Veterans mark their anniversary with trip to HMS Collingwood

TAKING AIM One of the veterans' wives has a go on the general purpose machine gun
TAKING AIM One of the veterans' wives has a go on the general purpose machine gun
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VETERANS from the Yangtze Incident marked their 60th anniversary with a trip to HMS Collingwood.

Members of the HMS Consort Association visited the base in Fareham with their families to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

The Yangtze Incident occurred in 1949 when HMS Amethyst was attacked on its way up the river Yangtze.

It was severely damaged and trapped by the Chinese for 101 days but it managed to escape during high tide.

The ex-serving Royal Navy personnel who served on HMS Consort or HMS Amethyst were reunited at the naval training establishment.

Guests were welcomed by Commander Andy Phenna in the Wardroom.

Veterans split into groups for a tour of the base.

They visited the Close Range Weapons training unit and the Bridge Stimulator.

Ex-petty officer Dennis Mumford tried his hand at the general purpose machine gun.

He said: ‘The facilities here are good.

‘I was a radar operator and it’s been 40 years since I did anything like that.’

The visitors met students from the Maritime Warfare School who are training to become warfare officers.

And there was a trip to the Endeavour Building, which houses items from HMS Consort including a map used by the crew in The Yangtze Incident.

Veteran Jim Finch was a chief gunnery instructor and served on HMS Consort between 1947 and 1949.

He said: ‘It’s interesting to see what weapons are in use today compared with what we used. It was fascinating.’

For many of the visitors, it was their first time to HMS Collingwood.

Terry Hodgkins, organiser of the reunion, said: ‘It has been fantastic.

‘Everyone involved seems to have loved their time here.

‘It’s the biggest reunion I have seen and the best.’