WO SIND sie jetzt geblieben... Where are they now?
A photograph of a former crew of the Royal Navy submarine HMS Otus has surfaced 800 miles away in Germany, writes former News defence correspondent TIM KING.
Mario Kricheldorf says it was taken from exactly the same spot in the same mess where he and team members of the German Amateur Radio Club recently carried out a 48-hour world-wide contact weekend.
Otus (2,030 tons) was rescued from John Pounds’s scrapyard in Portsmouth by a German entrepreneur in May 2002, towed to a Stralsund shipyard and restored to pristine condition in just six weeks.
The Oberon-class submarine still wears the Union Flag and attracts 80,000 visitors a year as a floating museum at Sassnitz on the Baltic island of Rügen, and Mario and his colleagues are hoping some of the veterans will identify themselves from the picture and get in touch.
It is not known when the shot was taken, but it could have been any time between 1963, when Otus was first commissioned, and the early 1990s when she ended up beside a sister boat rusting on the mud at Pounds’s scrapyard – a familiar eyesore visible from the M275.
Mario and his team, who slept in the original bunks on board and took turns to man their impressive array of equipment around the clock, said: ‘Die Radio Verbindungen’ weekend was a huge success, establishing 328 contacts in 32 countries across three continents.’
• Otus veterans can contact Mario Kricheldorf (DJ8NU) at Anna Saur Weg 6, D17033, Neubrandenburg, Germany or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.