|Dimensions||76.2 × 55.88 × 2.54 cm|
Bangor Class Minesweeper
Builder Ailsa Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
Gross 656 Tons
Length 174 feet (53.0 m)
Beam 28 feet, 6 inches (8.7 m)
Draught 8 feet, 3 inches (2.5 m)
Propulsion Two Steam turbines driving two propellers
13th August 1942
110 miles west of Malta
At 5:40 pm, Lt. Commander Pearson of the minesweeper Rye joined Penn in the rescue of Ohio which was dead in the water, listing and in danger of sinking. Without Ohio’s precious fuel the mission would fail and Malta would fall.
That evening and the following day, the RAF put up an aggressive standing patrol of 16 Spitfires for protection. Ohio’s crew, which had abandoned her, returned to the ship as the Rye used her minesweeping wires to tie her and Penn to Ohio and together they hauled the tanker at a speed of four knots.
Enemy raids knocked out the Ohio’s rudder and near-missed both the Penn and Rye parting the tow. By first light on the 14th, with the tanker’s decks twisting and groaning, they resumed the tow. At 10:50 am, five Stukas with escorts attempted to sink Ohio again, but although additional damage was done, the Spitfires were able to shoot down some and chase off the rest.
Finally with HMS Bramham lashed to port, HMS Penn to starboard, and HMS Ledbury secured by cable to the stern, HMS Rye re-started the tow. It was a long painful trip which involved various towing formations but, at long last, the welcoming arms of Grand Harbour gathered her nearly lost children back into the fold on August 15.
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