11 July, 2016

The Holman Projector Coincidence From World War 2

Holman Projector 1941
A Navy Wren with a Holman Projector
An unusual coincidence story about something called a Holman Projector, which was used in the early days of World War 2 by ships as a defensive weapon against low flying attacks from German planes. The story is from Maurice Cross from England.

When I joined a motor torpedo boat in Lowestoft in 1941, I noticed a drain-pipe gadget behind the stern.

I asked a seaman gunner what it was, "It's the Holman Projector," he said.

"What does it do?" I asked. He told me.

"What!" I exclaimed, "you drop a hand grenade down the tube and when a Messerschmitt comes roaring down, you try to judge the split second to flip the grenade up?"

"Of course not," he shouted his eyes wild. "We're not raving idiots! The only time we fired it live, the dodgy compression unit just flopped the grenade over the top and it dropped on my feet. I almost died of shock!" His face paled. "If Taff Evans hadn't kicked it over the side, we'd have been holed like colanders!"

Such is the long arm of coincidence, that after the war. working in Bath, I used to go to a cafe behind the Pump Rooms. I shared a table most days with the same chaps, one a boffin from the Admiralty,

One day I told them the story of the amazing Holman Projector and rounded it off with the comment: "I wonder what kind of gormless twit in the Admiralty accepted it for the Navy?"

The boffin raised his eyes from his crossword and said, "I was responsible for that project!"

"Oh!" I said and downed another forkful of Welsh rarebit. He never sat with is again.

~ Maurice Cross, England.

From Wikipedia: The Holman Projector was an anti-aircraft weapon used by the Royal Navy during World War II, primarily between early 1940 and late 1941. The weapon was proposed and designed by Holmans, a machine tool manufacturer based at Camborne, Cornwall. A number of models were produced during the war years, but all worked on the principle of a pneumatic mortar, using compressed air or high pressure steam to fire an explosive projectile at enemy aircraft.

Other Random WW2 Posts:
Captain Who Rescued Him In World War II Also Saved His Sister's Life
67 Years After The D-Day Landings They Meet By Coincidence
Ephemeral That Makes Up A Life And Is Easy Forgotten

Bookmark and Share

1 comment: