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Dark Class Boats


A stern view from T102 (above) on builders sea trials off Anglesea. The muzzle of the
40mm Bofor is not wearing its cover, which would have been a firm requirement on any long sea passage, so that indicates that this was taken before the RN 7th Ferry Crew delivered it to Weymouth for its onward journey to Rangoon.
(Picture courtesy of Ted Else via Dave Abbot)

HMS Dark Hero (above) serving as a target vessel in the 1970's. As can be seen she is in a sorry state with several 'hits' being scored with the hull being roughly patched up. (Photo courtesy of Ted Else)

View from the bridge of a Dark class vessel (above) shortly after initial launch and before the fitting of tubes or main armament. This maybe at Vospers yard.
(Photo courtesy of Ted Else)

P1104 HMS Dark Biter (above)taken in a very short lived experimental 'half black hull' paint scheme in the attempts to combat stains from the diesel exhausts. As the class is normally remembered in the 'all over' painted black hull, or as in the early 'all over' light grey paint scheme, this is an unusual shot taken during March 1956 (Photo courtesy of Ted Else)

The bridge of a Vosper built craft that has not been positively identified. There were four Vosper built craft and it could be one of any. Those built by Vosper were P1108 Dark Buccaneer (32.6.'54), P1109 Dark Clipper (9.2.'55) P1110 Dark Highwayman, (29.3.'55) P1107 Dark Rover, (30.8.'54). There were 3 Dark class vessels cancelled in 1955. Dark Chaser, Dark Chieftan and Dark Crusader. (Photo courtesy of Ted Else)

The Finnish navy ordered 2 Dark class types of Motor Gun Boats from Messrs Saunders Roe at the end of 1955. The colour shot above is of the pair during sea trials off the coast of Anglsea Nth Wales. They were named 'Vasama 1' and 'Vasama 2'. the English translation of the word 'Vasama' is 'Arrow'. (Picture courtesy of Ted Else via Dave Abbot)

The actual naming ceremony (above) at Menai Bridge Pier, this ceremony being carried out by Madame Tuomioja, wife of the Finnish Ambassador in London. Leaving Menai Bridge on Wednesday 8th May 1957 for the 2000 mile journey to Finland they called at Fowey, Dover then on to Ijmuiden Holland, Towed side by side through the Kiel Canal and after a brief stop over they left Kiel for Kalmar in Sweden on 13th May. The final stage of the voyage ended at Helsinki at 3am on the morning of 15th May. Messrs Saunders Roe had 2 engineers on board through out the journey but other wise both vessels were crewed by Finnish naval personnel.
(Picture courtesy of Ted Else via Dave Abbot)

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