N.B.  Links in the table below are to books or authors as listed in Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Maritime Books so their continuing validity cannot be guaranteed.

 

TITLE

AUTHOR

PUBLISHER

ISBN

PRICE

A Corkhead's Chronicle - Experiences of a Royal Navy Clearance Diver 1955-76
Paperback: 304 pages
David J. Lott BEM Woodfield (2005) 1 84683 001 X £15 
Former FCPO(D) Dave 'Mona' Lott's career as a CD including mentions of MCDOs and CDOs Pat Dowland, Bill Filer, Franky Franklin, Bill Grady, Steve Gobey, Mike Harwood, David Hilton, Stuart Honour, Jumbo Jervis, Ken Kempsell, Cyril Lafferty, Hamish Loudon, Chris Massie-Taylor, Gerry 'Pincher' Martin, Les Maynard, Neil Merrick, Peter Messervy, John O'Driscoll, Harry Parker, Bob Pilling, Jon Riches, Norman Taylor, Ed Thompson, Julian Thomson, Harry Wardle, Jackie Warner and Bob White plus many other CDs of all ranks and rates although some names are spelled imaginatively.
A Diver in the Dark: Experiences of a Pioneer Royal Navy Clearance Diver
Paperback: 180 pages
Sydney Knowles BEM Woodfield (2009) 1 84683 082 6 Various
Entertaining memoir of a pioneer Royal Navy Clearance Diver and diving partner of Commander Lionel 'Buster' Crabb OBE GM. 
Sydney Knowles was born in Preston, Lancashire, where he grew up during the 1920s and 30s, volunteering to join the Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18.  He served in the North Atlantic aboard RN destroyer HMS Zulu during the hunt for the Bismarck and in HMS Lookout (also a destroyer) on transatlantic convoy duty and later on 'Operation Pedestal', the famous Mediterranean convoy that broke the Siege of Malta in 1942 after withstanding intensive attacks by enemy aircraft and submarines, sustaining heavy losses.
On returning to the relative safety of Gibraltar after 'Pedestal', Sydney volunteered to join a small squad of Navy divers known as the Underwater Working Party, whose task was to protect Allied shipping at anchor in Gibraltar harbour against attack by Italian underwater saboteurs of the Gruppa Gamma.  Equipped with nothing but swimming trunks, lead-weighted plimsolls and primitive underwater breathing apparatus, the British divers worked in all weathers to search, often in total darkness, beneath the hulls of ships at anchor for mines attached by enemy frogmen.  If they located such a device they would have to try to cut it loose or call for the assistance of their commanding officer - Lieutenant (later Commander) Lionel `Buster' Crabb.  Crabb's expertise at rendering safe explosive marine devices would earn him a considerable reputation and, as his diving partner and assistant, Sydney later accompanied him on many mine disposal tasks. His hair-raising stories about their remarkable escapades together in Italy are justification enough for reading this book.
But Sydney has much more to tell... In the postwar years he and Commander Crabb renewed their association and in 1950 they dived together in search of a Spanish galleon that had sunk in Tobermory Bay on the Isle of Mull in 1588, reputedly filled with treasure; an ultimately unsuccessful quest that nearly cost Sydney his life.  In 1955 he would be invited to dive with the Commander again, but under very different circumstances.  Crabb asked Sydney to accompany him on a clandestine mission to spy on the Russian warship Sverdlov while it was moored in Portsmouth harbour on a goodwill visit.  They dived, discovered the secret of its remarkable manoeuvrability and returned undetected.
Crabb was by now a regular visitor to a house in Chelsea where Sir Anthony Blunt hosted soirées for a coterie of acquaintances, some of whom were later revealed to have been involved in the murky world of Cold War espionage.  Sydney attended some of these gatherings but became increasingly confused by his ex-boss's behaviour and suspicious of the people he was associating with. Was Crabb a spy?  Was he planning to defect?  Sydney once again found himself in the dark, but this time it was regarding the Commander's intentions...
Sydney's memories of these meetings and of subsequent events that culminated in the disappearance of Commander Crabb in 1956, while on another clandestine dive at Portsmouth, this time to spy on the Russian cruiser Ordzhonikidze, provide a unique insight into a mystery.
Foreword written by Rob Hoole, Vice Chairman & Webmaster, Minewarfare & Clearance Diving Officers' Association (MCDOA).  

A Million Tears

Paperback: 544 pages

Paul Henke

Good Read Publishing Limited (May 1998)

1 9024 8300 6

£9.99

 

The first in MCDOA member Paul Henke's fictional series about the powerful Griffiths dynasty which originates in humble circumstances in Wales.
Above Us The Waves: The Story of Midget Submarines and Human Torpedoes
Hardback: 256 pages
C E T Warren and James Benson Harrap (1953) ASIN: B0007KC73Q Various
It was the Italians who pioneered the use of two-man human torpedoes or 'chariots', and their attacks on ships of the Royal Navy in Alexandria Harbour in 1941 caused Winston Churchill to write to the Chief of Staffs committee to enquire what was being done to emulate these daring attacks.  The result was the development of British 'chariots' which were regarded as stop-gaps until the X-craft or midget submarines could be deployed.  The book is divided into five parts.  The first covers the development, training, growing pains and the attempt on the Tirpitz, the second and third to Mediterranean and Norwegian operations, while the fourth deals with the coast of Fortress Europe and the Normandy Beaches.  Part Five considers the special preparations for the Far East and the exploits achieved in the fight against the Japanese.  There are several appendices and an index to complete an absorbing record of a novel and important innovation in warfare.

All Mine!

Paperback: 136 pages

Noel Cashford MBE

ALD Design & Print (Jul 2002)

279 Sharrow Vale Road

Sheffield

S11 8ZF

 

Tel: 0114267 9402

Email: a.lofthouse@btinternet.com

1 9015 8723 1

£7.95

 

The late MCDOA associate member Noel Cashford's touching, humorous and well-illustrated autobiographical account of an RNVR Bomb & Mine Disposal Officer.  In six years, he made safe over 200 devices, 57 in a mere three days.

All Theirs!

Paperback: 150 pages

Noel Cashford MBE

ALD Design & Print (Jul 2002)

279 Sharrow Vale Road

Sheffield

S11 8ZF

 

Tel: 0114267 9402

Email: a.lofthouse@btinternet.com

1 9015 8738-X

£7.95 (plus £2 P&P)

 

