Yacht Grey Mist

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by GreyMist1920, Mar 12, 2020.

  1. GreyMist1920

    GreyMist1920 Member

    Hello! I have recently started refitting Yacht Grey Mist. I have acquired a ton of books, archive searches and reached out to Camper & Nicholsons (GL Watson basically). I don't have any pictures and she disappears august 1943 as sold to Ministry of War Transport. I have a note saying she was sold to target towing and another said sent to Glasson? I also have found a picture taken off of Scylla of HMS Norfolk on may JW53 but no where do I find her name (I am new to this so forgive me). I have been through archives but not receiving much back yet, (trying to be patient and cost a fortune).

    I would love a bit of direction to get pictures some how, maybe reference from a soldier who may have been on her, (have a few names from the List) or something to personalize our experience with her history.

  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Is this her?
    Grey Mist


    Classic Motor Yacht Grey Mist Sold

    Grey Mist
    The success of the operation was made possible by the participation of hundreds of smaller yachts and working vessels — the exact number is not known — most of whom served to ferry evacuees from the shallow, shelving beaches out to larger ships waiting in deeper water.
    Grey Mist, drawing about 10 feet, was one of those ships. In addition to her service in communications during the action, she carried troops home on several trips from Dunkirk to Dover. She spent the remainder of the war in service with the Royal Navy.
    At the war’s end, she was returned to Lady Burton, who sold her in 1951. Grey Mist was taken out of British registry, making her subsequent history difficult to trace.
    Her latest owner, Fort Worth businessman Holt Hickman, who recently died, discovered Grey Mist in Dearborne, South Africa in 1993, much the worse for wear. He bought her, and after preliminary repairs, she was taken around the Cape of Good Hope, across the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, to her new home in Galveston in 1998. Her owner began a complete refit of the yacht in 2003, which was completed in 2011.
    Now she is for sale, listed at $999,000, which might be a thrifty alternative to chartering Cristina O for a few weeks.
    “We get inquiries about her all the time,” said Paul Stehfest, Grey Mist’s broker at HSR Yacht Sales in Kemah. “Not just from millionaires who want a big yacht, but mostly from British World War II veterans who are connected with her story. They‘re getting old, though.”
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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Did you know that there is a file at The National Archives on her?

    Ship: Grey Mist, Official Number: 144477. When built: 1920. Registry closed: 1951. | The National Archives
    Reference: BT 110/1399/10
    Ship: Grey Mist, Official Number: 144477. When built: 1920. Registry closed: 1951.
    Date: 1946-1955
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Access conditions: Open Immediately


    Various Reports and Battle Reports. Furious: report of proceedings 8-28 Apr 1940.... | The National Archives
    Reference: ADM 267/126
    Various Reports and Battle Reports.
    Furious: report of proceedings 8-28 Apr 1940.
    Hotspur and Hostile Havock and Foxhound.
    Extract from Daily Telegraph concerning Second Battle of Narvik, 13 Apr 1940.
    Punjabi, Cossack and Hotspur.
    Loch Doon, Whirlwind, Walker and Cairo.
    Report on possible damage to Forth Bridge by bombs.
    Report on bombing attack on ships of the Humber Force, 9 Oct 1939.
    Report on German mines.
    Report on minefield discovered in SCZ60, 20 Nov 1939.
    Summary of experience gained in enemy air attacks on HM Ships and Convoys up to 19 Dec 1939.
    Air raid on Scapa Flow, 17 Oct 1939.
    Ships mined off the coast of the British Isles 3 Sept 1939 to 27 Sept 1940: analysis of causes.
    Air attack on Home Fleet at Scapa Flow, 16 Mar 1940: report Inspection of trawlers etc damaged by enemy machine gun attacks: report.
    Ships mined 18 Feb-5 Apr 1940: analysis of causes.
    Witherington and SS Delius.
    Operational report: 18th Cruiser Squadron; period 3-15 May 1940.
    Wild Swan.
    Thomas Bartlett.
    Brighton Belle.
    Wild Swan.
    ORP Burza.
    Lady Philomena.
    Kingston Olivine.
    Grey Mist.
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  5. GreyMist1920

    GreyMist1920 Member

    Thank you Clive,
    I just found the above mentioned book and the Boulogne book also. The general information that is on the internet, is a start. I have have been digging through IWM and National Archives. Still nothing much after Dynamo or about her war refit with the lewis gun. People say stuff on forums or snip-its like its fact so i am trying to ascertain what is indeed fact. It’s been scarce in detail. Thank you for you help!

    Attached Files:

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  6. GreyMist1920

    GreyMist1920 Member

    Thanks! Yes her. Been searching!
  7. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

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  8. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    A few dates and the work being carried out.

    .11/39 - 1/8/41, Danlaying.
    1/8/41 - ./9/41, Auxiliary Patrol.
    ./9/41 - ./3/42, Laid Up.
    ./3/42 - ./10/43, Miscellaneous Naval.
    ./10/43 - / / , Examination.
    No locations for her.

    28/5/44 - HMS Ferret, Londonderry, Examination Service and Target Towing. Western Approaches Command. Manned by Royal Naval Patrol Service.


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  9. GreyMist1920

    GreyMist1920 Member

    That’s very accurate very quickly! I have some small references to the above that was painstaking to find (like I said new to this!)

    so the miscellaneous naval would make me feel that it is the time she would have been on the Arctic Convoys and that picture I found was with Hms Norfolk which were both apart of the 18th command.

    I appreciate this!

    I have a name:

    22 SEPT 1942

    Skipper lieut W.G. Shepherd,
    Contributing inventor of the pierce-shepherd tube for radars 1948

    Commander Harris and Duff were both mentioned as having been assigned to her.

