Voordat Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman voor een jaar in onderhoud zou gaan op de werf van Wilton-Fijenoord moest men nog even flink aan de bak.

Op zaterdag 26 april 1952 vertrok Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman als vlaggeschip van smaldeel 5 uit de haven van Rotterdam via de Nieuwe Waterweg naar open zee.

Het smaldeel bestond verder uit de Hr.Ms. schepen:
de fregatten Evertsen, Van Zijll en De Zeeuw;
de onderzeeboten Zwaardvis en O-24. (in Engelse verslag wordt de O-27 genoemd)

Op zee aangekomen embarkeerden:
VSQ 2 met de Fireflies P-37, 38, 67, 72 en 79;
VSQ 4 met de Fireflies P-31, 41, 52, 55, 58, 60, 61 en 83;
VSQ 860 met de Seafuries F-2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14 en 29.

Hierna werd koers gezet naar Het Kanaal voor individuele oefeningen, als voorbereiding op de grote oefening “Castanets”.

Op woensdag 21 mei 1952, aan het einde van deze reis, was er de 2000ste deklanding aan boord van de Doorman, uitgevoerd met een Firefly van vsq 4 met als bemanning de sgtv.  G.Bolk en vlgtlg.1 A.Brouwer.
De batsman was de ltzv J. Molenaar.
Deze had echter net daar voor de sgtv. P.M. van de Lisdonk zijn 2000e landing ontnomen door hem een ‘Wave off’ te geven, waardoor deze niet mocht landen.
Extra werk in de bakkerij voor de gebruikelijk taart, in dit geval waren dat er zelfs twee.
Als troost kreeg de vlieger Van de Lisdonk alsnog een stuk taart aangeboden.
De vlieger Bolk zag later in de ‘Gouden bal’ zijn vliegtoelage slinken bij het afrekenen aan de bar.

Het smaldeel was na deze oefenmaand gereed om deel te gaan nemen aan een grote internationale oefening.

Op woensdag 18 juli 1952 begon de NATO oefening “Castanets”. Aan deze oefening werd deelgenomen door 150 schepen en 400 vliegtuigen uit negen verschillende landen, waaronder Engeland, Frankrijk, Denemarken, Noorwegen, Portugal, Canada, West-Duitsland en Nederland.

Aan boord hoorde je dan ook de opmerking: ’Moet je kijken joh, daar gaat voor een paar centen’.

Voor het tweede deel van de reis embarkeerden aan boord:
VSQ 2 met de Fireflies P-37, 38, 42, 67 en 71;
VSQ 4 met de Fireflies P-31, 41, 55 en 58;
VSQ 860 met de Seafuries F2, 3, 8, 10, 13, 14, 29 en 33.

(foto 2138) Start van de Seafury F-13 vanaf het vliegdek van de Doorman.

(foto 1575) De Firefly P-37 heeft een ‘Wave off’ gekregen van de LSO of ‘batsman’ en moet met de dekhaak omlaag nog een ronde maken voor een nieuwe poging.


Hieronder een verslag van deze oefening.

Royal Air Force and Naval Aviation News

Exercise " C a s t a n e t s"

Wednesday, June 18th, until yesterday June 26th, over 150 warships and 400 aircraft have been engaged in extensive naval/air exercises under the code name "Castanets."
The exercise has been of wide scope, with over 100 fleet auxiliaries operating as merchant ships in convoy or sailing independently. The complete NATO defence organization was in operation under the general direction of the Allied Commander-in-Chief, Channel, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur Power, whose headquarters were at Fort Southwick, near Portsmouth. The air side was in the hands of Air Marshal Sir Alick Stevens, operating from Coastal Command headquarters.

Under these two commanders, area control was exercised as follows : The Nore, Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt and A. Cdre. W. H. Hutton; Plymouth, Vice-Admiral Sir Maurice Mansergh and A.V-M. T. C. Traill; Rosyth, Rear-Admiral J. H. F. Crombie and A.V-M. H. T. Lydford; Walcheren, Rear-Admiral C. W. Slot, R.N.N.
(noot webmaster: oud commandant van de Doorman);
Cherbourg, Rear-Admiral G. R. J. Rebuffel, French Navy; and Brest, Vice-Admiral A. R. M. Robert, French Navy. On the attacking side, the submarines were controlled by Rear-Admiral C. W. G. Simpson and their supporting reconnaissance aircraft by G/C. F. A. Pearce—both working at Londonderry.

Defending fighters were operated by their own national air force commanders. The highlight of the first day of the exercise was the chase of the fast minelayer Apollo, which was representing an enemy raiding cruiser returning from operations in the Atlantic. She was found by Shackletons of Coastal Command about 150 miles east of Dundee at 1940 hr the same day.

A striking-force consisting, with other ships, of the Vanguard, the Dutch aircraft carrier Karel Doorman and the Swiftsure sailed from Rosyth to head off the raider.

