NAVY NEWS, APRIL 2010
Mr R Spencer and extended family and friends would like to thank all those of the Naval service who attended, helped and organised the funeral and internment of his son PO Andrew ‘Frank’ Spencer who was killed after a tragic accident returning from Northwood on January 16. Andrew’s father would like everyone to know that the sympathy and consideration shown by all concerned was exemplary and made them all feel very proud on that sad day.
PO Andrew ‘Frank’ Spencer. Joined the
Royal Navy in 1988. After submarine basic training at Dolphin he served in Sceptre, Dolphin Submarine School, Sovereign, Trafalgar, Torbay and PJHQ Northwood. Killed in road traffi c accident on January 16. Aged 38.
Vice-Admiral Sir Philip Watson, LVO. As
an electrical sub-lieutenant in the RNR during the war he served in Hebe escorting convoys to Russia. He later served in the battleship Nelson and Berwick in which he witnessed the German surrender at Trondheim, Norway. After the war he transferred to the Royal Navy and served as electrical offi cer in two battle class destroyers and Decoy. Promoted to commander in 1955 he was the electrical offi cer in HMY Britannia then 1961 served in Lion. Promoted to captain he served in the ship design department at Bath rising to deputy director of electrical engineering. He commanded the electrical school MS Collingwood 1967-69 and was Director General Weapons (Naval) 1970-77; promoted to vice-admiral in 1974. December 8. Aged 90.
Surg Capt John Ferguson Smith.
Served 1944-47 in Garth and Bicester, 21st Destroyer Flotilla Sheerness. Thereafter served RNVR/RNR Clyde Division; being appointed Queen’s Honorary Physician. February 12. Aged 87.
Capt Val Bailey. Entered Dartmouth
1933 where he won colours for rugby and trained in Frobisher. He served in Resolution during the Spanish Civil War, where as a midshipman he was given command of a motorboat to rescue British civilians from Bilbao and Santander; then in Neptune on the South Africa station before returning to London for his sub-lieutenant courses. After the outbreak of war he was appointed to Active at Gibraltar and took part in East Coast convoys before learning to fl y in Tiger Moths at RAF Eldon, Birmingham. He fl ew a variety of aircraft including the Hurricane before joining Ark Royal where he was the last man off when she was sunk by a torpedo in 1941. In 1942 whilst attached to 273 Sqn in Ceylon, British vessels were coming under increasing attack from the Japanese; his squadron was scrambled. Hermes and her escorts were sunk and many British aircraft were lost, but the determined fi ght by Bailey and his comrades brought to a halt Japanese expansion. By 1944 he was in command of the Seafi res of 886 NAS, providing offensive sweeps and bombardment spotting on D-Day. On June 6 he fl ew three sorties but the next day he was shot down by his own side, landed in a minefi eld and was briefl y taken captive. In his fl ying career he fl ew 49 types of aircraft and made 273 deck landings. Later he became naval attaché in Buenos Aires and Commodore at Drake, Plymouth. January 13. Aged 90. Lt ‘Bubs’ Russell. Joined the RN 1939 and spent the early years of the war in HMS Largs taking part in the Allied landings in North Africa and Sicily. Later he led port clearance (P-party) searching for mines and booby traps up the coast of northern Europe including Antwerp, Cherbourg, Ostend, Hamburg and Bremen, living and working in dockside warehouses and outbuildings, drawing naval rations and foraging for food. Often his party advanced close behind the leading troops and occasionally he carried on his work while the Germans counter- attacked. He was awarded a military MBE. December 21. Aged 89.
William K ‘Bill’ Jones. WO1 MEMN.
Served 1961-89 in Cassandra, Defender, Fearless, Churchill, Dreadnought and Swiftsure. Employed as a Sea Rider for Flag Offi cer Submarines and as Assistant Marine Engineer Offi cer(M) to Captain SM2. February 8. Aged 64. Alan William Potter. Chief ERA. Served 1946-68. Joined Fisgard as an Artifi cer Apprentice then Loch Quoich (Indian Ocean). Became a submariner 1953 and served submarines Trespasser and Seneschal then joined the nuclear submarine Dreadnought in 1960 leading up to the commissioning in 1963. An Instructor at Dounreay and Sultan; completing his career in Glamorgan (1967-
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AH(ATC). Served 1952-74 in Daedalus, Gamecock, Siskin, Eagle, Peregrine, Ark Royal, Heron, Sea Hawk, Fulmar, 809 NAS and NAIC Pinner. Joined HM Coastguard serving 1974-94. Aircraft Handlers Association. January 10. Aged 75.
