- Jarrett, Hugh
- Biographies and personal histories, History - WW2
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- June 2003 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Daily at mid-day, the captain stood in the torpedo-space and ceremonially sampled the ship’s company’s meals, which were offered to him in a very formal manner.
The very first anti-submarine exercise took place at night against a Royal Navy submarine which was running under-water with its navigation lights burning. This was the first and only time I have seen this exercise; and I have never forgotten it. It was quite weird carrying out attacks and running over the top of red, green, and white lights burning brightly under water. I have taken part in many anti-submarine training exercises, but this one emphasized the fact that the submarine was more than a target – there were actually live men down there.
On the other hand it was a very good as an initial exercise, which made the efficiency of the attacking vessel quite obvious. On this exercise, I was amazed to see the captain used the radar display for the attack, following which I asked him why. He explained that his eyesight was not all that good and the compass bearing ring on the radar helped him better than anything!
One evening I went out on exercises with another Italian frigate and returning to Malta I asked the captain why he had altered course 90° to port; he replied that he was running along a wartime course off Malta when he laid a line of mines!
All in all, I did enjoy being with these very professional officers.