Use of Aldis lamp

Discussions relating to the day-to-day running of Light Coastal Forces; shore establishments and mobile bases; command structure; strategy and tactics; training and logistics etc
Borrel
Able Seaman
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:41 am

Use of Aldis lamp

Postby Borrel » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:43 am

My apologies if this is a foolish question but, in the early days of the short boats, (63 and 70’) who would have used the Aldis lamp? I assume the telegraphist would usually be stationed below so did one of the officers assume the duty, a seaman gunner, or did individual boats make their own arrangements?

Peter
Able Seaman Radar
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:41 pm

Re: Use of Aldis lamp

Postby Peter » Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:16 pm

This is a very interesting post re the Aldis Lamp. Having served aboard MTB 243 70'ft Vosper and MGB 647 D Boat in the Adriatic Campaign I cannot recall any times that this method of communication was used,' except during the time of the Greece campaign with the vast assembly of Allied Ships heading for the port of Pireus (Athens) in daylight communication between Ships was the Aldis lamp was used by our Sparker

Borrel
Able Seaman
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:41 am

Re: Use of Aldis lamp

Postby Borrel » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:10 am

Thanks for this. From what I can gather the Aldis was more popular at the start of hostilities when R/T was not as reliable, or for less "public" messaging. I've noted several references to shaded Aldis lamps being used to send messages to vessels astern.

Sludder
Seaman
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:38 am

Re: Use of Aldis lamp

Postby Sludder » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:18 pm

When was this going on exactly, Borrel?

Borrel
Able Seaman
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:41 am

Re: Use of Aldis lamp

Postby Borrel » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:37 am

Thank you for your response, Sludder; I'm thinking of the autumn of 1941.

outsider
Seaman
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:21 pm

Re: Use of Aldis lamp

Postby outsider » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:40 pm

An example of a blue-shaded Aldis lamp being used can be found in the account of Sub-Lt. R. Q. Drayson, R.N.V.R. in MTB 236 sinking the German auxiliary cruiser Komet in October 1942 (for which he was awarded the DSO). Peter Scott detailed this in his book The Battle of the Narrow Seas - and I heard exactly the same account directly from Bob Drayson a good number of years ago.
Key to the story is that Drayson committed the cardinal sin of losing contact with the MTB ahead of him when he stopped based on a blue-shaded morse signal on an Aldis lamp. There were no radios in these boats at that stage, so it was either an Aldis lamp, or stop alongside and use shout.


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