Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Boat Orwell - Me Norwich
    Posts
    8,052

    Default 15 days adrift on a raft after being torpedoed WW2

    Brief but touching survivor's account - https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...aft-experience

    Particularly interesting to me as my father was a merchant seaman during WW2, but I never got to hear anything about it as he died when I was very young and my mother refused to talk about him. Only fairly recently did my dying mother give my sister his MN record book, from which we discovered that he'd sailed for years on numerous ships (including Atlantic Convoys), and that one of his ships had been destroyed by German bombers in the Med off North Africa. He survived, but was then invalided out of the MN (but we don't know what his injuries were).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Gloucestershire
    Posts
    5,351

    Default Re: 15 days adrift on a raft after being torpedoed WW2

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleSister View Post
    Brief but touching survivor's account - https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...aft-experience

    Particularly interesting to me as my father was a merchant seaman during WW2, but I never got to hear anything about it as he died when I was very young and my mother refused to talk about him. Only fairly recently did my dying mother give my sister his MN record book, from which we discovered that he'd sailed for years on numerous ships (including Atlantic Convoys), and that one of his ships had been destroyed by German bombers in the Med off North Africa. He survived, but was then invalided out of the MN (but we don't know what his injuries were).
    As a close relative, the military records would reveal all if you wish.
    I'd rather be naked
    www.mastaclimba.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Winter in Falmouth, summer on board Rampage.
    Posts
    5,160

    Default Re: 15 days adrift on a raft after being torpedoed WW2

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham_Wright View Post
    As a close relative, the military records would reveal all if you wish.
    I think that the only records available for Merchant Navy people are the medal records, which showed the claims and awards for war medals. They’re available via the National Archive. However, the award of medals to MN personnel wasn’t automatic: the medals had to be claimed so by no means all MN sailors bothered to claim the medals they were entitled to.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    6,360

    Default Re: 15 days adrift on a raft after being torpedoed WW2

    Try "Ships Nostalgia" site for advice on getting hold of records. Someone there will know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    World wide.
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: 15 days adrift on a raft after being torpedoed WW2

    I've had no luck traceing my father's MN wartime record. He was torpedoed twice in the Atlantic and he was on the Russian convoys. My brother has his discharge books which give the names of the ships he served on, but my older brother is getting nowhere tracking him.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    5,394

    Default Re: 15 days adrift on a raft after being torpedoed WW2

    Funnily enough, was ‘up the smoke’ with the East Coast Forum summer cruise (both boats) a couple of weekends ago and happened to go past Tower Hill where the MN war memorial is. Now I knew my gran’s brother had died on the east coast between London and Newcastle so on a whim we stopped, checked him out on Google and managed to find his name. Each name is put with the ship rather than alphabetically as an individual so you can see all the shipmates who copped it together.
    Poor sod, he’d taken the duty as a favour to a pal who had a family occasion to go to. Upsettingly, the guy never wrote to my uncle’s family.
    Pardon?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    3,216

    Default Re: 15 days adrift on a raft after being torpedoed WW2

    There is a well known wreck in the Channel I would like to visit on day. It was my Grandfathers ship. He was lost when it was torpedoed in 1944. My mum was only a young girl at the time and he was away most of the war before this.
    I did manage to find some records on line of the ship via ancestry. Including a crew list.
    Started with common wealth war graves commission. His name is on the memorial in London both my mum and I have seen it.
    With the date you can find the ships lost by month.
    An old family story turned out to be wrong. An officer had reportedly visited my Grandmother shortly after the loss telling her my Grandfather had survived and been taken prisoner by a UBoat. She kept hoping he would return but of course he never did. I thought the ship was lost out in the Atlantic.
    This is not true. When I found the ship it was a liberty ship built in Sanfransisco. She was torpedoed by an EBoat out bound in the channel.
    I was able to find she was turned over to the UK by leand lease and crew by a British MN Crew.
    She had sailed from San Francisco to Newestsminster BC then via panama to Halifax the to London.
    After London She was Torpedoed.
    My Grandfather had been torpedo before. His company had lost all its ships.
    My uncle is still alive and has some records of his fathers but not many.

    By contrast I knew an uncle who survived a long stint in a lifeboat. I heard about it from my dad. One day when I came home from a trip as young seaman. My uncle told me the story himself.
    He had spent two weeks in an open boat on the N Atlantic in 1942. They were the US east Coast heading for Halifax on thier own prior to convoys being formed.
    It was carrying ore. He had just come off watch. As QM.
    The boats were kept at embarkation JIK.
    The ship sank in minutes. He just happened to be near by. He cut the rope section of the falls with an axe. A managed to board the boat and pick up 14 crew.
    I won’t name the ship, the story of what happened is a tough one and I have seen posts by a family member of a crew member who did not survive. Looking for info about their relative. It’s not one I would wish to tell.
    My uncles boat was picked up by the USCG after 2 weeks all but one of those in his boat survived.
    He was many months in hospital recovering from immersion. He had problems with this for the rest of his life.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    tayvallich
    Posts
    2,960

    Default Re: 15 days adrift on a raft after being torpedoed WW2

    My grandfather was torpedoed 3 times. He was on a munitions ship the third time, so that was the end of him. I still have "Bonzo the third" - a cuddly toy that no's 1 and 2 of went to Davy Jones' locker

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    994

    Default Re: 15 days adrift on a raft after being torpedoed WW2

    Amazing stories all, thanks. Recently went to various events at Harwich to commemorate the anniversary of the surrender of the German U-boat fleet, they all ended up moored at Harwich prior to being scrapped. Well worth a google, fascinating period.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,203

    Default Re: 15 days adrift on a raft after being torpedoed WW2

    My wife's uncle was first officer on a Shell petrol tanker heading out from Venezuela. He was off duty in the aft deck cabin when it was torpedoed. A baby burned seaman joined him in the cabin and both being skinny they escaped through a stern porthole. About 10 survived mostly badly burned and my wife's uncle who was only one of several uninjured sailed the lifeboat back towards Trinidad. He got a George medal and the seaman a postumous George cross

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Latest YBW News

Find Boats For Sale

to
to