From Mr Terry Sylvester
Sir, - The report "France salutes the little ships" (News, 29
May) included a graphic description of the sinking of the
Crested Eagle. The ship is described each time as an "MV",
i.e. motor vessel. The Crested Eagle was not a motor
vessel: she was a 299-feet-long, 1100-ton paddle steamer of the
General Steam Navigation, used for pleasure-steamer sailings from
London and down the Thames, and built by J. Samuel White & Co.
at Cowes in 1925.
As she was an up-to-date pleasure steamer, not coal-fired like
many of her predecessors, Crested Eagle's boilers burnt
oil. Thus, when she was bombed, she rapidly became a blazing
furnace, after the ignition of the oil in the bunkers.
Although basically a traditional paddle steamer, Crested
Eagle had a modern appearance compared with other ships in the
General Steam Navigation Company's Thames Fleet at the time she was
Former Chairman and Managing Director of Paddle Steamer
Barry Docks CF62 5QR