T H E F O R ' A
D S E C T I O N B A S E
|Although the For'ad Section did not receive
much damage during the air attacks such as the other ships of the Bomb Alley Group were
blessed with, the 27 man crew plus the occasional visitor in the form of Midshipman Dubois
or Thre If all gave vital assistance when needed in other sections of the ship. Even
through the long hours of waiting for the attacks to come the team did not show any signs
of fatigue; even the ones who had been up on the long 24 hours of night defence watches
and daytime Action Stations. The maximum sleep which any member of the crew had over the
six day period in Bomb Alley was 18 hours, split up over three six hour sessions.
During the air raids the whole section hit the deck, hands over heads and waiting for the Seawolf to shoot from the launcher above their heads. When this did not happen and the dull "Thud, thud, thud" of the Bo f ors was heard along with the sharper "Crack" of small arms fire everyone listened for the loud explosion to happen. During the air attack on COVENTRY two bombs went off under the ship and the force of these explosions lifted us all off the deck. While the Section was carrying out a search for damage the Gas Alarm went off over the broadcast, causing the blood to drain from nany faces. The alarm proved to be false, and looking back at the incident it was a funny sight to see everyone grabbing respirators, some with filters missing and some on upside down.
A sit rep from HQ1 gave us a rough estimate of damage to the ship and, most important of all the report that there were no casualties. The ship was then standing by to pick up survivors from COVENTRY. The men of the For'ad Section carried out their orders with great speed and discipline, which made the job of co-ordinating and directing from the Incident Board a much easier task. Great courage was shown by everyone that day, even when told that there was another attack on the way.
What started out as Just one more For'ad Section base, that took 20 minutes to close down to 1Z, changed to a very effective team in a very short time, managing to close the whole Section down within 3 minutes and able to cope with everything that was thrown its way.
PS. Thank you to the Chefs for all they did
during the Campaign, Through thick and thin they always managed to come up with a 'HOT'
meal, and tea just when it was most needed.
That: postscript takes us on to the Supporting Services: the Galley which appeared to run a special line in Porridge, and the First Aiders inn their Crusader like red cross surcoats.