The late MCDOA associate member Noel Cashford's vivid, entertaining and informative stories about WW II and post-war activities of EOD operators including MCDOA members Ken Kempsell, Brian Dutton, Colin Churcher, Martin Jenrick and Dave Welch.  Well supported with illustrations, sketches and photos.
Allied Minesweeping in World War 2
Hardback: 201 pages
Peter Elliott Patrick Stephens Ltd (1979) ISBN-10: 0850593506
ISBN-13: 978-0850593501
Various
Lurking silently in the cold grey depths of the North Sea was one of the greatest hazards to shipping in World War 2.  In the Pacific, the Americans also encountered this terrible threat.  The mine.
It was the job of the minesweepers to deal with it, and quickly.  An assault could not take place until the water had been thoroughly swept; when Normandy was invaded it was the sweepers who went in and cleared channels through which the other shipping could pass.  The hazards they faced were many, from the increasingly sophisticated mines (such as the unsweepable 'oyster' or pressure mine), to the kamikaze pilots whose acts of self-destruction brought enormous damage to American ships.  This book tells the story of the ships which did this difficult and dangerous job.  It covers their design and production as well as the development of sweeping techniques and the stories of some of the most important minesweeping operations of the war. 
This book is compulsive reading both for the enthusiast and the serious historian of naval warfare.
Ask Forgiveness Not Permission - The True Story of an Operation in Pakistan's Badlands
Paperback: 339 pages
Howard Leedham Bene Factum Publishing (2012) 978-1-903071-67-0 £12.99
An autobiographical account of Howard Leedham's transition from RN Clearance Diver and decorated Fleet Air Arm pilot to being recruited by the CIA to train and lead a 50-strong group of helicopter-borne paramiltaries against terrorist groups in the badlands of Pakistan.
Australian Minesweepers at War
Paperback: 328 pages
Mike Turner and Hec Donohue Sea Power Centre - Australia (2018) 978-0-646-98226-7 Various
Minewarfare operations by the Royal Australian Navy during the two world wars.  At the beginning of World War I the emergent RAN was ill-prepared and ill-equipped to counter a mining campaign in home waters.  Following German mining in 1917, the RAN quickly requisitioned trawlers as auxiliary minesweepers manned by the RAN Brigade and the mines were ultimately swept.  Both Germany and Japan laid offensive mines in Australian waters during World War II.  This stretched the RAN minesweeping effort to the limit, however safe channels were quickly established and the movement of traffic, including vital troopship convoys, was not impeded. 
Little known but noteworthy operational minesweeping in China and in the Islands post World War II in arduous and difficult conditions was a major feat. Defensive minefields totalling some 9,000 Australian made mines were laid in 1941-43 by HMAS Bungaree, mainly in the Great Barrier Reef, requiring a significant post war clearing operation which resulted in the sinking of one minesweeper after hitting a mine.
This ground-breaking book outlines for the first time the significant effort of those involved, who although initially unfamiliar with this form of warfare, ensured that the sea lanes remained navigable throughout both wars.  The Australian designed and built minesweepers proved their effectiveness in the major sweeping operations during and after World War II.
Cdre Hector 'Hec' Donohue OAM RAN is a member of the MCDOA.  He was the General Manager Mine Countermeasures with ADI Limited. Prior to joining ADI, he was a Commodore in the RAN.  During his naval career, he had a range of sea appointments including exchange service in the Royal Navy.  He commanded the destroyer Yarra in 1979-80, and the guided missile frigate Darwin, as well as being a Task Group Commander, in 1986-87.  He was both a Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving, and Torpedo Anti Submarine specialist.  Ashore, he held a number of postings in the force development and policy areas in Navy Office and Headquarters Australian Defence Force.  In 1989 he was responsible for developing and implementing a revised higher Defence Committee system and force development structure.  Subsequently, as Director General Defence Force Plans and Programs, he played a major role in the (991 Australian Defence Force Structure Review.  He transferred to the RAN Reserve in July 1991 to accept a position in ADI.  He formed and managed a business unit within AD1 which successfully marketed and sold indigenous mine countermeasures systems internationally.  He holds a BA from the University of Canberra, an MA (Hons Class 1) from the University of NSW, and is a graduate of the Australian Administrative Staff College.  He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1991 and was also admitted that year as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

BANG
Paperback: 169 pages

Noel Cashford MBE

ALD Design & Print (Jul 2002)

279 Sharrow Vale Road

Sheffield

S11 8ZF

 

Tel: 0114267 9402

Email: a.lofthouse@btinternet.com

1 9015 8771 1

£8.95

 

A pot-pourri of significant incidents involving explosives from the late MCDOA member Noel Cashford but it also refers to the EOD exploits of many RN, Army and RAF figures.
Familiar naval Bomb & Mine Disposal characters include British, Australian and Canadian operatives such as Lt Bill Bailey DSC GM* RNVR, CPO Charles Baldwin DSM, Lt John Bridge GC GM* RNVR, Cdr Lionel 'Buster' Crabb OBE GM RNVR, CPO Reginald Ellingworth GC, Lt Anthony Firminger GM DSM RNVR, Lt Percy Grant GM RNVR, Lt Cdr Geoffrey Hodges GM RNVR, Lt George Goodman MBE GC RNVR, Lt Cdr George Gosse GC RANVR, Cdr Gordon Gutteridge OBE RN, Cdr James Harries OBE GM* RCNVR, Sub Lt Donald Kirkland MBE RNVR, Cdr Edward Obbard DSC GM RN, Sub Lt Ronald Orr GM RNVR, Cdr John Ouvry DSO RN, Lt Cdr Dick Ryan GC RN, Lt Ronald Saull GM RNVR and AB Maurice Woods GM. Post-WWII naval personnel include LS(D) Peter Alderton BEM, PO (later Lt Cdr) Peter Cobby BEM, MCDOA member Lt Cdr Brian Dutton DSO QGM RN, FCPO(D) Mick Fellows MBE* DSC BEM, AB(D) Eric Harris BEM, Lt Charles Heatley MBE RN, Lt Cdr Mark Terrell MBE RN and CPO(D) Graham 'Piggy' Trotter DSM.
Bomb Disposal in World War Two
Hardback: 282 pages
Chris Ransted Pen & Sword History (2017) ISBN-10: 1526715651
ISBN-13: 978-1526715654
£19.49
For this book, keen MCDOA-supporter Chris Ransted has researched some of the lesser known events and personalities relating to the early years of Explosive Ordnance Disposal in the UK.  Daring acts of cold blooded bravery, and ingenuity in the face of life threatening technical challenges, are recounted throughout the book.  Included are numerous previously unpublished accounts and photographs that describe the disarming of German bombs, parachute mines, and even allied bombs found at aircraft crash sites. In addition, the book contains the most comprehensive account ever published of the Home Guard s role with the Auxiliary Bomb Disposal Units, and details of conscientious objectors' involvement with unexploded bombs.
This is not only a valuable research tool for serious researchers already well read on the subject, but also a fascinating read for those with no previous knowledge of wartime bomb disposal at all, and of course a must read for anyone interested in the subject.

Chaos

Paperback: 384 pages

Paul Henke

Good Read Publishing Limited (Jan 2002)

1 902483049

£7.99

 

Adventure story.  MCDOA member Paul Henke's books feature Nick Hunter, a retired MCDO, as the James Bond-like hero who saves the world.
Commander Crabb - What Really Happened?
Hardback: 102 pages
John Bevan Submex Ltd (2014) ISBN-10: 0950824275
ISBN-13: 978-0950824277
£9.99
MCDOA member John Bevan's biography of the legendary Cdr Lionel 'Buster' Crabb OBE GM RNVR.
Courage Beyond Duty
Paperback: 218 pages
Noel Cashford MBE

ALD Design & Print (Jul 2002)

279 Sharrow Vale Road

Sheffield

S11 8ZF

 

Tel: 0114267 9402

Email: a.lofthouse@btinternet.com

1 901587890 £9.99
The late MCDOA member Noel Cashford's final book, published posthumously.  It contains stories of brave men and women who render safe unexploded bombs, mines and other explosive nasties wherever they come to light in this country and abroad, on land and in the oceans of the world.

Debacle

Paperback: 544 pages

Paul Henke

Good Read Publishing Limited (Jul 1999)

1 9024 8301 4

£4.79

 

Adventure story.  MCDOA member Paul Henke's books normally feature Nick Hunter, a retired MCDO, as the James Bond-like hero who saves the world.

Desert Sailor - a War of Mine

Paperback: 208 pages

James T. Hewitt

 

Canadian Peacekeeping Press

Pearson Peacekeeping Centre (1998)

PO Box 100

Clementsport

Nova Scotia

Canada

BOS 1EO

1 8965 5117 3

$24.95 plus $5 shipping

 

MCDO Jim Hewitt transferred to the RN from the Canadian Navy in the early '70s then transferred back soon after completing a few RN appointments and LMCDO 76.  This is an autobiographical account of his period with the Multinational MCM Group during the first Gulf War in 1991.

Dive Navy

Paperback: 255 pages.

Harry Wardle

 

CPW Books (2002)

1 Harbour Road

Hayling Island

Hampshire

PO11 0HR

 

Tel: 023 9346 5511

0 9523 1621 8

£10.00 including P&P

 

Autobiography.  The late MCDOA member Harry Wardle's book incorporates the contents of Forecastle to Quarterdeck plus Harry's ensuing naval career as a clearance diving officer at the centre of record-breaking achievements and developments from 1945 to his retirement in 1958 as the Deputy Superintendent of Diving.
Diver Tony Groom Seafarer Books (2007)
102 Redwald Road
Rendlesham
Suffolk
IP12 2TE
1 906266 066 £9.95
Autobiography. Former CD and Falklands veteran Tony Groom's entertaining account of his time in the Royal Navy, focusing particularly on his time with FCDT1 during the Falklands conflict, and his later career in commercial diving.  Contains far too many familiar names to list.
Enemy Waters: Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Norwegian Navy, U.S. Navy, and other Allied Mine Forces battling the Germans and Italians in World War II
Paperback: 434 pages
David Bruhn & Rob Hoole

Heritage Books, Inc. (2018)

5810 Ruatan St.

Berwyn Heights

Maryland 20740

USA

 

Tel: 1-800-876-6103

ISBN-10: 0788458728
ISBN-13: 978-0788458729
£31
Minewarfare History co-authored by MCDOA Vice Chairman & Webmaster Rob Hoole:
When Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939, the Royal Navy was deficient in minelayers needed to try to hold enemy forces at bay and out of its home waters. Turning first to the Merchant Navy, it requisitioned a liner and two ferries for this use, and a dozen destroyers and submarines were also converted to carry mines.  Later, six fast minelaying cruisers joined the force.  When Italy entered the war on the Axis side in June 1940, the situation became dire.  As U-boats continued to sink shipping in the North Sea and around the British Isles, the Italian Fleet and German and Italian Air Forces controlled the central Mediterranean.  Royal Air Force Bomber and Coastal Command planes took up mining, as did old Swordfish biplanes of the Fleet Air Arm. Joining in the fight were units of exiled navies, including the Dutch minelayer Willem van der Zaan, Free French submarine Rubis, and the Norwegian 52nd Motor Launch Flotilla.  U.S. Navy mine forces supported the invasion of French North Africa in late 1942, subsequent landings in Italy, and the invasions of Normandy and southern France.  The Canadian 31st Minesweeping Flotilla was at Normandy, and joined in later operations.
Enemy Waters puts readers in the heart of the action.  One hundred and forty-five photographs, maps, and diagrams; appendices; and an index to full-names, places and subjects add value to this work.
 
Far from Breaking Waves - A Sailor Cast Adrift in Afghanistan
Paperback: 316 pages
Bradley Vincent Book Pal (2012)
www.bookpal.au
978-742842-75-2 $18 AUD
Autobiography.  MCDOA member Dave 'Spidey' Ince uses a flashback technique to describe his eventful transition from joining the Royal Navy as a MW (Minewarfare) rating in 1983 through his commissioning and qualification as an MCD Officer to becoming a Royal Australian Navy member helping to run ISAF's Joint Counter-IED HQ in Kabul during the war in Afghanistan.  Thoroughly entertaining.

Forecastle to Quarterdeck
Paperback: 154 pages

Harry Wardle

 

CPW Books (1994)

1 Harbour Road

Hayling Island

Hampshire

PO11 0HR

 

Tel: 023 9346 5511

0 9523 1620 X

£4.95

 

Autobiography.  The first part of the late MCDOA member Harry Wardle's naval career covering his colourful life on the lower deck around the globe from 1935 to 1945.
Frogman VC Lt Cdr Ian Fraser VC DSC RNR Angus and Robertson (1957) ASIN: B002NJF7P4 Various
Autobiography of an English diving pioneer and recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.  Fraser was born in Ealing in Middlesex and went to school in High Wycombe.  After initially working on merchant ships and serving in the Royal Naval Reserve, he joined the Royal Navy at the start of the Second World War.  After being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for actions while serving on submarines, he was placed in command of a midget submarine during an attack in Singapore codenamed Operation Struggle.  For his bravery in successfully navigating the mined waters, and successfully placing mines on a Japanese cruiser,  Fraser was awarded the Victoria Cross.
After retiring from the Royal Navy, Fraser set up a commercial diving organisation after realising the ease of use of new frogman-type diving equipment.  After serving in several honorary positions in Wirral, Fraser retired from the Royal Naval Reserve as a lieutenant-commander in 1965.  He died on 1 September 2008, in Wirral, Merseyside.

Home Waters: Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, and U.S. Navy Mine Forces Battling U-Boats in World War I
Paperback: 432 pages

David Bruhn & Rob Hoole

Heritage Books, Inc. (2018)

5810 Ruatan St.

Berwyn Heights

Maryland 20740

USA

 

Tel: 1-800-876-6103

ISBN-10: 0788457985

ISBN-13: 978-0788457982

£23

 

Minewarfare History co-authored by MCDOA Vice Chairman & Webmaster Rob Hoole:
In WWI under a crippling naval blockade of its North Sea ports which ultimately resulted in the starvation of thousands of its citizens and as land warfare in Europe drags on, Germany endeavours to counter-blockade Britain via U-boat attacks on shipping and by mining waters round the British Isles.  Hundreds of fishing vessels from every port and harbour in Britain are pressed into minesweeping duties and minelayers sow fields to restrict and destroy German vessels.  Their efforts allow the powerful Royal Navy to hold the German Navy in port — except for occasional skirmishes, including the Battle of Jutland. American destroyers hunt U-boats in British waters, while minelayers create a barrier between the Orkney Islands and Norway, to try to deny the enemy entry into the Atlantic.  Desperate, Germany mounts a U-boat offensive off North America in the summer 1918, to induce the U.S. to bring her destroyers home.  Although nearly one hundred vessels are sunk, this action fails. Germany surrenders in late autumn 1918 and allied vessels are left with the deadly task of removing thousands of mines laid in the war.  One hundred and fifty photographs, maps, and diagrams; appendices; and an index to full-names, places and subjects add value to this work.