(foto 5556) HMS Apollo in volle zee.

By the time the surface ships were close enough to contact Apollo, fog patches developed, which were sufficiently dense to prevent the Karel Doorman flying-off her strike aircraft. The raider succeeded in returning to her Cuxhaven base. During the first day, also, several coastal and ocean convoys were attacked by submarines and aircraft. One submarine attack on an East Coast Convoy was considered to be successful and the same convoy was twice the target for aircraft operating from Illustrious, which was taking part as an enemy air base.

Avengers flying from the Canadian carrier Magnificent attacked a submarine, while Shackletons from St. Eval located two and claimed one submarine sunk.
An interesting sidelight was the location of a submarine at periscope depth in the Firth of Forth  by a helicopter from No. 18 Group. Surface forces called up by the helicopter claimed the submarine as sunk. Bomber Command Lincolns, on behalf of the Red forces, mined the Thames estuary.

(foto 5550) HMCS Magnificent.

On the second day the Karel Doorman appeared to have a bad time. In an attack by "enemy" Sea Furies and Fireflies from the Illustrious she was unable to fly-off any aircraft and her flight deck was adjudged to be out of action and her speed reduced. She was then torpedoed by the submarine Sirdar, which had broken through the protecting destroyer-screen. Some of the operations at this period were hampered by bad weather, but aerial minelaying continued. Nine convoys safely made port but a successful attack was claimed by a submarine against a merchantman in the Cherbourg area. Coastal Command continued active : four sightings and two sinkings were claimed and in one of these attacks a Shackleton was itself attacked by Red aircraft.

(foto 5553) HMS Sirdar loopt een haven binnen.

On the third day Apollo came out from Cuxhaven again but was soon located from the air by a Dutch naval aircraft operating from Portland. A Shackleton then took over the job of shadowing the raider until surface craft arrived to attack. In the ensuing battle Apollo's speed was considered to have been reduced from 25 to 10 kt.
Widespread air operations continued. Lincolns planted more mines and minesweepers operating off Le Havre were attacked by U.S.A.F. jets. A troopcarrying convoy in the Channel was heavily attacked by naval aircraft operating from Cornish airfields, but defence by jets of Fighter Command prevented any recurrence of the attack. Sunderlands of the French navy, as well as Coastal Command and R.C.A.F. aircraft, made a number of submarine sightings.

Interspersed in all this aerial activity were attacks by coastal motor-boats, frogmen and midget submarines, which emphasized the insecurity of any ship, naval or merchant, in time of war. During part of the final phases of "Castanets" (the opening of which was dealt with last week) intermittent rain and low visibility gave the submarines greater freedom of action, and successes were claimed.

The most important of these was by the Dutch submarine Zwaardvis, which claimed the sinking of the Queen Elizabeth about 130 miles west of the Scillies. Another Dutch submarine, the O-27, launched an attack against the British frigate Hedingham Castle, which was escorting a French convoy.

(foto 5554) HMS Hedingham Castle.

On the night of June 21st, H.MS. Apollo (acting as an enemy raider) in company with Opportune was sighted off Den Helder, and air-shadowed.

A striking force of Firebrands from No. 813 Squadron R.N. took off from a base in Norfolk, but bad weather at base caused the operation to be cancelled when the Firebrands were within 30 miles of their target. The chase was taken up by destroyers in the vicinity. At the same time an important troop convoy going north ujp the east coast was the target for strong air opposition. Firebrands attacked the ships as they passed the Wash, but they themselves were prevented from pressing home the attack by Meteor 8s of ighter Command scrambled from bases in East Anglia. A Mosquito of No. 771 Squadron R.N. launched rocket attacks against the convoy, but was intercepted by two Vampires. Another convoy, on  passage from Portsmouth to Milford Haven, was attacked by 24 rocket aircraft from R.N. stations in Cornwall. They were opposed by eight Meteors on patrol over the convoy.

The bad weather at this period shut down a number of air bases in the United Kingdom', but one Coastal Command aircraft flying from a French base under the control of the French Maritime H.Q. at Brest, was able to operate in the southwestern approaches.

Another phase of the exercise was the anti-aircraft defence practice which was held by ships in harbour co-operating with shore defences in repelling attacks by "Red" aircraft from H.M.S. Illustrious.

By Monday, June 23rd, the principal operational areas in the exercise had narrowed down to the Atlantic approaches to the Channel, and the North Sea. Coastal Command was again in operation with Sunderlands from Pembroke Dock and Shackletons and Canadian Lancasters from St. Eval in Cornwall. At St. Eval, also, were some Skyraiders from the Royal Canadian Navy which had been flying in intensive operations from the Canadian carrier Magnificent.

