HMS Scorpion was originally launched as HMS Tomahawk (as she was a weapons class boat) but was later renamed Scorpion because of extensive modifications. Two stern gun turrets were removed and "Limbo" launchers were installed (two 3-barrelled launchers, one port and one starboard). These were a sort of mortar that fired depth charges out to the side of the ship.
One of the Captains of Scorpion was N. A "Bill" Jewell However, during the early 1950s there was a very popular radio and stage comedian named "Jimmy Jewel". As a consequence, the crew of Scorpion (at that time) referred to the Captain as "Jimmy Jewel". This was both humorous and also an indication of how well liked that captain was by his crew. Of course, no one EVER called him "Jimmy Jewel" when he was within earshot!
Captain Jewell is most famous for being the commanding officer of the submarine HMS Seraph when she surfaced off the Spanish coast and released "The Man Who Never Was" into the water. This was part of one of the greatest allied intelligence coups of the war. At that time, Jewell was Lieutenant Commander N. A. "Bill" Jewell.
HMS Scorpion details contributed by Mark Parkin son of Scorpion crew member.
In the late 1950s HMS Scorpion was brought out of reserve along with her three sister ships and refurbished - the original midships torpedoes were replaced by a new mess for the radar specialists as part of a conversion to Radar Picket Destroyers with surface to air radar capable of 200 mile range. See photo of Crossbow who succeeded her in the Med in 1961. These ships were intended to operate 200 miles ahead of the main fleet thereby providing a maximum of 400 mile warning of impending air attack - assuming of course that they survived the first wave etc. In 1960-61 the "new and improved" Scorpion and Broadsword were stationed in Malta as part of the 7th Destroyer Squadron. Her skipper, a newly promoted Commander, was the junior skipper in the fleet and hence she was the canteen boat - a 33kt top speed in her speed trials also helped. During a jackstay transfer exercise with Captain "D's" destroyer while under the "watchful" eye of the Jimmy, Lt. Commander H. W. Drax, ( a relative -son or nephew? of another noted Drax of war time note) she failed to maintain station and proceeded to tear the Jackstay pillars out of the deck causing the loss of the other destroyer's jackstay equipment and lifelines as they were swept over the stern. In the November 1960 after completing her tour of duty in the Mediterranean she underwent a 3-month refit in Gibraltar followed by a "call to action" in the Cape Verde Islands in an international attempt to apprehend a group of hi-jackers (probably the first of the modern day hijacking trend) who had taken over a Portuguese cruise ship off the Caribbean. Along with a Spanish cruiser, three Portuguese destroyers and a British frigate she spent a pleasant two weeks at anchor in St. Vincent waiting for the pirates to reach the mid-point of the Atlantic. Fortunately the pirates surrendered to authorities and she went un-blooded als no medals awarded. This was followed by a brief visit to Alicante, Spain where unfortunately she lost a member of her crew due to an accident while preparing to give a film show to children of the local orphanage. She returned to Gibraltar overnight in an impressive 10 hours - check the distance. In the spring of 1961 she returned to Plymouth, her home port, and after the usual leave for her crew was assigned to the Icelandic Fishery Patrol duties approximately 35 days. She returned to Plymouth in April-May and decommissioned.
Hope this gives a little more information
Stanley R. Bradshaw (Scorpion 1960-61)
My Father did his National Service on Scorpion, and often mentions that his Skipper was an ex-submariner, which made Scorpion a ‘must sink’ exercise target for all his Skipper’s former colleagues still on subs. Dad spent most of his time aboard as Jimmy The Ones Flunky, and after the Weapon class failed to prove its worth as an anti-submarine class in major exercises, had a very nice tour up the coast of the UK stopping off at holiday resorts and showing the flag. Is there any way I can put him in touch with any of his former shipmates?
A more accurate explanation of the Limbo Launchers shows that they in fact didn't fire the depth charges out to the side but fired them up and forward of the ship. This is where the Asdic could compute enemy submarine.
Scorpion in Trabzon, Turkey.
I am writing about an experience that my husband, Barry Anderson, had with the crew of the HMS Scorpion. In 1962 - 1963, Barry was in the Air Force and was stationed at a remote tracking station in Trabzon, Turkey. Once, while he was there, the Scorpion was in the Black Sea, and one night their crew came ashore and spent time in the NCOE club on the base. They all partied pretty heavily, and one of the crew traded his dress uniform hat for a baseball cap that Barry had - several other sailors did the same thing with other Air Force guys. The next morning the captain of the ship marched all the crew back on base-he was not happy and demanded that they all get their hats back. My husband had already put the one he got in the mail to me back in the States. We have it to this day. The name inside the hat is "Billy Coopers" - would like to get in touch with him or his family. Maybe he would like to trade again for the hat!!!!
In reply to Nancy Anderson re the
visit of HMS Scorpion to Trabzon 1962-63
I was an Electrical Mechanic on the Scorpion at
that time and although I only have a vague recollection of the hat swapping
incident, I can certainly confirm that we tried very hard to drink the US base
dry on our evening visits, and I would like to express our gratitude to the
Americans' for being such good hosts at that time. Indeed Trabzon seemed to be
at the back of nowhere and only important for playing host to the US base and
it's early warning system installed up a mountain above the town. The base
personnel were kind enough to send the ships company an open invitation and
provide buses to transport our thirsty off duty crew up the mountain and back to
the ship each evening of our short visit; and I guess we made the best of a most
welcoming reception from personnel at the base club. Many of us were young, on
our first ship and good at enjoyment, ( I was about 19 or 20 ). The Scorpion was
probably the first British war ship to visit Trabzon in modern history?? or ever
even!, but I feel sure that all the crew will recall being there, and all the US
personnel will recall the occasion with some mirth.
I served on HMS Scorpion during
Exercise Mariner (1953) as a Radio Electrical Mechanic. My memories of her
include the attempted rescue of the crew of a fishing trawler name of "Hasset"
(unsuccessful being almost joining th etrawler on the rocks)
We put in at Stonehaven afterwards & were treated very well
served on HMS Scorpion during Exercise Mariner (1953)
as a Radio electrical Mechanic. My memories of her include the attempted rescue of the crew of a fishing trawler name of "Hasset" (unsuccessful being almost joining the trawler on the rocks) We put in at Stonehaven afterwards & were treated very well by the public of the town. During Exercise Mariner Scorpion was rolled on her side by a huge wave & reported sunk. HMS Diamond was in collision with the cruiser Swiftsure (32 casualties). We were confined to hammocks unless on duty for three days. Scorpion attempted a R.A.S. from the American Battleship Iowa but the fuel hose became detached from Scorpion's deck fitting with disastrous results. Scorpion struck an iceberg & damaged her asdic dome, it was said that we struck the worst weather that many three badge AB's had ever seen. HMS Eagle was dipping her bows. This was my first time ever aboard a Destroyer but certanly not the last.
Denis Broadbent. P/mx
My partners grandfather served on the HMS Scorpion during the war and wanted to know if any crew had survived his name is Eric Turner
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