"THE "BOOM BOYS"
THE UNSUNG HEROES!!!
Few knew what they did and even fewer knew why. They labored around the clock performing the most underrrated of all wartime tasks - protecting warships at anchor by keeping the harbor defenses secure.
These guys on thse 'funny' looking ships ...the ships with the "horns" coming out of the bow.....they were the men of the "Net Navy"...a select group of rugged individualists whose sole unheralded purpose was to open, close, rig, and maintain the underwater steel nets....that kept out the subs....and torpedoes.
Laying these 'nets' so as the protected ships and her crews could 'rest easy' was not a light hearted task....to an outsider....or to a new recruit 'net laying' was a mystery....it took seamanship and a "marline-spike" type of sailor to work with the blocks, tackles, knots and splicing of this whole involved task.
Actually anti-submarine nets were used in WW I. The British strung 600-mi of steel netting across 85 of their harbors and bases all over the world. The British called them "Boom Defenses"....and the word "Boom" in British terminology includes protection both surface adn underwater attack. Those men in England that tended the highly efficient nets were affectionately known as "Boom Boys."
This article provides you with some insight into just what these vessels and there crews could do....history of the "Booms" or "Net Laying"....also a tad of info on where they trained the sailors that kept the ships safe from those underwater "tin-fish."
If I've generated some interest ....well you may wish to give this 13 page a going over. If you click on this red title: THE BOOM BOYS OF THE NET NAVY it will take you right to the article....hope you enjoy the read....and if you'd care to comment....please do!!!