HMS Javelin

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HMS Javelin exercising the great guns off Irish Point

HMS Javelin

Rating: 5th-rate

Class: Tigre Mastercraft-Class Frigate

Date of Commission: April 15, 1721

Guns: 42

Crew: 335

Status: Currently part of Battlegroup Ares.

History:

HMS Javelin was originally a Capricieux Mastercraft 44-gun Frigate that was launched in Turtling Bay in April 1721, to harass enemy shipping in the contested waters of the Caribbean. She was given to aspiring frigate-captain Nathaniel Blatchford from the Intolerance.

She had trouble during her first month with reaching her complement in crewmembers, and had therefore her muster-books filled with pressed landsmen. Her first assignment was a short cruise off Gibara in company with Captain Collister's Centurion, in which the ships barely escaped an ambush by a superior French squadron. Here followed several cruises in which the Javelin entered combat with enemy ships, but never being able to sink them due to the inexperienced crew, resulting in slow rate of fire and slow execution of orders, and the Captain's lack of practical experience with fighting an enemy ship on his own. As the weeks went by, however, the crew of the Javelin became more and more used to the smoke and din of battle, and likewise her captain learned ways to get the upper hand during an engagement. Causing several enemy ships to disengage lest they be sunk, the Javelin enjoyed these small victories even though she still lost several engagements to other enemy ships.

It was decided by the Admiralty in May 1721 that when the next cruises of the Javelin had come to an end, she was to have her guns changed from 13-pounders to 16-pounders, thus making her a Tigre Mastercraft-class. May 10th 1721, she was drydocked in Grey Shipyards and work was begun on the modifications to her armament and structure. On may 15th, she was relaunched and returned to active duty. On June 1st, Captain Blatchford recieved his Military Cross for his actions aboard her.

On July 4th 1721, the Javelin's carpenter reported having found severe damage to her structure. It was therefore decided by her Captain and Master that she was in need of extensive repairs in the Turtling Bay shipyards. After a perilous journey from Port Royal with her seams bursting and the pumps working day and night, she was taken out of the water and drydocked. Captain Blatchford had by now taken command of the 5th-rate Legionaire, and some of the Javelin's crew and most of her officers followed him into his new commission directly. On July 19th, it became clear that her current timbers could no longer stand the strain of battle, and it was decided by the Admiralty that she was to be restricted to convoy duty and hauling goods only, and that if she was to be afloat at all.

On August 27th, following his admittance to Battlegroup Ares, Sir Nathaniel invested great amounts of money to reinstate the Javelin as a fighting vessel. One day later work was began on the her hull by McDella Shipyards, and on August 30th the improved Javelin was relaunched. On August 31st she set sail for her home port of Port Royal.

British Captains:

