Mobile Unit. Destroyer attack

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Programme 1060. Episode 4. Parts 1 to 3.

"Destroyer Attack" programme introduction. A programme recorded onboard during the New Zealand visit by the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Indefatigable. The vessel changes role from hero to fugitive in a naval exercise in Cook Strait, in which it plays the part of a Japanese ship. Her opponents are the destroyers HMS Wizard and HMS Urchin, whose mission is to sink the carrier or slow her down for capture.

In Wizard’s operation room opening moves play out between the Captain, Navigator and Radar Ratings. Loud-speakers and microphones connect this “brain centre” to the rest of the ship whilst a TBS, a wireless voice circuit, keeps direct communication with Urchin.

Captain, “Unless she’s playing a waiting game, we should pick her up soon…”. TBS dialogue tracks the enemy and a strategy unfolds. Torpedo crews standby, the crew exchange words. Back in the plotting office the enemy’s course is tracked as the Wizard co-ordinates its advance.

The narrator likens the carriers’ engagement to a game of chess, though with no radar onboard, the Indefatigable is at clear disadvantage. Wizard and Urchin synchronise their approach moving into cover each side of Indefatigable’s bow.

As the Captain issues orders from the bridge, Wizard turns into her attack position at 15 knots. The Pilot and Chief Torpedo Firing Officer respond accordingly but are required to adjust their course, as Indefatigable spots Urchin and turns.

Wizard fires eight torpedoes before making a hasty “retirement” at 30 knots. TBS communication reveals Urchin has also already fired and although Indefatigable has set course towards Urchin, looks to receive a hit either way. The attack ends.

The narrator explains the torpedoes are fitted with peace-time heads and will have passed harmlessly beneath the hull of Indefatigable. The carriers head back to anchor in the Pelorus Sounds. Outro music.

The narrator acknowledges the NZBS and gives thanks to Lieutenant Commander Hodgkinson, DSCRM and the officers and men onboard the Wizard, where the recordings took place.

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Year 1945

Reference number 5451

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits New Zealand Broadcasting Service. Mobile Recording Unit, Broadcaster

Duration 00:16:27

Date [Dec 1945]