more than seven decades, the Royal Navy’s standard ‘flies’ once more on the Mighty Hood.
Two thousand eight hundred and forty-eight metres – 9,330ft, or a mile and three quarters – below the surface of the Denmark Strait, the White Ensign has been placed on the remains of the battle-cruiser.
It took the robot submarine which ‘hoisted’ the flag more than two and a half hours to reach the warship’s wreck, the last resting place of 1,415 men killed when the Hood blew up in battle with Hitler’s flagship Bismarck in May 1941.
The ensign was placed close to the shattered bow of the Hood, which was the pride of the Navy and nation between the two world wars.
The ‘raising’ of the Navy’s standard on the wreck formed part of a three-pronged mission led by Microsoft founder and philanthropist Paul G Allen with deep-sea exploration experts Blue Water Recoveries – who found the Hood back in 2001.
Hood is an official war grave protected by the MOD, who gave special permission for Mr Allen to recover Hood’s bell so it can serve as a memorial to the ship’s crew in the Naval Museum in Portsmouth.
As part of the successful recovery of the bell, the underwater specialists promised to place a White Ensign and, if possible, clean a memorial plaque placed on a previous expedition.
The submersible was in the process of moving the plaque so it could be smartened up when bad weather on the surface forced the team to abandon the operation and bring the mini-sub back up.
Picture courtesy of Paul G Allen