[ Post a Response | The SteelNavy.Com Message Board ]
Re: Aircraft on cruiser Fiji
As the draftsman who is preparing a drawing of FIJI as she appeared in April 1940 for Mr. Waters, I will be leaving out the catapult, as the several official citations quoted above have made it abundantly clear that she had no catapult at that time, nor, it seems through September 1940 (and probably never did get one). Other than some excellent yard photos of the ship (that unfortunately do not show the contested area, I have about half a dozen photos of the finished ship in service, and in all there is no sign of a catapult nor an aircraft aboard. There's also quite convincing photographic proof that she never got the intended directors for her two quadruple 2-pounder pom-pom mounts. Sending this ship to the Med (and her unfortunate fate) without anything even remotely meeting the requirements for a decent fire control other than three optical directors for the four 4-in. mounts and nothing but ring sights for the 2-pounders and the two quadruple .50-cal. megs. that constituted her AA defense, was a most unfortunate and foolish decision by the Admiralty.. The small photo of FIJI in starboard broadside was slipped from a larger view that shows a pretty impressive bomb explosion about two ship lengths abaft her stern. In any case, if official documents say quite specifically that she did not have the catapult as of September 1940, aircraft, then Mr. Raven's demmural, devoid of any evidence to the contrary, should be null and vioid. Oh, and if Mr. Waters' book about the Colonies class cruisers is as good as his book about the preceding Towns, it should be a winner.
Waters is the reason for the dispute.
It may be worth trying to contact Conrad Waters, the author of the book "British Town Class Cruiser", who is in the process of writing a book on the Colony Class.
There is a small dispute in progress as to whether the ship actually embarked an aircraft at any time in 1940.
Does anybody know the answer.
I am aware that Fiji ran sea trials in April 1940 without the catapult.
SteelNavy.Com Home Page