In2Deep
Paperback: 377 pages

Tony Groom

 

A La Puce Publications (2010)

www.la-puce.co.uk

0 9562691 1 9

£9.99

 

Ex-CD and Falklands veteran Tony Groom's thriller about the adventures of treasure-hunting ex-CD Nick Carter.
Jacks of All Trades - Operational Records of TON Class Minesweepers & Minehunters
Paperback: 134 pages
Peter Down
(Editor)
Ton Class Association (2012) 0 9570588 0 4 £9.99
Companion volume to 'Last of the Wooden Walls'.

Keep Your Head Down- A Falklands Farewell

Hardcover: 226 pages 

Bernie Bruen MBE DSC

 

The Book Guild Ltd (Apr 1998)

1 8577 6262 2

£15

 

MCDOA member Bernie's autobiographical account of his EOD experiences in the Falklands .

Keep Your Head Down- Falkland Notes by Pen and Fiddle

Hardcover: 180 pages

Bernie Bruen MBE DSC

Parapress (Jan 1993)

 

1 8985 9400 7

TBA

 

MCDOA member Bernie Bruen's autobiographical  account of his EOD experiences during the Falklands conflict in 1982.
Last of the Wooden Walls - An Illustrated History of the TON Class Minesweepers and Minehunters
Hardcover: 160 pages
Rob Hoole
(Editor)
Halsgrove (2012) 0 85704 127 2 £24.99
Published to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Ton Class Association.  Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales.
Life in the TONs
Paperback: 156 pages
Companion volume to 'Last of the Wooden Walls'.
Compiler: Stan Hudson
Editors: Bob Dean & Peter Down
Ton Class Association (2017) 978-0-9570588-2-8 £11.50
An anthology of sailors' reminiscences of service in TON class mine countermeasures vessels 1953-1993.  Published to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Ton Class Association.  Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales.
Life on the Edge: Peter Danckwerts GC MBE FRS brave, shy, brilliant
Hardback: 376 pages
Peter Varey PFV Publications (2012) ISBN-10: 0953844013
ISBN-13: 978-0953844012
£4.57
Peter Danckwerts was brilliant, witty and wise.  A hero of the London Blitz, disarming parachute mines at 23, Danckwerts later turned his sharp intellect to chemical processing, studying at MIT to find out how the Americans did it.  Back in the UK at Cambridge University he made an international reputation for himself as an innovator.
This biography covers his interest in wine, women and song, as well as his wide grasp of things scientific and the great sympathy and generosity he showed to his colleagues and many friends. 
"An elegant exposition of the social, technical and sometimes turbulent life and times of this gentle and considerate man." - Bernard Atkinson, ex-CEO Brewing Research Foundation International.
"Captures Danckwerts' disconcertingly complex and essentially private nature while showing how he provided a large part of the thinking which makes chemical engineering a distinct discipline." - Roland Clift, Executive Director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology and emeritus professor at the University of Surrey, UK.

Mayhem

Paperback: 325 pages

Paul Henke

Good Read Publishing Limited (Nov 2000)

1 90248 3022

£9.99

 

Adventure story.  MCDOA member Paul Henke's books normally feature Nick Hunter, a retired MCDO, as the James Bond-like hero who saves the world.
Mines, Mining and Mine Countermeasures
Paperback: 107 pages
Cdre Hector Donohue OAM RAN ADI (1994) ISBN-10: 0642212678
ISBN-13: 978-0642212672
Various
An easy-to-read but comprehensive explanation of minewarfare principles, systems and operations by MCDOA member Hec Donohue.
Cdre Hector 'Hec' Donohue OAM RAN was the General Manager (Mine Countermeasures) with ADI Limited.  Prior to joining ADI, he was a Commodore in the RAN.  During his naval career, he had a range of sea appointments including exchange service in the Royal Navy.  He commanded the destroyer Yarra in 1979-80, and the guided missile frigate Darwin, as well as being a Task Group Commander, in 1986-87.  He was both a Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving, and Torpedo Anti Submarine specialist.  Ashore, he held a number of postings in the force development and policy areas in Navy Office and Headquarters Australian Defence Force.  In 1989 he was responsible for developing and implementing a revised higher Defence Committee system and force development structure.  Subsequently, as Director General Defence Force Plans and Programs, he played a major role in the (991 Australian Defence Force Structure Review.  He transferred to the RAN Reserve in July 1991 to accept a position in ADI.  He formed and managed a business unit within AD1 which successfully marketed and sold indigenous mine countermeasures systems internationally.  He holds a BA from the University of Canberra, an MA (Hons Class 1) from the University of NSW, and is a graduate of the Australian Administrative Staff College.  He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1991 and was also admitted that year as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.
Mines over Malta - The Wartime Exploits of Cdr Edward D Woolley GM* RNVR
Paperback: 136 pages
Frederick R Galea Wise Owl Publications, Malta (2008). 978 99932 92 84 5 Various
The first part of this book covers Woolley's selection, training and work as a 'Render Mines Safe' Officer in Britain during the Blitz and includes many other familiar figures in naval Bomb & Mine Disposal at the time.  The second part describes his work in Malta, ostensibly as 'Senior Electrical Officer Minesweepers', but actually plunged straight into handling the plethora of unexploded ordnance delivered almost daily by the Germans and Italians.  Introduction written by Rob Hoole, Vice Chairman & Webmaster, RN Minewarfare & Clearance Diving Officers' Association (MCDOA).
Minesweeper - The Role of the Motor Minesweeper in World War II Michael J Melvin BEM Square One Publications (1992) ISBN-10: 1872017576
ISBN-13: 978-1872017570
Various
A seminal reference about the motor minesweepers and the BYMS.
Mine Warfare Vessels of the Royal Navy - 1908 to Date
Hardback: 223 pages
Lt Maurice Cocker RNR Airlife Publishing Ltd (1993) ISBN-10: 1853103284
ISBN-13: 978-1853103285
Various
Comprehensive guide to all minelayers, minesweepers and minehunters by class from 1908.  Each entry contains particulars of build, loss, armament and other specifications where possible.  Fully illustrated throughout with over two hundred photographs.
Most Dangerous Sea: A History of Mine Warfare and an Account of U.S. Navy Mine Warfare Operations in World War II and Korea Lt Cdr Arnold S Lott USN US Naval Institute (1959)
Annapolis
Maryland
ISBN-10: 087021392X
ISBN-13: 978-0870213922
Various
'Most Dangerous Sea' is the story of the men who took their wooden-hulled, underarmed ships into the enemy's front yard to clear the way for the invasion fleet, or monotonously sweep the channels to principal United States ports.
To the men of the mine warfare service, mine warfare is a dreary, dull business, but as Lt Cdr Lott takes us through operation after operation ranging from Pearl Harbour to Okinawa and Korea, its history is far from dull reading.  The constant awareness of death, the sights and sound of battle leap from the pages of 'Most Dangerous Sea' to hold the reader through many tales of bravery and dedication to duty.
Friend and foe alike sail through these pages - Japanese minelaying submarines off the Australian coast before December 7, 1941; German minelaying merchant raiders off New Zealand a year later; German submarines laying mines within sight of our shores in 1942, and United States submarines laying mines off Japanese shores a few months later.  Here, for the first time, is a graphic account of how Japan was literally starved out of the war with thousands of Navy mines laid by Air Force bombers.
Some of the officers who helped win the war are named in this book, but with fine regard for those usually unnamed lesser individuals, Lt Cdr Lott also names many sailors who did their part in achieving victory.  Counting friend and foe, the book names 1,216 ships, 431 men, 4 women, and a dog.
Navy Divers
Paperback: 291 pages
Gregor Salmon Ebury Press (2011)
Random House
978-1-74166-657-1 $12.70 AUD
The history of the Royal Australian Navy's Clearance Diving Branch.
Rising out of the Second World War, the Australian clearance diver has become one of the most respected and versatile operators in the military world.  In cold, murky water, working by touch alone, they can defuse a mine powerful enough to sink a battleship.  Under the burning Afghan sun, they can dismantle a Taliban roadside bomb.  Welcome to the world of the Royal Australian Navy clearance divers.
Bomb and mine disposal is but one of their roles.  As covert swimmers they can infiltrate enemy waters.  As boarding parties they are on the anti-piracy frontline. As counterterrorist special forces they are on call 24/7.  They are simply one of the best diving units in the military world.  Their story goes back to the Second World War, when Hitler's secret weapon - the magnetic mine - had Britain on her knees.  Four extraordinary Aussies were among the brave naval volunteers who tackled Nazi mines on land and under water.
The men who followed their path share the same brand of courage.  From the rivers of Vietnam to the deserts of Afghanistan, navy divers have excelled under the most dire pressure, yet we know very little of their heroic deeds.  Their incredible story has remained behind closed doors, until now.
Nightraiders: U.S. Navy, Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy, and Royal Netherlands Navy Mine Forces Battling the Japanese in the Pacific in World War II
Paperback: 414 pages

David Bruhn & Rob Hoole

Heritage Books, Inc. (2018)
5810 Ruatan St.
Berwyn Heights
Maryland 20740
USA 

Tel: 1-800-876-6103

ISBN-10: 0788458434

ISBN-13: 978-0788458439

£30.50

 

Minewarfare History co-authored by MCDOA Vice Chairman & Webmaster Rob Hoole:
As war with Japan was imminent, the British laid minefields off Hong Kong and Singapore; the Dutch in the Netherlands East Indies; and the Australians off New Zealand and Australia, in an attempt to prevent enemy invasion.  Ships hastily converted to this task were referred to as “night raiders.”  Duty aboard a “floating ammunition dump” was hazardous enough; missions carried out under the cloak of darkness increased the odds of survival in enemy waters.  As MacArthur, Halsey, and Spruance’s forces advanced toward Japan, minesweepers worked with “night raiders” - clearing waters off landing beaches, while minelayers strove to deny the enemy freedom of the sea.  Australian seaplanes (“Black Cats”) flew long, perilous night-missions to mine Japanese harbors, and British submarines and planes joined in the attack on shipping.  Late in the war, USAAF bombers ringed the Japanese home islands with thousands of mines.  When hostilities ended, war-weary “sweep sailors” remained in Asian waters - ridding the sea of “shipkillers.”  The little-known efforts of these valiant men are illuminated in this rare look into history.  One hundred and forty-four photographs, maps, and diagrams; appendices; and an index to full-names, places and subjects add value to this work.
Operation Tadpole: The Royal Navy's underwater diving operations, Gibraltar 1940 - 1945
Paperback: 100 pages
John Bevan Submex Ltd (2017) 978-1-9998221-0-1 £9.99
The exploits of the late Lt ‘Bill’ Bailey CBE DSC GM* RNVR in Gibraltar and elsewhere during the Second World War.  MCDOA member John Bevan’s revelations in this informative book make the reader appreciate just how comprehensively Bailey’s achievements have been wrongly credited to the much better known Cdr Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb OBE GM RNVR who would later be lost in mysterious circumstances while diving underneath a Russian cruiser visiting Portsmouth at the height of the Cold War.
People's misconceptions stem mainly from watching ‘The Silent Enemy’ starring Laurence Harvey in the glamorised role of Crabb as OIC of the Royal Navy’s UWWP (Under Water Working Party) in Gibraltar.  Bailey, played by Terence Longden, only makes a fleeting appearance.  Several events in the film are fictitious but close enough to the truth to be convincing.  Moreover, most of the central characters portrayed in the film actually existed.  
John Bevan’s ‘Operation Tadpole’ is a credible and much-needed attempt to set the record straight.  It describes the critical role of Gibraltar as a staging post for Allied shipping transiting the Mediterranean, particularly convoys bound for the besieged island fortress of Malta.  Gibraltar was also the base of the formidable Force ‘H’ tasked with protecting the vital convoys.  The Italians were determined to diminish this thorn in their side, mainly by employing Decima MAS frogmen riding human torpedoes to fix explosive devices to the hulls of ships assembled in the Bay of Gibraltar and inside the harbour.  Initially, their principal targets were warships but they were soon forced to resort to attacking more easily accessible and vulnerable merchant ships.  Despite some successes, most of their victims were soon repaired and their cargoes salved.  The attackers also suffered several equipment malfunctions and human casualties while conducting their hazardous operations. This book provides an easily readable and entertaining account of each of the nine attacks made by Italian divers, sometimes delivered with their ‘Maiale’ (pig) human torpedoes by submarine but more often launched from a secret compartment in the oil tanker Olterra, interned by the Spanish in Algeciras across the bay from Gibraltar.  The level of detail is impressive, particularly for such a relatively slim volume.   
The book identifies each participant in the Italian attacks and describes their British counterparts and the often desperate defensive measures they had to adopt.  It is richly illustrated with contemporary photos, sketches and diagrams as well as recent photos taken by the author to put significant locations in perspective.  The events recounted constituted the genesis of practicable self-contained diving and it is telling that this occurred, like so many other technological advances, in a military context.
As the author points out towards the end of his well-researched and historically objective work, wholly contrary to popular belief: (a) Crabb didn’t lead the diving team at Gibraltar during any of the nine attempted Italian attacks; (b) Italy had already capitulated by the time Crabb took over the UWWP; (c) Crabb was an assistant to Bailey during the last three attacks only; and (d) Crabb, unlike Bailey, was never involved in an underwater altercation with an Italian frogman. 
Open the Ports: The Story of Human Minesweepers
Hardback: 200 pages
J Grosvenor and Lt Cdr L M Bates RNVR Kimber (1956) ASIN: B0032PFXS4 Various
The formation, training and operations of the 'P' Party divers who cleared European ports post-D-Day.  They were the forefathers of today's Clearance Diver branch.
Out Sweeps! The Story of the Minesweepers in World War II
Paperback: 224 pages
Paul Lund & Harry Ludlam W Foulsham & Co Ltd (1978) ISBN-10: 0450044688
ISBN-13: 978-0450044687
Various
Here for the first time is the story of the forgotten ships of World War II - the Naval minesweepers.  Their early battle against the highly destructive magnetic mine, Hitler's secret weapon, using the wierd 'Skid' and the strange 'magnetic ships'.  Their hard, dangerous fight against a succession of other cunning enemy undersea devices; the acoustic mine which blew up on the sound of a ship's engines; the antenna mine with its searching electric 'tentacle'.
Here are the exploits of trawlers hastily sent to out to catch mines instead of fish; the adventures of the coal-burning 'Smokey Joe' sweepers resurrected from the 1914-18 war; the intrepid Halcyons, battling the elements and the enemy in the Arctic; the lively, overcrowded Bangors, smallest of the Navy's 'major war vessels'; and the far-ranging Algerines, newest and biggest of the Fleet sweepers. 
Here too is the nerve-racking work of the men who dived to the sea bed to raise live mines; the coming of the lend-lease sweepers from America; and the survivors' story of an appalling tragedy when our own rocket-firing Typhoons swooped down on British sweepers clearing a German minefield.
The drama and humour of the minesweepers is told by the officers and men who sailed them from home waters to the Mediterranean and the Adriatic, and on to the Far East, risking their loives night and day to clear the deadly seas.
Secret Naval Investigator: The Battle Against Hitler's Secret Underwater Weapons
Harback: 182 pages
Cdr Frederick Ashe Lincoln QC RNVR William Kimber (1961) ISBN-10: 1526701197
ISBN-13: 978-1526701190
Various
In the lead-up to the Second World War, Ashe Lincoln, a junior barrister, had enlisted in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a Sub-Lieutenant.  On the outbreak of war he became determined to serve at sea and was posted to minelayers.  But a mysterious midnight summons sent him hurrying from his ship to the Admiralty in London and a top-secret conference presided over by Winston Churchill. 
Ashe Lincoln soon found himself pitting his wits against brilliantly skilful German scientists and technicians. These were the men Hitler had entrusted to devise secret underwater weapons: sea mines and torpedoes of new and often unsuspected types to destroy Britains seapower and starve its population into surrender.  The part that Ashe Lincoln played in this battle had been decided upon because he was a naval officer who combined legal training with a specialist knowledge in this particular aspect of naval warfare.
In time, Lincoln began a key figure in a small group in the Admiralty whose exploits have been almost forgotten.  He found himself in extraordinary situations, including crouching on a bleak Scottish hillside dealing with the first parachute mine knowing that Goering had boasted that no-one would live to do this.  His story is a remarkable blend of deductive enterprise and courage.
Service Most Silent: The Navy's Fight Against Enemy Mines
Hardback: 200 pages
John Frayn Turner George G Harrap & Co Ltd (1955) ISBN-10: 1844157261
ISBN-13: 978-1844157266
Various
True tale of an HMS Vernon-based RMS (Render Mines Safe) officer's battle against German mines during the Second World War.

Silent Tears

Paperback: 512 pages

Paul Henke

Good Read Publishing Limited (Sep 2002)

1 9024 8305 7

£7.99

 

The second in MCDOA member Paul Henke's fictional series about the powerful Griffiths dynasty which originates in humble circumstances in Wales.
Softly Tread the Brave: a triumph over terror, devilry, and death by mine disposal officers John Stuart Mould and Hugh Randal Syme Ivan Southall Angus & Robertson (1960) ASIN: B0007J3QQE Various
John Mould GC, GM and his mate Hugh Syme GC, GM and Bar were two of Australia's WW2 Naval Bomb and Mine Disposal heroes who volunteered for work in RMS.  It was only after they told their Boss they would volunteer for RMS, they thought to ask him what the acronym stood for.  Probably aghast when they learned it meant 'Rendering Mines Safe', however not to be deterred they joined other members of the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve in sailing to wartime England to undertake training in bomb and sea mine disposal.
The Germans had discovered the tremendous effect naval sea mines made when they detonated on land against structures due to their immense size and explosive content, together with the psychological effect on the population.  Author Ivan Southall has produced a well-written and researched account of the activities of both these men and others who were engaged in this highly dangerous wartime work at the height of the London Blitz and then ongoing work until war's end.  Both these men were to go on and undertake some extremely dangerous tasks during their time in England.  The Germans continued to develop their sea mines with both acoustic and magnetic influence fuzes and these two men were amongst the first to render these weapons safe and live to recount the experience.  Their work also revealed the inner secrets of these types of fuze systems and allowed the British to devise render safe procedures to permit the safe disarming of these huge blast weapons.
Tears Until Dawn
Paperback: 560 pages
Paul Henke

Good Read Publishing Limited (Jan 2005)

1 9024 83073 £10.99
The fourth in MCDOA member Paul Henke's fictional series about the powerful Griffiths dynasty which originates in humble circumstances in Wales.
The Civilian Bomb Disposing Earl: Jack Howard and Civilian Bomb Disposal in WW2
Hardback: 224 pages
Kerin Freeman Pen & Sword Military (30 Oct 2014 ) ISBN-10: 1473825601
ISBN-13: 978-1473825604
£19.99
Charles 'Jack' Henry George Howard, GC, 20th Earl of Suffolk & Berkshire, born into the noble formidable House of Howard, possessed extraordinary courage.  Jack became an earl at the age of eleven after his father died in WWI in Mesopotamia.  At age thirty-four, Jack's courageous spirit led him to execute a daring mission for the British government in 1940 in Paris.  Under the noses of the advancing Germans he snatched top French scientists, millions of pounds worth of diamonds, armaments, heavy water (the only kind in the world), and secret documents.  His trip back to England from Bordeaux was fraught with danger in mine and submarine infested waters.  His mission remained Top Secret throughout the war years and beyond, even to his closest family.  His adventure in Paris earned him the nickname of 'Mad Jack'.
His next chosen mission was again of prime importance and extremely dangerous, a secret more closely guarded than radar.  He began working in bomb disposal in close proximity with his secretary Beryl, and Fred his chauffeur, and the three became widely known as The Holy Trinity.  Whenever an unexploded bomb was reported, it was quickly brought to the Earl's attention, especially if it was tricky.  Thirty four bombs were successfully defuzed by The Holy Trinity and their loyal team of Royal Engineers.  The thirty-fifth bomb blew them up.
The Holy Trinity were the only World War II civilian casualties working in Bomb Disposal.  King George VI in 1941 awarded the 20th Earl the George Cross for his work for his country, the highest gallantry award for civilians, as well as for members of the armed forces, in actions for which purely military honours would not normally be granted.
The Coast is Clear - The Story of the BYMS
Paperback: 433 pages
Eric Minett Eric Minett (2003) 0 9549108 0 X Various
Well researched and wonderfully illustrated volume about the American-built British Yard Minesweepers (BYMS) of the Second World War.
BYMS history, short in years as it was, is covered here in interesting detail.  It is basically in three parts: the manufaturing and the manning in the United States, the journey to the war zones and the war operations all over the world.  Eric Minett has done an enormous amount of research to get these facts together.  And, as you will see, the work up to 'D-Day' is really comprehensive and the Mediterranean campaign well covered.  The Far East, as he describes it, serves to reinforce the message that one hundred and fifty BYMSs were an important part of the Royal Navy.  The sea had to be treated with the greatest respect, even without the the thought of mines, and BYMS sailors learned that very quickly.  It was said that a BYMS rolled on wet grass!
Minesweeping got little publicity during the war but it is summed up with an American Naval minesweeper's remark from this book: "Where the Fleet goes - we've been!"
The Frogmen: The Story of the Wartime Underwater Operators
Hardback: 191 pages
James Gleeson and Tom Waldron Evans Brothers Ltd (1950) ASIN: B000KKG7Y8 Various
For the first time the full story is told here of the birth and growth of that strange band of underwater operators - the Frogmen.  First came the long and arduous training which united those who passed the searching tests in a close cameraderie.  Then, clad in fantastic rubber suits, some crawled on the muddy bottoms of harbours looking for mines, some bestrode torpedoes, others slipped through the darkness in midget submarines.  Lockgates were blown, patriots spirited away, the only clue an occasional bubble on the surface of the water.  The Frogmen operated in a new world, a world of mystery and unseen dangers, the wierd underwater world.
The Frogmen is a magnificent tribute to the almost fantastic courage and skill of officers and men of the Royal Navy and to our scientists.  But "courage needs no international frontiers," and the authors have paid full tribute to the gallantry of Italians and Germans in a great and moving book.
The Seventh Circle
Kindle: 346 pages
Paul Henke Good Read Publishing (2009) 9781-902483-12-2 £4.74
Adventure story.

The Tears of War and Peace

Paperback: 424 pages

Paul Henke

Good Read Publishing Limited (Oct 1999)

1 9024 8303 0

£7.99

 

The second in MCDOA member Paul's fictional series about the powerful Griffiths dynasty which originates in humble circumstances in Wales.

The Torpedomen
Hardback: 415 pages

Rear Admiral Edmund Nicholas 'Nico' Poland CB CBE

Published by the author (Jan 1993)

0 85937 396 7

£35

 

HMS Vernon's story 1872-1986.  A comprehensive history of the establishment from its beginnings as a group of hulks anchored in Portsmouth harbour to its closure as a 'stone frigate'.
Ticking Clock!
Paperback: 166 pages

Noel Cashford MBE

ALD Design & Print (Jul 2002)

279 Sharrow Vale Road

Sheffield

S11 8ZF

 

Tel: 0114267 9402

Email: a.lofthouse@btinternet.com

1 9015 8761-4

£7.95

 

The late MCDOA associate member Noel Cashford's second autobiographical account of naval bomb and mine disposal with many humorous observations of life in the RN.  Lots of photos and sketches.

To Render Safe

Paperback: 233 pages

Colin Churcher MBE

 

Pentland Press (1999)

1 Hutton Close

South Church

Bishop Aukland

Durham

1 8582 1695 8

£12.00

 

The late MCDOA member Colin Churcher's autobiographical story of 40 years in the Royal Navy covering WW2 Arctic convoys to North Russia, Diving, and Bomb Disposal Operatons.  It includes the famous Blackfriars Bridge German bomb in the Thames and many other EOD Operations.
Tread Lightly into Danger - International Experiences of a Bomb Disposal Expert
Paperback: 184 pages
Anthony Charlwood Woodfield Publishing (2001) 1-873203-80-2 £9.95
Ex-Royal Navy Clearance Diver Anthony (Charlie) Charlwood's account of his civilian work as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal contractor working for NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) all over the world.
Turmoil
Paperback: 370 pages
Paul Henke Methuen (2011) 978-0-413-77704-1
Adventure story.  MCDOA member Paul Henke's books normally feature Nick Hunter, a retired MCDO, as the James Bond-like hero who saves the world.
Twelve Seconds to Live
Paperback: 448 pages
Douglas Reeman Arrow (2003) ISBN-10: 9780099414872 ISBN-13: 978-0099414872 £9.99
War story focusing on the activities of an RMS (Render Mines Safe) officer based at HMS Vernon during the Second World War.
United and Undaunted - The First 100 Years
Paperback: 376 pages
Jake Linton and Hec Donohue Grinkle Press (2015) 978-0-9802821-5-3 (Hardback) Various
History marking the 100th anniversary of Australian Navy diving by MCDOA members Cdr Hec Donohue OAM RAN and Cdr Edward 'Jake' Linton BEM RAN.
Cdr Edward 'Jake' Linton BEM RAN joined the RAN in 1952 from Murrayville, Victoria. He qualified as a Clearance Diver in 1955 on the first RAN course.  After promotion to Chief Petty Officer Instructor Clearance Diver he completed the Special Duties Officer course at HMS St George in Portsmouth in 1965 and then served in HMS Aisne until until 1967.  On returning to Australia, he served in HMAS Vendetta, the RAN Diving School, OIC of Clearance Diving Team 3 (8th Vietnam deployment) and HMAS Torrens.  On completion of a Minewarfare Staff Officers' course at the USN Fleet & Minewarfare Training Centre, he was loaned to the USN on the staff of that facility.  Returning to Australia in 1975, he served in the RAN Experimantal Laboratory before taking command of HMAS Curlew.  In 1977 he was appointed Staff Officer Minewarfare to Commander Minewarfare & Patrol Boat Forces followed by two years as Officer-in-Charge CDT1 and another period in command of HMAS Curlew.  He became the Officer-in-Charge of the RAN Diving School in in 1982.  On retiring as a Commander in 1986, he travelled extensively through Australia and Europe before settling on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.  He was awarded the BEM in 1962 and is currently co-Patron of the RAN Clearance Divers' Association.
Cdre Hector 'Hec' Donohue OAM RAN was the General Manager (Mine Countermeasures) with ADI Limited.  Prior to joining ADI, he was a Commodore in the RAN.  During his naval career, he had a range of sea appointments including exchange service in the Royal Navy.  He commanded the destroyer Yarra in 1979-80, and the guided missile frigate Darwin, as well as being a Task Group Commander, in 1986-87.  He was both a Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving, and Torpedo Anti Submarine specialist.  Ashore, he held a number of postings in the force development and policy areas in Navy Office and Headquarters Australian Defence Force.  In 1989 he was responsible for developing and implementing a revised higher Defence Committee system and force development structure.  Subsequently, as Director General Defence Force Plans and Programs, he played a major role in the (991 Australian Defence Force Structure Review.  He transferred to the RAN Reserve in July 1991 to accept a position in ADI.  He formed and managed a business unit within AD1 which successfully marketed and sold indigenous mine countermeasures systems internationally.  He holds a BA from the University of Canberra, an MA (Hons Class 1) from the University of NSW, and is a graduate of the Australian Administrative Staff College.  He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1991 and was also admitted that year as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.
We are Sinking, Send Help!: The U.S. Navy's Tugs and Salvage Ships in the African, European, and Mediterranean Theaters in World War II
Paperback: 388 pages
Cdr. David D. Bruhn, USN (Ret.) Heritage Books, Inc. (2007)
100 Railroad Avenue,
Suite 104
Westminster,
MD 21157

Phone: 800-876-6103 • 231- 537-4021
Fax: 410-558-6574
ISBN-10: 1888265485
ISBN-13: 978-1888265484
£23.50
US Navy rescue tugs and salvage ships were in the thick of the action during the invasion of French North Africa, the lengthy, bitter Italian Campaign, and the invasion of France in World War II.  Seventeen officers and men from the salvage ship Brant and the fleet tug Cherokee received Navy Cross Medals for their heroic actions during a special operation in French Morocco.  Cherokee was the first Atlantic Fleet tug to earn a battle star overseas.
Tugs and salvage ships were with the Fleet at Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, Normandy, and during the invasion of southern France.  Tugs saved many ships damaged by combat action, and the lives of sailors and soldiers aboard aflame or sinking ships, or in the sea.  These workhorses also pulled scores of landing craft off hostile beaches. Thirty-six tugs and six salvage ships collectively garnered sixty-six battle stars.  The fleet tugs Arikara and Pinto, and rescue tug ATR-2, received the Navy Unit Commendation for their work off Omaha beach at Normandy. Officers and crewmen who took vessels into harm’s way received awards for valor for acts of heroism performed under fire.
Following the capture of enemy ports, tugs and salvage ships and their salvage personnel worked with RN and USN minesweepers and mine clearance divers (Royal Navy 'P' Parties) to open harbours critical to sea-supplied support of Allied troops ashore.  Foreword written by Rob Hoole, Vice Chairman & Webmaster, Minewarfare & Clearance Diving Officers' Association (MCDOA).
Wooden Ships and Iron Men Vol I: The U.S. Navy’s Ocean Minesweepers, 1953–1994
Paperback: 416 pages
Cdr. David D. Bruhn, USN (Ret.) Heritage Books, Inc. (2007)
100 Railroad Avenue,
Suite 104
Westminster,
MD 21157

Phone: 800-876-6103 • 231- 537-4021
Fax: 410-558-6574
0-7884-3260-6 $37.50
From 1953-1994, sixty-five US Navy ocean minesweepers (MSOs) swept mines; searched the seafloor for downed aircraft, sunken ships, and lost munitions; showed the flag throughout the world, even sailing up the Congo and Mekong Rivers, calling at dozens of the world's seaports; and carried out patrols and special tasks off strife-torn or hostile countries.  Some participated in the 1962 nuclear test program in the Pacific and in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs.  Others, as part of a US armada of military and civilian research ships at Palomares, located a nuclear bomb lost on the seafloor off Spain as a result of a mid-air collision between two US Air Force aircraft.  Iron men in wooden ships were with the Fleet in hotspots around the world, including Lebanon and the Quemoy-Matsu Islands of Taiwan in 1958; the Dominican Republic in 1961 and 1965; and the Cuban Missile Crisis and Haiti in 1962.  During the Vietnam War, minesweepers participated in Operation Market Time, to prevent the infiltration of North Vietnamese soldiers and munitions into South Vietnam.  Leader received the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism in Operation Sea Lords; Endurance engaged in close gun action with and helped destroy an enemy armed coastal freighter in a sea battle; and MSOs cleared mines in Haiphong Harbor, which aided in the negotiations in progress for the return of US prisoners of war.  During the twilight of their service in the late 1980s and early 1990s, ageing sweeps cleared Iranian and Iraqi laid mines in the Persian Gulf.
Wooden Ships and Iron Men Vol II: The U.S. Navy’s Coastal & Motor Minesweepers 1941-1953
Paperback: 368 pages
Cdr. David D. Bruhn, USN (Ret.) Heritage Books, Inc. (2009)
100 Railroad Avenue,
Suite 104 Westminster,
MD 21157

Phone: 800-876-6103 • 231- 537-4021
Fax: 410-558-6574
0-7884-4325-1 $32
Possessing insufficient minesweepers to protect US harbours and bays as the threat of war in Europe spread, in the winter of 1939-40 the Navy began purchasing fishing vessels and modifying them to combat mines.  One of them, Condor (AMc-14), first sighted the Japanese Type-A midget submarine that destroyer Ward (DD-139) sank on December 7, 1941 with the first shots fired by American forces during World War II.  She would be one of six coastal minesweepers to receive a battle star.  From boat and shipyards across America came the largest production run of any World War II warship, 561 scrappy little 136-foot wooden-hulled vessels characterised by Arnold Lott in 'Most Dangerous Sea' as "belligerent-looking yachts wearing grey paint." 
Although their designers envisioned that they would operate primarily in the vicinity of yards or bases, the YMSs (too numerous to be given names) would see action in every theater of war, earning almost 700 battle stars, twenty-one Presidential Unit Citations, and fifteen Navy Unit Commendations.  YMSs were present in the North African campaign, in Sicily, at Anzio, Salerno, and elsewhere in Italy, and swept ahead of invasion forces at Normandy and in Southern France.  In the Pacific, they operated in the Marshall Islands, New Guinea, Solomons, Treasury Island, Gilbert Islands, New Britain, Admiralty Islands, Guam, Palau, Leyte, Luzon, Manila Bay, Iwo Jima, Southern Philippines, Okinawa, and Borneo.
Following the war, they cleared mines from the East China Sea, Yangtze River approaches, and throughout Japanese waters, and their activities gave rise to the proud slogan of the mine force: "Where the Fleet Goes, We've Been."   During the Korean War, a mere sixteen auxiliary motor minesweepers (former YMSs) performed the bulk of mine clearance, often while inside the range of enemy coastal artillery, necessary for larger naval vessels to close the coast to support operations ashore.
Garnering collectively 124 battle stars, seven Presidential Unit Citations, and seven Navy Unit Commendations, the men aboard these ships were then, and remain to date, the most highly decorated crews of minesweepers in the history of the US Navy.
Wooden Ships and Iron Men Vol III: The U.S. Navy's Coastal and Inshore Minesweepers, and the Minecraft that Served in Vietnam, 1953-1976
Paperback: 343 pages
Cdr. David D. Bruhn, USN (Ret.) Heritage Books, Inc. (2011)
100 Railroad Avenue,
Suite 104
Westminster,
MD 21157

Phone: 800-876-6103 • 231- 537-4021
Fax: 410-558-6574
0-7884-5345-8 $34.00
From 1953 to 1976, twenty-four US Navy coastal minesweepers (MSCs) swept mines, searched the seafloor for downed aircraft, sunken ships and lost munitions, "showed the flag" in the Caribbean and throughout the Far East, and played a key role in the Vietnam War.  Atlantic Fleet coastal minesweepers searched for a nuclear bomb buried in the sea bed off Savannah, Georgia, as a result of a midair collision between two US. Air Force aircraft and provided support for the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba.  MSCs based at Sasebo, Japan, conducted patrols off Vietnam to interdict smuggling of supplies by sea to the Viet Cong in the South. One, USS Vireo, participated in the destruction of an enemy gun runner.
Much smaller minesweeping boats (MSBs) kept the Long Tau River, which passed through the dangerous "Forest of Assassins" and connected the South China Sea to Saigon, open to merchant vessels delivering military cargos to allied forces.  Facing daily the possibility of death by Viet Cong mine or riverbank ambush, the thirteen boats of Mine Squadron Eleven Detachment Alfa comprised the first Navy unit to be awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for heroism by President Lyndon B. Johnson.  Possessing too few minecraft to support its riverine combat operations, the US Navy also pressed existing landing craft and newly built assault support patrol boats and minesweeping drones into these duties.  The unheralded MSBs and steel-hulled minecraft collectively garnered four Presidential Unit Citations, three Meritorious Unit Commendations, and three Navy Unit Commendations.  Significant numbers of the small enlisted crews that took the craft in harm's way received the Navy Cross, Silver Star and Bronze Star Medals for acts of heroism performed under fire.

 

 

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