There was considerable submarine and air activity off the east coast of Scotland, where a troop convoy was on passage for Norway. In the convoy were the fighter direction ship Boxer, Indefatigable, Implacable and the R.A.F. ship Bridport. The Dutch carrierKarel Doormanwas part of the anti-air and anti-submarine force protecting the convoy.

In connection with the work of the Shackletons, Air Marshal Sir Alick Stevens spoke of their reliability. From the flying standpoint this was undoubtedly true, but considerable unserviceability was experienced with the ancilliary equipment. On one sortie from St. Eval, with a Flight representative on board, the Gee instrument had to be changed before take-off.

Later in the flight the replacement Gee failed, as did the A.P.I, and the G.P.I., and when the A.S.V. failed to record the Scilly Isles immediately below the aircraft, the Shackleton was ordered to return to base.
Fortunately the R/T was still functioning for a G.C.A. landing at St. Eval. Subsidiary exercises held on the Tuesday included mine-laying by Bomber Command Lincolns in special areas to give the new Mine Watching Service some practice.

On the last day of "Castanets" (the exercise was called-off 10 hours earlier than the scheduled time) the enemy raider Apollo again was the centre of the picture. She and her accompanying ship Ulster were both found by Coastal Command Lancasters and shadowed until surface forces were brought in to deliver a successful attack. It had become evident that these raiders had intended attacking the troop convoy returning from Scandinavia, and a Tirpitz and Prinz Eugen battle was fought north-east of Aberdeen.

Strike aircraft from the Karel Doormancaused some damage to the Apollo, enabling the Swiftsure to get within gunfire range. Destroyers were then sent in to finish the raider off. Ulster, however, escaped and contact was lost. Later the Ulster made a long-range attack on the convoy and was "sunk" for her temerity.

The climax of the operation was to have been an amphibious attack on Den Helder, but the attack having been detected and foiled by "Blue" naval and air forces the exercises were brought to a close.

Sir Alick Stevens, speaking at a conference after "Castanets" had finished, said that maritime aircraft had flown 162 sorties, totalling 1,575 hours. A total of 51 submarines had been sighted and 34 attacked.


Op donderdag 26 juni 1952 einde van de NATO oefening “Castanets”.

Op vrijdag 27 juni 1952 debarkeerden de vsq 2,4 en 860 en vlogen terug naar het MVKV.
Op deze dag liep de Doorman de haven van Rotterdam binnen om af te meren op boeien nabij de Boompjes.

Op maandag 30 juni 1952 meteen na het weekend in Nederland, vertrok het smaldeel weer naar zee voor oefeningen.

Eenmaal buitengaats embarkeerden aan boord voor deze aansluitende oefenreis:
de Fireflies P-42, 46, 58 en 71 en verder de Seafuries F-2 en F-10.

Deze oefenreis ging om de noord, waarna een bezoek van enige dagen volgde aan Kopenhagen.

Op vrijdag 11 juli 1952 werd afgemeerd aan de Lange Linie in Kopenhagen.

(foto 0788) Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman afgemeerd in Kopenhagen met op het vliegdek opgesteld de  Doormanband.

Voor velen een onvergetelijk bezoek aan deze Deense havenplaats.
Er werd een zogenaamd ‘asfaltbal’ op de kade georganiseerd.
Overal op de kade stonden grote bakken met het bekende Hollandse bier, gekoeld met blokken ijs.
Vanuit de luidsprekers op het vliegdek klonk vrolijke muziek waarop gedanst kon worden.

(foto 0786) De Doormanband verzorgde ook een muzikaal optreden op de kade.

Uit de Kadopost van 11-7-1952.


Geen Curacao - geen Casablanca
Geen Lissabon - geen andere plaats
doet mij voortaan aan reizen denken
Als ‘Kobenhavns Raadhusplads’.

Geen Chobolobo of ‘Monte Clare’
Geen ‘Dancing-Plaza’, ‘Chez Nolly’
herenigt in zich al die pretjes
van ‘t Kopenhaagse ‘Tivoli’.

Geen Bulawaya, echte fado’s
Geen Highland dance of Frans Chanson
zag kans datgene te bereiken
waarmee het Deense lied ons won.

Na enkele maanden Smaldeel-reizen
met afwisseling tot het volle pond
blijft mij als prettigste herinnering
de Deense hoofdstad een de SONT !!


Hierna werd nog een kort bezoek gebracht aan Stavanger.

(foto 2150) Naast de Doorman liggen afgemeerd in Stavanger de onderzeeboten Zwaardvis en O24 (O27).


Hierna werd ook nog een weekend doorgebracht in het Skudesnesfjord. Hierna weer op weg naar Nederland om weer af te meren op boeien in Rotterdam.
Later dat jaar zou de Doorman voor een jaar uit de vaart zijn voor groot onderhoud op de werf van Wilton-Fijenoord.

(foto 0114) Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman in 1953 in het dok van de scheepswerf Wilton-Fijenoord.
Foto ontvangen van Charles v.d. Straten.



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