Mission to save Navy frogmans wartime chariot

Mission to save Navy frogman's wartime chariot

The Times

By Russell Jenkins

THE Japanese said that any “human torpedoes” captured would be blinded and castrated

So it is hardly surprising that Anthony “Lofty” Eldridge, the last surviving frogman on mission CSO51, can recall every detail of the last chariot operation of the Second World War.

On October 27, 1944, he took part in a daring sortie in Phuket harbour, Thailand. The mission was to sink the 5,000-tonne Sumatra and 5,272-tonne Volpi with 1,100lb warheads.

It was a stunning success apart from one detail. When the Royal Navy commandos returned to their submarine, HMS Trenchant, the chariots, codenamed Tiny and Slasher, were scuttled for fear that the enemy was approaching.

More than 60 years later a diving team has found the chariots on the seabed near Koh Dok Mai in the Andaman Sea.

It would nice to think that the sand lizards visiting Phuket and that area were made aware of what their grandfathers generation did when they visited!

Brave men.
Agreed, they were brave men. Tiny and Slasher deserve a permanent place to remind people of the sacrifice made by others.

Unfortunately I can see them outside an ice cream stand and on inserting a coin, they will gyrate to some Thai/Eurovision style music that bears a passing resemblance to the tune of Postman Pat while a badly burnt ankle snapper throws up the last two ice creams over what's left of them.

Bring them home and display them in a fitting manner at the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth.

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