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  1. #1
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    WW2 Torpedo Safety Fork

    I have been asked to find out where on the Torpedo this item was used.
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  3. #2
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    I think it is placed on the propeller to block his rotation during handling.
    Look on another type of fork on this picture
    Torpedo fork.jpg


    Yoda
    Last edited by Yodamaster; 30th November 2018 at 09:01 AM.
    Any live or dug ordnance presented by me has been disposed of by EOD technicians.

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  5. #3
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    More likely to be the safety fork from the firing pistol at the front. The detail engraved thereon is not uncommon. HMS Regent was built by Vickers and launched on 11 June 1930. She served in the Med and was sunk by a mine off Monopoli in April 1943. Presumably Durazzo was the unfortunate recipient of the torpedo in September 1940. These arming forks, either from bombs or from torpedos, do turn up from time to time, they were usually presented to the Captain, or other of the crew to commemorate a successful attack, and, as in this case, are nicely engraved with detail of the action. The fork would be removed as the torpedo was loaded into the tube (or for aircraft, just before take off).
    Interesting and historic souvenir.
    Alan1

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  7. #4
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    Beautiful artifact! I have the same prop lock, Yoda posted in the photo above. I agree with, Alan, that yours is a pistol lock. SUPER NICE!

    Jason

  8. #5
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    Can any one post an image of a torpedo pistol, hopefully with safety bar in place.

  9. #6
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    I'm under the impression that they were used on WW2 British aircraft torpedoes - however unable to verify this - any additional info would be great!

    This is the only photo I found with the lock on it - thought I had a diagram of the fuse somewhere as well................
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    Last edited by Dronic69; 1st December 2018 at 09:50 AM.

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  11. #7
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    About the artifact: as Alan stated, this is a safety clip of a torpedo pistol, maybe coming from a MkIIIa; it is shown in the image posted by Drew, see the attached images for reference.

    About the context: this is kind of confusing, on that period HMS REGENT was deployed between the Ionian sea and the Adriatic sea in order to hunt for Italian ships tranferring troops to Greece.
    In the same days the British SM5 operation was undergoing, meant to support the struggle of Malta by reinforcing the island with troops and supplies; a large British/Australian force comprising 2 battleships, 1 carrier, 1 heavy cruiser, 4 light cruisers and 11 destroyers sailed from Alexandria the 23rd of September.
    In order to intercept the British force, the Royal Italian Navy deployed 4 battleships, 7 heavy cruisers, 4 light cruisers and 23 destroyers from Taranto the 29th of September, the two forces never engaged.
    On 30th September 1940 HMS REGENT intercepted the Italian force in the Ionian (well far from Durazzo) sea and fired a salvo of 5 torpedoes, most likely against the battleships, without success.

    Given the above, I cannot see any relation between the 30th of September and Durazzo. It was not uncommon for submarines (of every flag) to claim some successes that were actually never achieved, as after the attack the disengage was a priority due to the defender's destroyers depth charges hunt, because of this it might be understandable for HMS REGENT to claim a successfull attack on the 30th, but the Durazzo location is not.

    HMS REGENT achieved success off Durazzo a few days later on the 9th of October, damaging the merchant ship SS ANTONIETTA COSTA later declared a total loss, interesting enough a few days earlier on the 4th October the SS ANTONIETTA COSTA collided with HMS RAINBOW which exploded.

    As the engraving on the clip reports "Italian fleet", the episode is referring to the attack held on the 30th, the location Durazzo is a mistery, most likely a mistake that joined two different episodes of close days.

    [edit]

    The discrepancy between date and location might be explained by the fact that aboard a submarine, but also aboard surface vessels, fews knows the position fix with accuracy but the Officials, navigation and communication personnel.
    The commemorative engraving was most likely produced by someone out of the "infarmation circle", which knew the date and the nature of the episode but not the precise location, somewhere between the Ionian and the Adriatic seas.
    A confimed hit such as the one achieved on the 9th October brings details of the action to most of the crew, a close contact with a large enemy force followed by an engagement is defenitely something to be rememberd aboard although not crowned by success (to be also noted that this attack was the submarine's baptism of fire), the personnel that prepared the present might have thinked that the Italian fleet was intercepted the 30th somewhere near the Durazzo action of the 9th.
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    Last edited by Lefa.; 1st December 2018 at 03:45 PM.

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  13. #8
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    Incredible information and reference photos, Lefa! Thank you!

    Jason

  14. #9
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    Lefa,

    I think the inscription is denoting both the successes of their 5th war patrol. The first, as you say, their first engagement. The second being the torpedoing of the Antonietta Costa and its subsequent loss. At the time it is highly unlikely that they would have known the identity of the vessel and thus used the location in lieu.

    For details of ship's log, see here - https://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/3406.html

    TimG

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  16. #10
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    Many thanks to Lefa and TimG for the additional info, wch illustrates clearly just how confusing operational actions could be. Wonder how many other pistol safety clips have survived, with or without inscriptions!

    Alan1

 

 

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