Andrew ‘Andy’ Hogg. WO(CK). Served
1947-86 at Raleigh, Dryad, St Vincent, Royal Arthur, Collingwood, and Mercury; also Indomitable, Agincourt, Adamant, Bulwark, Loch Alvie, Lion, Glamorgan, Belfast, London, Blake, Hermes and Invincible. He was resident barber on most of these ships and using funds raised from this ‘evening work’ he supported various naval charities particularly TS Hermes (Sea Cadets) and in 1979 received the MBE for his charitable work. In 1959 he and his wife established a Sunday school for up to 120 children weekly for 20 years on the Tipner Naval Estate in Portsmouth working with the Royal Sailors Rest Mission; member of the Naval Christian Fellowship. February 5. Aged 80. Tom McKendrick. L/Stoker. Served 1944-46 in Loch Fada and a member of the association. February 24. Aged 86.
Michael ‘Mick’ James Elwin. CPOWEA.
Served 1963-87 in Fisgard, Collingwood, Murray, Dolphin, Excellent, Yarmouth, Royal Arthur, Valiant, Vernon, Shoulton, Kirkliston and Wilton. March 2. Aged 63.
Rodney ‘Jan’ ‘Scribes’ Pellew. CPO
and on Arctic convoys in Boadicea, Hotspur and Rowley. February 9. Aged 85. Paul Flaherty. EM. Served in Loch Fada and a member of the association; also Raleigh, Collingwood, Adamant, Rapid, Vernon and Juno. February 17. Brian ‘Soapy’ Hodson. CA 1st class
68). February 7. Aged 79. Tom Borton. Served 1942-46 at Ganges
Writer. Served 1955-77 in Drake, Tamar, Venus, Centaur, Victorious, Terror, Pembroke (Instructor) and Minerva. Selected on several occasions to play cricket for the Royal Navy. February 5. Aged 73.
Derek ‘Cats’ Cattaneo. Able seaman.
Served 1955-66 in Newfoundland, Cumberland, Dryad, Centaur, Hermes, Battleaxe, Diana, Vanguard, Pellew and Tiger. Newfoundland Association; and Centaur Association. March 2. Aged 70.
Stanley Winston Rose, RM. Served
1940-53 in Cleopatra (1941-43), Euryalus (1944-47) and 42 Commando (1951-53). December 27. Aged 86.
Colin ‘Ducky’ Duckworth. CRS. Served
1952-76 in Cavalier, Solebay and Loch Inch. HMS Solebay Association; and the RN Communicators Association. February 28. Aged 73.
William J N ‘Bill’ Dobson. Chief ERA.
Served 1929-45 as an apprentice at Fisgard then Valiant, Ramillies and Fleetwood. Joined submarine service 1940 and served in submarines Tigris, Tribune and Unrivalled. February 28. Aged 95. Eugene McCarthy. Fleet Chief Radio Supervisor. Served 1949-79 as a Boy Seaman at Ganges aged 15 trained as a telegraphist then Illustrious, Flint Castle, Daring, Cook, Ocean, Vigilant, Phoebe and Ark Royal; also Tamar (Hong Kong), Mercury, Goldcrest, Phoenicea (Malta) and Naval HQ Northwood. HMS Daring Association (fi rst commission 52-54). March 8. Aged 76. Keith Davy. Joined 1946 for National Service, completed Midshipman training at Greenwich College and joined staff of King George VI serving onboard Vanguard then Implacable and Ceres. HMS Implacable and Ceres Associations. December 11. Aged 80.
Europa RNPS, Marshall Soult, Sir William Hillary, FMB 39465, Lanka, Mayina, Golden Hind (via Tyne), Wooloomooloo TRV421136. Wigston & District branch. February 17. John Cotton. LEM. Served 1953-65 in Ark Royal, Triumph and Decoy. D-boats Association, HMS Triumph Association and Derby RNA. January. Aged 74. Thomas ‘Tom’ Gornall. Asdics branch – Motor Launches. Served 1941-46 in Antrim and Christopher, also bases Attack, Hornet, Odyssey, Wildfi re and Edinburgh Castle. Life member and treasurer of Bourne RNA. Connie Bates. WRNS. Trained at Royal Arthur (Butlins Skegness). Life member of the association and for many years served as minute secretary to Bourne Branch. Aged 84.
