By Gordon W. Stead
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Additional resources for A Leaf upon the Sea: A Small Ship in the Mediterranean, 1941-1943
Around the central cluster were three concentric circles of MLs, destroyers, and MLs, the alternate rings steaming in opposite directions and occasionally dropping depth charges to discourage new attacks. Bill had stumbled into this counterrotating vortex off centre, so that 134 crossed all the circles at narrow angles, and he missed the central clump entirely. It made no sense to him. " As he pondered his dilemma, a destroyer sliced past too close for comfort. "Perhaps I am alone',' he mused, and headed for the solitary safety of G for George.
Once I adjusted to this situation, I found them first rate at their jobs. In time they adjusted to my ways, too, and I like to think we got on fairly well together in this sharply structured setting despite our widely different backgrounds. Although officially the 3rd ML Flotilla, we were in fact the first of the standard class of motor launches built throughout the war. The 1st Flotilla, officially so called, was of a type of which only 12 were built when construction of that class was discontinued.
There was worse to follow as the Japanese swept south with British losses added to American. We felt the impact as far away as we were when our Aussies were called home. Christmas 1941 came in this atmosphere of spreading war. Everywhere we were still reeling back before the Axis thrusts, but there was more hope now that we had the Americans as well as the Russians on our side. No more U-boats came our way as they had their hands full in their new hunting grounds off the United States coast. So we had a lull, and in our fortress, alike isolated from these great events as from normal social contacts, we made merry in traditional Navy style.
A Leaf upon the Sea: A Small Ship in the Mediterranean, 1941-1943 by Gordon W. Stead