1721-present: Captain Sir Nathaniel Blatchford

Notable Actions

  • April 15th, 1721: During a cruise off Gibara, His Majesty's ships the Centurion and Javelin evaded an attempted ambush from a french squadron.
  • April 18th, 1721: During a cruise off Spanish Town, Javelin and five other Squadron vessels were engaged by a French fleet, receiving heavy damage.
  • April 25th, 1721: During a cruise off Irish Point, Javelin engaged a pirate but was after a furious exchange of broadsides forced to retreat.
  • April 26th, 1721: Engaged pirate in a Cursed Blade-class refit frigate West of Port-de-Paix, after a long drawn-out fight the Javelin recieved critical damage and was defeated.
  • May 2nd, 1721: Engaged Spanish privateer in a Discovery-class 5th-rate frigate South-West of Fort-de-France. After a drawn-out fight including both round- and disabling shot, the enemy retreated to NW with heavy damage to his ship's hull. Javelin had only recieved some damage to her rigging.
  • May 2nd, 1721: Engaged French privateer in a Minerva Mastercraft-class 5th-rate East of Santo Domingo. After a very close fight, the Javelin was boarded and defeated.
  • May 2nd, 1721: While chasing a pirate vessel North-West of Island Harbour, engaged by Spanish privateer squadron of two 5th-rates and a sloop. Quickly demasted, boarded and carried.
  • May 3rd, 1721: Spotted enemy sail North-East of San Juan, gave chase and engaged Spanish privateer in an Intrepid 5th-rate frigate. After three broadsides from the Javelin at musket-range, the enemy fled South with his hull damaged and starboard broadside destroyed.
  • May 3rd, 1721: North of San Juan, engaged by Spanish privateer squadron of one Discovery 5th-rate and one Tigre Mastercraft 5th-rate. Managed to dismast one after a long chase, but was soon overtaken and defeated by the other due to severe damage to rigging.
  • May 9th, 1721: During a cruise off Gibara, engaged pirate in a Myrmidon Mastercraft-class 5th-rate. The pirate was dismasted and sunk.
  • May 9th, 1721: North-West of Gibara, spotted pirate in a captured Tigre-class 5th-rate and turned about as if I was running, but spilling wind from my sails and manouvering slightly to lose headway. Turned to engage as the pirate came up on my quarter, and presently the pirate was dismasted and sunk.
  • May 9th, 1721: West of Matthew Town, engaged and soundly beaten by a Spanish privateer in a Discovery 5th-rate.
  • May 9th, 1721: East of Port Royal, engaged and soundly beaten by a Spanish privateer in a Discovery 5th-rate.
  • May 10th, 1721: East of Port Royal, engaged and soundly beaten by a Spanish privateer in a Capricieux Mastercraft 5th-rate.
  • May 10th, 1721: South of Santiago, engaged a Spanish naval officer in a Raa Mastercraft 6th-rate. The Spanish man-o-war was soon reinforced by a Spanish privateer in an Intrepid 5th-rate, and the Javelin was quickly defeated.
  • May 15th, 1721: East of Ruddy Cove, engaged by a French privateer in a Tigre Sleek 5th-rate, the enemy having the weather-gage. The Frenchman recieved heavy damage from the Javelin's new 16-pounders, but managed to close with, board and carry her.
  • May 15th, 1721: East of Ruddy Cove, engaged by a Spanish privateer in an Intrepid 5th-rate, the enemy having the weather-gage. The Javelin was quickly demasted and sunk.
  • May 15th, 1721: North of Pointe-à-Pitre, engaged Spanish privateer in an Intrepid 5th-rate. The enemy quickly gained the weather-gage, and after a drawn-out fight the Javelin was defeated.
  • May 21st, 1721: While exiting contested waters South-East of Jaqueme, sighted pirate in a Cursed Blade 5th-rate to leeward. Deemed it necessary to engage while having the weather-gage instead of being run down without it. Managed to disengage from engagement and retreat without the loss of the ship.
  • May 22nd, 1721: South-West of St. John's, was utterly surprised and engaged by a pirate in a Pirate Hercules 5th-rate. After a futile attempt at running the Javelin was dismasted, boarded and defeated.
  • June 6th, 1721: South of Santiago, was engaged by a pirate in a Capricieux Mastercraft 5th-rate. The pirate quickly dismasted and defeated the Javelin.
  • June 11th, 1721: East of Spanish Town, was engaged by French privateer in a Discovery 5th-rate. After a surprisingly close fight the enemy managed to stay on the Javelin's quarter, and in order to save the ship and her crew while it was still possible, the Javelin attempted to disengage. Due to damage to his rigging recieved earlier in the engagement, the privateer was unable to run her down.
  • September 6th, 1721: As part of a British squadron of six ships, chased a pirate Oliphant-class Indiaman from Irish Point to Puerto Cabezas, overtaking and capturing it before it could get clean away.


Port Battle History

Port Date Battle type Enemy Result
Nassau 30.04.1721 Assault France Victory
Maracaibo 30.04.1721 Assault Spain Defeat
Riding Rocks 16.05.1721 Defence Pirates Victory
Cartagena 15.06.1721 Defence Spanish Defeat