The Catch

"The Catch.' which tells of a longliners son who joins the Royal Navy and takes on the gruelling divers course. once qualified he is sent out on missions during WW2. When the war is over he goes back to studying what he did in College - Marine archaeology. John James Bridgett (Who is my late Grandfather in real life) plays The man who has a quest to find the 24 lost Spanish Galleons off the coast of Dublin. when in 1588 they were chased by Sir Francis Drake and John Hawkins. Violent storms force the Amada onto the rocks and four of the galleons are carrying Gold and precious Jewels. The hunt is on to recover what is said to be worth 50 million. Chuck Henderson an American Oil prospector cheats an old man out of his farm in Texas, knowing there is oil on the 200 acre farmland. he makes a lot of money and becomes a very powerful figure in Texas. He runs for governor and when he wins he has, the police , judiciary, in his pocket and becomes a law unto himself. He pursues and marries Evel


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chased all the way back to the Shetlands. Jimmy was then called in by Major Scott to lead a team of men on a secret mission in Singapore using a newly designed canoe/ submersible. It was nicknamed the “Sleeping Beauty’ it was twelve feet long had a beam of twenty seven inches and could carry either one or two divers at one time on clandestine, reconnaissance operations, or attack. It carried a six volt battery and travelled at 4.4 knots. It could travel some thirty to forty miles on one charge and could dive to some fifty feet by for and central trimmings. The tanks could be flooded to make the vessel sink or use compressed air to refloat it. It was controlled by a joystick which turned the rudder and operated the hydroplanes. It could carry over three and a half pounds of explosives. The canoe could be blown out of a torpedo tube or launch close to a target via a heavy bomber. Training began in earnest the team was made up of Mick Foxy Harris from Harrogate, Paul Leeky Jones, Jake Matthews from Ipswich,

Paddy Summers from Dublin in Ireland, John Williams from Manchester, Jeff Tippy Robinson from Bradford, Byron Badoe the likable lad from Birmingham; he was one of the first black divers to pass the course; and Rob Mason from London.

They had less than a week to perfect the training before being dropped off by Submarine in Singapore they had only two hours to get to the port where Japanese ships were moored. They had to set the limpet mines and then make their escape. This was the first time that they would be using flippers which would make it easier for them to swim to the ships and get back again.

On the night of the 2nd September 1942 operation Jawick got underway. Jimmy and his team were dropped off by HMS Porpoise. Paddling thirty one miles they established a base on the island. They waited until the 10th of September after they had flooded the tanks so that only their heads could be seen until they sailed into the port and then went about setting the limpet mines on seven Japanese ships. They got out again unseen and blew the charges. At least five of the ships were sunk and two badly damaged. The Japanese blamed Communist Chinese Saboteurs and began executing many men.

Another operation Rimau (Tiger) Major Ivan Lyon who had a tattoo of a tiger on his chest led a team of nineteen men. Australian Civilian William Reynolds in his fishing boat “The Krait named after a small deadly snake sailed near the port and dropped the team in collapsible canoes where they attempted to blow up more ships but 11 men were captured tried for espionage one of the wounded men died in captivity having been tortured and half starved by the Japanese. The others were all found guilty and beheaded. It took almost half an hour to kill the men as several blows were needed to chop off their heads. Lyon made his escape but he and his men were shot dead when they were stopped by a patrol boat and a gun battle ensued.

Jimmy returned to Portsmouth where he went on leave for a week.’ He returned home after being awarded a medal for his bravery. He was now a lieutenant.

His father and mother came to meet him as he drove home in his car and walked up the path.

My boy’ said his mother as she hugged him.’

“How you been son said his father; its good to have you back with us. How long are you home for?’

Just a week dad I have to be back in Portsmouth on Sunday evening.

Your uncles John and George are still supplying our boats out in the Mediterranean.’

You look well mind son said his mother as he came into the house. “It feels strange being home after almost three years since I joined up.”

I guess you have been through a lot in that time.’

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