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ORP "Kujawiak" restored bell soon to be in Poland

The ship’s bell of the Polish escort destroyer ORP “Kujawiak”, after a year of intensive conservation work, is again shining in full splendour. “The heart” of the Polish ship was found and brought to the surface by members of Wreck Expeditions, during the fourth expedition to the wreck of the L-72 vessel, in 2017 The
Published: April 8, 2018 - 15:51
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:43
ORP “Kujawiak” restored bell soon to be in Poland

The ship’s bell of the Polish escort destroyer ORP “Kujawiak”, after a year of intensive conservation work, is again shining in full splendour. “The heart” of the Polish ship was found and brought to the surface by members of Wreck Expeditions, during the fourth expedition to the wreck of the L-72 vessel, in 2017

The restoration and conservation of the ORP “Kujawiak” bell was carried out by the government agency Heritage Malta. Now the artefact has been put on public display for the first time. In the near future the bell will be sent to Poland, where it will be displayed in various museums, before finally returning to Malta, where it will become part of a permanent exhibition.

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ORP “Kujawiak” restored bell soon to be in Poland

On 22 September 2014, the Polish expedition “The Hunt for L72″ located and identified the wreck of the Polish destroyer ORP “Kujawiak”. 16 June 1942. The vessel sank off the coast of Malta where she was on escort duty. It was during the protection of one of the transports that the L-72 hit a mine and went to the bottom. According to different sources 12-13 Polish seamen lost their lives on that day.

During her short service, “Kujawiak” participated in missions in the Bristol Channel and the English Channel. The last wartime touch before sinking was the large-scale operation “Harpoon”, during which she escorted supplies to Malta. For those interested in the fate of L-72, we recommend Mariusz Borowiak’s book “Podwodni tropiciele”, whose review you can read here.

The keel for ORP “Kujawiak” was laid on 22 November 1939 in Vickers-Armstrong shipyard, High Walker, Tyne. The Hunt II type destroyer was originally planned to enter service with the Royal Navy as HMS “Oakley”. The situation changed when the Polish government placed an order for 18 ships of this type on 4 September 1939. The order for 18 ships of this type was placed by the Polish government on 4 September 1939. “Kujawiak” was one of the three from this order that went to our Navy.

The L-72 measured 85.34m long and 9.62m wide. The displacement of the vessel was 1050t. The ship was powered by two sets of Parsons steam turbines, 19000 shp; two Admiralty type boilers and two screws. This allowed her to develop a speed of 27 knots and translated into a range of 2000Mm at 20 knots and 3700Mm at an economy speed of 14 knots.

The whole unit was armed with 6 universal guns cal. 102 mm, 4 plot guns cal. 40 mm, 2-4 plot guns cal. 20 mm, 2 machine guns cal. 7.7 mm, 1-2 launchers and 2 depth bomb throwers.

Source: heritagemalta.org

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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