Alan Stretton. Served in Bugloss, Fleming and Victorious. Wigston & District RNA. February 11. Denis Tite. Served in Pembroke, Victory,
ROYAL NAVAL ASSOCIATION
rejoined 1947-62. Served Brilliant, Ajax, Llandaff, Wakeful, Belfast, Sussex, Sirius, Dido, Jasper, Superb, Alamein, Victory, Pembroke and Excellent. Life member, chairman and standard bearer Finsbury RNA, also Southend branch. January. Aged 90.
Roy Sidney Huckle. Steward. Served
1943-46 Royal Arthur, Europa, Ashwane, Lucifer, Miranda, Pembroke, Fortitude and Boscowen. Nuneaton branch. January 12. Aged 84.
Frank Burton. Served 1939-46 and
Joan Ann Cox. Associate member
Nuneaton branch. February 13. Aged 77.
Noel ‘Spud’ Abbott RM 1st class. Served
1955-62 in Malta, Cyprus, Port Said and in Bulwark. Maldon RNA. January 29. Aged 72.
Anthony ‘Tony’ Wilkes. Diver 1st Class. February 28. Aged 71.
Ulster, Monarch, Wyvern and Abercrombie. Life member and membership secretary for Thurrock RNA. February 9. Aged 86.
William Bernard ‘Mitch’ Mitchell. Naval
Airman. Served 1949-56. Moraira & District branch, Spain. February 26. Aged 75.
Charles ‘George’ Dewen. L/SBA. Served
(HO) 1944-47. Moraira & District branch, Spain. March 5. Aged 84. Percy Newell. AB Seaman 1st Class
Arthur Reg Martin. AB. Served 1942-46 in
Trophy P8926 is a 16-inch tall two-handled silver cup which was originally presented to the battleship HMS Anson by Lady Pound when she launched the ship on February 24 1940.
Donald Herbert Gribble. PO ERA. Served MTBs and mine sweepers also in Rowena in Malta and the Palestine run. Gloucester branch. February 26. Aged 80. George Washington. Served in Vindictive, Penn and Sussex. Wolverhampton RNA. January 9. Aged 88. Geoff Woodward. Served RN Patrol Service. Wolverhampton branch. January 11. Aged 83.
Torpedo Man. Served 1943-46. Trained at Ganges then joined Caprice escorting merchant convoys to Russia and regular U-boat hunts; after the Japanese surrender and a quick refi t he headed East. A founder member of Pershore & District RNA. February 10. Aged 86.
Just over four years later on April 3 1944, Anson was Vice Admiral Sir Henry Moore’s flagship, leading a large force on Operation Tungsten, a concerted Fleet Air Arm attack on the German battleship Tirpitz in Altenfjord, Norway.
Six British aircraft carriers
Roger Foster. Torpedoman. Served as a submariner in Trespasser, Springer, Grampus, Ambush and Finwhale. Maidstone RNA and the Submariners Association. February 20. Aged 74.
P G ‘Paul’ Hammond. AB ST. Submarine
service 1945-46 in Thule. Brierley Hill branch. Aged 86.
Capt J A ‘Jim’ Barwood. Submarine
service in Solent, XE12, Sidon and Sceneschal. Bath branch. Aged 82. L ‘Les’ Canning. AB SDR. Submarine service 1943-46 in Tally-Ho. Hull branch. Aged 84.
Lt R ‘Roy’ Weston. Submarine service
1942-46 in H14, P556, FS Junon, Tribune and Spiteful. Australia branch. Aged 89.
LST & LANDING CRAFT ASSOCIATION
M R Heath. Served LCI(L)50 and LCT 7044. July 19. H R Whitting. Served with LCA Flotilla 524 and LSI(L) Empire, Arquebus. December 11. S A Dennison. Served LCMs and LCAs. January 14. R W Wootton. Served LST 4. January 29.
William H Hudson. AB. Served in Espiegle. March 6. Aged 85.
McCleary; £1,500 – Lt Cdr J R Wilkinson; £500 – Lt E J Gaines. February 20: £5,000 – CPO G G Connolly;
February 13: £5,000 – Lt Cdr S P
£1,500 – CPO P Delaney; £500 – AB1 I J Robinson.
