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Mystery Object - SS Thistlegorm Cargo

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In hold number 1, lower deck, of the SS Thistlegorm are a pile of mystery objects. There is debate amongst the team - Alex thinks they might be searchlight mounts, but I feel they look like gearbox casings with a distinctive bell housing shape at one end....however the square section at the other end seems at odds with this.

One image shows the shape/form and the other gives an overall dimension. If anyone needs a specific measurement or two, just let me know.

Its a significant amount of cargo and we have yet to nail it down. Hope the collective thoughts of HMVF can assist?

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 10.19.26.png

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 10.20.40.png

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Is there a cargo manifest? There should have been several copies, One on board that one probably went down with the ship. Insurance company, Lloyds, Port of loading/ Shipping agents.Stevidor company, Ministry of War, Middle East HQ. Port of discharge. Local Shipping Agent. Probably several others, even in wartime the paperwork has to be done.

Edited by john1950
addition

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Any idea of what they are made off? Width of the apature etc.  About 2 foot 9 inch in proper measurment. That's a fairly substantial bit of kit. 

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11 hours ago, john1950 said:

Is there a cargo manifest?

The search for that continues...so far, every lead has ended in a dead end.

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11 hours ago, Tony B said:

Any idea of what they are made off? Width of the apature etc.  About 2 foot 9 inch in proper measurment. That's a fairly substantial bit of kit. 

Substantial, yes. And I have just counted 60 of them in the forward hold. 

Not sure what they are made of. Guess is casting, and looking at the corrosion its ferrous rather than aluminium.

Two more images with a view on the ends with some more measurements. Originally they had covers over the 'bellhousing' end:

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 08.37.46.png

Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 08.37.10.png

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This is a bit of a long shot but although I don't think that water jet propulsion for shallow draught vessels had been developed then, could they be the actual water jet nozzles ? The large end could bolt onto the duct with the propeller in it and the water be accelerated by the reduction in cross section to come out of the square end through what could be steerable vanes. The mechanism for moving the vanes could be internal to keep the outside from catching debris, with the mechanism emerging through the round lump on the side of the big round end.

Another application if the square end does contain some sort of vanes might be that these are part of a heating or ventilating system, with the vanes directing the air as it comes out.

I am not very convinced by either suggestion but can't think of a better one !

Pity we can't pull out some of those new tyres, they are probably in very good condition having been kept in the dark all this time. The salt water will probably not have damaged them at all. They look like 10.50 x 16 to me which is an almost impossible size to find now. Oh well.

David

Edited by David Herbert

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It might be worth looking for cargo manifests for other ships in the convoy as they may have split the consignment.

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1 hour ago, john1950 said:

It might be worth looking for cargo manifests for other ships in the convoy as they may have split the consignment.

Good idea...not one we had thought of...however...

As far as we know, the ship split from the main convoy and towards and headed around the Cape on its own. 

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A pump, or part of a pumping system of some form, is not something we had considered - many thanks for these suggestions gentlemen. It is most appreciated.

The form/shape has a real purpose. What needs to go from large diameter cylindrical to smaller square section over the distance of about 2" 9'?

Having looked at the top image again, it does appear there are holes in the bell housing end of things...all ideas most welcome...

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Looking at the top it reminds me of a burner, and the cover. Maybe some sort of bulk tank pipeline sampler or vent valve? 

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From what I can gather she was part of a convoy of 16 ships and 4 escorts that rounded the Cape. Convoys seem to split approaching the Horn of Africa for India and Suez etc. Some ship proceed independantly when the main Convoy split, WS 9a. Thistlegorm was heading for Alexandria with supplies for the Western desert force, which turned into the 8th army. She was carrying enough equipment for a whole airfield Including Pundit lights, and a lot of hospital equipment plus aircraft,start trollys, vehicles etc.HMS Carlisle the AAprotection ship for the anchorage ,was struck by debris when she exploded Another ship sunk close by 3 days later was the Rosalie Moller, still loaded with good Welsh coal. They were put into anchorage because a tanker had struck a mine at the entrance to Suez and the wreckage had to be cleared before they could proceed. They were found by German planes looking for the Queen Mary. I wonder if the Jacques Coustaeu archive have a copy of the manifest. He dived the wreck in the 1950s, I also wonder what happened to the motor bike and other items they recovered. Both John Kean who has written a book about the wreck and Peter Rowlands who has dived the wreck seem to quote from the cargo manifest. I wonder if they have a copy. 

Edited by john1950
addition correction add

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I would be going Light or sound for the mystery objects

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the parts are crudely cast, looks like a sand casting. Some kind of steam valving, maybe spare parts for the ship. Not necessarily the Engine, but since it used a triple expansion engine, maybe low pressure waste steam used to heat the ship?  The square end looks like it could hold reed valves (check valves).

 

 

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This may not have been a 100% military cargo there may have been civillian export items on board. Ships items would normally be kept in the ships stores. Large items fastened to the deck. Over 60 of them would surggest cargo, they have broken glass items with them.

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I would doubt that there would be any civilian export items on board

because of a reciprocal act where by Britain would increase war production 

and reduce civilian demand to show that it was totally committed to the war effort and help Britains case for future aid from the USA IE the later lend

lease act

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