward towards the bulkhead behind the fuel tank compartment. The ROTOL vee gearboxes reversed the drive to the triple ROTOL variable pitch props that would be below the left of the illustration.
Press: http://dave-mills.yolasite.com/saunders-roe-mtb.php - SARO MTB 539 (P1602)
 
 


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Dave Mills


Posted By: mprints
Date Posted: 21 February 2011 at 9:26pm
I've just given my first talk on MTB 539 (P1602) at Amlwch (nearest land to where she lies in the Irish Sea). Next talk in two weeks! I met the diver who last saw her about eighteen years ago and he is hoping to take another look at her this year. Hopefully he will get some photos and check out what condition she is in today. I've also been scanning the thousands of Saunders-Roe company negatives from the 1950's (nearly 2,000 done so far). Many negs are in very poor condition, but there are lots of the Dark Class, P1101, 1102, 1103 and various minesweepers. I'm also copying all the SARO Progress company magazines of the 1950's that I can borrow. If anyone has copies I would be pleased to make contact.

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Dave Mills


Posted By: mprints
Date Posted: 24 September 2012 at 3:07pm
Dark%20Scout%20clearly%20showing%20her%20all%20welded%20aliuminium%20hull
Dark Scout clearly showing her all welded aluminium hull construction. I've added this photo to help identify if Scuba Doo could be the same boat. See
http://cfv.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=215 - http://cfv.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=215  
 


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Dave Mills



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