    I found most of the names in the Navy Lists. But never any pictures!!!!

    Thanks a million and please let me know if you have anymore treasure!
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  10. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    John Deere marine diesels. That seems to be becoming a thing for low speed boat diesels these days.
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  11. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Possibly ?
    Ch. Skipper. W. G. Shepherd, R.D., placed on Retd. List with rank of Skipr. Lieut. 13th Sept. 1935.
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  12. GreyMist1920

    GreyMist1920 Member

    Yes likely. All of the names I found were reserves of the Royal Navy, many decorated retired. The listings say armoured yacht not danlaying. Yet the consensus appears to be danlaying. She had wire radio equipment and a gun. What I have found is by May 20th she had run from boulogne with the information to Ramsey to proceed with Dynamo. She then returned and was “bombed” in Boulogne. But she wasn’t. She went to Dunkirk after Boulogne. I found a small news reel with her in it for a split second.

    She was laid up at Brightlingsea in 1941 but I haven’t seen records or any information on that other than a day-to-day.

    I have asked Camper & Nicholsons heritage club for help but they haven’t yet. They refer me to GL Watson but they usually do the refit which we are well underway with in Florida.

    I want to incorporate some history onboard. So any war diaries or documents with names and pictures are desperately needed.
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  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    The Evacuation from Dunkirk

    25th May 1940
    Evacuation of Calais countermanded

    "Commander W V H Harris RN (Commander M/S Dover), in the Grey Mist, was in command."


    21st May she was at Cherbourg
    Naval Warfare in the English Channel, 1939–1945
    apparently bombed near Boulogne

    WORLD WAR II SEA WAR: FRANCE FALLS, BRITAIN STANDS ALONE: Day-to-Day Naval Actions from April 1940 through September 1940

    Nore, Dover, Portsmouth and Plymouth Commands, January 1942

    Naval Auxiliary Boats - DELPHIS, FLY AWAY, HAMFORD, MINOTAUR, PAULETTA, all at Brightlingsea, GAY VENTURE at East Molesey laid up, GREY MIST at Brightlingsea laid up
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2020
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  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-1945  --  H
    William Vesey Hamilton
    W.V.H. Harris
    Son of Adm. Sir Robert Hastings Penruddocke Harris, KCB, KCMG (1843-1926), and Florence Cordelia Henn-Gennys (1857-1940).
    Married (26.07.1917, Ealing, St Marylebone district, London) Ethel Laura Cunliffe (1886? - (12?).1968).

    Plymouth, Devonshire
    Scurmore, Ireland (formerly of Enniscrone, Co. Mayo, Ireland)

    Midsh. ?
    S.Lt. 15.07.1912
    Lt. 15.07.1914
    Lt.Cdr. 15.07.1922 (retd 26.03.1931; own request)
    Cdr. (retd) 26.03.1931
    A/Capt. (retd) 02.06.1942?
    Member of the Royal Victorian Order MVO pre-WW II ?
    Distinguished Service Cross DSC 19.11.1915 placing a barge across Mejenineh creek
    Mention in Despatches MID 16.08.1940 Dunkirk
    Mention in Despatches MID 21.01.1916 advance on Kut-el-Amara

    15.05.1904 entered RN
    03.02.1914 - 20.04.1915 HMS Clio (sloop) (China) [(re?-)joined ship 09.05.1914]
    20.04.1915 - 07?.1915 HMS Lewis Pelly (armed launch) (Basra, Iraq)
    07?.1915 - 08?.1915 HMS Sumana (armed launch)
    07.11.1915 - 13.02.1916 HMS Clio (sloop) (Basra, Iraq)
    02.05.1917 - (08.1917) Commanding Officer, HMS P 16
    23.03.1918 - (01.1919) Commanding Officer, HMS Victor (torpedo boat destroyer)
    ... - ... ...
    30.11.1923 - (01.1925) Commanding Officer, HMS Burslem (twin screw minesweeper)
    22.03.1927 - (07.1927) Commanding Officer, HMS Dunoon (twin screw minesweeper)
    04.09.1928 - (04.1930) Commanding Officer, HMS Dee (fishery protection gunboat, trawler)
    02.01.1931 - (02.1931) First Lieutenant, HMS Comus (cruiser)
    (03.1940) HMS Victory (RN base, Portsmouth) *
    01.03.1940 - (06.)1940 Commander Minesweepers, Dover [HMS Lynx (RN base, Dover)]
    28.06.1940 - (08.)1940 Commanding Officer, HMS Grey Mist (armed yacht)
    01.08.1940 - (04.)1941 HMS Eaglet (RN base, Liverpool) (for flotilla duties)
    25.04.1941 - (06.)1942 Commanding Officer, HMS Kingfisher (sloop)
    02.06.1942 - (08.)1943 Commanding Officer, HMS Carthage (armed merchant cruiser)
    08.1943 - (04.1946) Commanding Officer, HMS Lanka (base, Colombo, Ceylon) & Maintenance Captain, Colombo

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  15. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Does anyone have a copy of the above ADM 267/126 file, I, or rather my wife is, interested in: Furious: report of proceedings 8-28 Apr 1940. Her father was on HMS Furious then and was MiD for that action.
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  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Roy

    You probably already have the link/details - HMS Furious, British aircraft carrier, WW2 , and I note further possible references following the 27th April :
    27th Passage to Scapa Flow.
    (Note: For details of the disastrous operations off Norway see NARVIK by D Macintyre,
    Naval Staff History. (HMSO – 2001).)

    You may or may not already have these details

  17. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Hi TD, No I don't, thank you.

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