£1,500 – Lt L D Flatt; £500 – Mne S M Jones. March 6: £5,000 – CPO M Bradbury;
February 27: £5,000 – Logs L Roberts;
£1,500 – PO M J Chard; £500 – OM(MW)2 W Miller. March 13: £5,000 – PO WEM(O) S B
Leaver; £1,500 – CPO Wtr I R Wilson; £500 – NA AH J A Card.
June 5: http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/
operations-and-support/establishments/ training-establishments/hms-collingwood/ hms-collingwood-open-day-2010
Sultan Show: Saturday and Sunday June
Collingwood Open Day: Saturday JUNE
19-20: www.sultan.org.uk Armed Forces Day: Saturday June 26:
Yeovilton Air Day: Saturday July 10:
www.royalnavy.mod.uk/operations-and- support/establishments/naval-bases-and- air-stations/rnas-yeovilton/rnas-yeovilton- air-day-2009
Culdrose Air Day: Wednesday July 28:
www.royalnavy.mod.uk/operations-and- support/establishments/naval-bases-and- air-stations/rnas-culdrose/rnas-culdrose- air-day-2009
Sydney Dobson. AB. Joined 1941 at 17. Served on MGBs in Coastal Forces 1941- 43. Seconded to South African Navy for a period before joining the submarine service in the Far East. Served Collingwood and the Admiralty. Founder member and chairman of Swaffham RNA. December 23. Aged 84.
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Ministry of Defence: 0870 607 4455,
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SSAFA Forces Help: 0845 1300 975,
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Medals enquiries: 0800 085 3600 Royal Naval Museum: 023 9272 7562,
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Entries for the Deaths’ column and Swap Drafts in May’s Noticeboard must be received by April 12
Please call 023 9272 6284 for details or email:
Saturday July 30-31: www.navydaysuk.
Portsmouth Navy Days: Sunday August
Portsmouth Navy Days: Friday and
Charles Davies. Tel. Served in Mariner. December 7. Aged 80. Ron Wootton. Steward. Served in Stormcloud. January 29. Aged 85. Albert Langley. AB. Served in Jewel. February 27. Aged 85. Josef Laschunja. PO (Belgian navy). Served Georges Leconte (ex-HMS Cadmus). March 5.
Peter ‘Pete’ Clisby. CPO. Served in submarines 1967-75 aboard Artful, Tiptoe, Orpheus and Andrew. January 27. Aged 62. Essex branch.
Emperor, Fencer, Furious, Pursuer, Searcher and Victorious took part in the raid and between them deployed a total of 15 fighter, bomber and torpedo-bomber squadrons. The covering force included, in addition to Anson, four cruisers and 11 destroyers – two of the latter being from the Royal Canadian Navy. The Admiralty had calculated that the damage caused to Tirpitz in the midget submarine attack in the previous September had almost certainly been repaired and the first air attack started at 0529 on April 3, by chance just as Tirpitz was preparing
regarding ex-Artifi cer Apprentice A J Elsmore-Creed who was last heard of in the Portsmouth area. If you know about him please contact David Hodges on 01437 721765.
HMS Auckland: On June 24 1941, HMS Auckland was sunk off Tobruk by German and Italian dive bombers. She was engaged in escorting the oil tanker, Pass of Balmaha, urgently required at Tobruk which was under seige by the Germans at the time. With
or Mrs M Newton, Lot 1 Riedecker Road, Innot Hot Springs, QLD 4872, Australia. Adge Creed: Seeking information
HMS Norfolk, 1941-45: Seeking any
information and/or photographs of Arthur George Tombs who served in HMS Norfolk from 1941 to 1945. Sadly he died in 1983 and his son has no photographs of his father. If you can help with photographs or information please contact Mrs S E Tombs, 7 Badger Close, Spondon, Derby. DE21 7TB. Jupiter Point: Mr M P Cocker, ex RNXS, is seeking photographs of up to fi ve different views of the steel pontoon jetty at Jupiter Point, HMS Raleigh, taken at low-water mark of spring tide, for personal use. Postage will be reimbursed. Please write to 10 Ellerbeck Road, Cleveleys, Lancashire, FY5 1DH. HMS Warspite: Allan is seeking information regarding a candlestick, found on a stall in Costa Blanca. The base has a brass plate with the words ‘From the Teak of HMS Warspite’. Can anyone throw any light (sorry) on it? