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July 15th 1943 the christening and launch of the USS SUNSET at the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp. yard, Tacoma, Washington, by her sponsor Mrs. C.E. Taylor, wife of Commander C.E. Taylor USN.

 

 


Modification and work up in Vancouver B.C.


 

 

 

Burrards Dry Dock Vancouver: Above, PATROLLER moored in berth 3 (nearest camera), and THANE in berth 4 during their modification period before sailing for RN service. Both have their flight deck extended; PATROLLER’s is in progress while THANE is more advanced.
Below: Thane has moved forward into berth 5 and is having her twin Oerlikon 20mm gun mounts installed. PATROLLER is visible at berth 3 and moved over to berth 4 shortly after this. [photos: e000762205 & e000762200 Ronny Jaques / National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque / Library and Archives Canada].

 

HMS THANE in  Dry Dock at Esquimalt British Colombia 10th - 14th June 1944 during modification before entering active service

 

Believed to be the first instance of a marriage being performed on an RN aircraft carrier - one of the ship’s officers, Pay-Lieutenant Eric H. Grieve-Brown RNR married Flight Officer Muriel Anne Pennoyer RCAF (WD) on March 3rd 1944. Commander Eric McCausland, commanding officer HMS Thane performed the ceremony in the Captain’s cabin.

 

Above & below, left & Right: Saturday July 1st 1944: Dedication ceremony on the flight deck - the church service was led by The Right Reverend Sir Francis Heathcote, Bishop of New Westminster B.C., followed by Admirals divisions,

 

 

Admirals divisions after the dedication servidcce, Rear Admiral V. G. Brodeur RCN, Commanding Officer, Pacific Coast inspecting.

 

June 28th 1944 - HMS Thane  has just passed under Lions Gate Bridge returning to Lapointe pier, Vancouver after collecting ammunition from Bremerton Navy Yard, Washington State.

 

Above, below: Late afternoon Saturday July 8th - a farewell party on the flight deck at which several hundred guests were entertained by the singing of Legler Coles' Debutantes accompanied by the Sandy de Santis’ band.

 


Passage to Norfolk, Virginia


 

 

Above below: The aircraft handling party gain experience with the ship’s former RCAF Shark III 546 ‘H. July 22nd 1944 a B-24 Liberator of the Panama Canal defence forces, “attacking" Thane while practice is given in revering a crashed aircraft, simulated by removing the undercarriage - the ship’s mobile crane is ready to move in to ‘recover’ it; manoeuvring on to a ‘traveller’ – a device to allow aircraft to be parked, tails out over the side, in flight ready condition without obstructing the fight deck; generally moving about the flight deck. On nearing the Panama Canal the obsolete aircraft was ditched overboard.

 

 

 

 

Approaching the Panama Canal: The aircraft handling party has jettisoned the Shark over the side; after exercising the flight deck parties and aircraft handlers, the old plane made a target to exercise the Port aft gun crews.

 

 

Above and below: July 21st 1944, a US navy Air Ship exercises with HMS thane in the vicinity of San Francisco en route to the Panama Canal.

 

 


 

Above & below: Wednesday 26th July, Captain Baker presides over the buried at sea of Assistant Steward J.W. Newman who died of a perforated malignant ulcer shortly after the ship left Cristonal.

 

 

  

 


 

The majority of the photographs on this page are from the collection of the late Pay-Lieutenant Eric H. Grieve-Brown RNR, kindly supplied by Mrs Maureen Ross with additional photos from Mr. Ray Kenna, and Mr. Paul Bass

 

Page last edited: 17 April 2017

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