The [i]Royal Lincs[/i] GY 18, named after the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment, was based in Grimsby(England - UK).
Built in 1955 in Bremerhaven(Germany), [i]Coldstreamer[/i] GY 10 was owned by Northern Trawlers and midded 57.80m long for 9.70m wide.
With a £10,000 per trip ‘spying bonus’ for the crew, gathering intelligence on Soviet Naval operations in the Barents Sea north-east of Norway was lucrative. But it was also hard and hazardous work for the Grimsby fishermen who sailed on the trawler [i]Lancer [/i]and [i]Coldstreamer[/i].
[i]Lancer [/i]was launched in the summer of 1949 and made her maiden voyage to the Arctic Circle later that year. Between then and 1954, she undertook no fewer than 45 spying missions against the Soviet Northern fleet. This account of those missions was written by the Lancer’s radio operator, Al Bowles.
The [i]Lancer[/i]'s string of successful spy missions ended in 1954 with a dramatic escape through mountainous seas from a Soviet Border Guards gunboat. The gunboat proved less seaworthy than the trawler and, as she rolled heavily, two of the Russian sailors were tragically lost overboard.
The Soviet government protested about the incident and Pidgen had his license suspended for three months. Naval Intelligence ‘sweetened’ this slap on the wrist by giving him a free pass to the local race courses. Meanwhile, the sensitive spying equipment was removed from his ship before she was reassigned to routine fishing off Iceland. Pidgen was rewarded with a brand-new Bremerhaven-built trawler. Capable of 18 knots, the [i]Coldstreamer[/i] was specially fitted out for the Barents Sea and the cloak and dagger Cold War spy game.
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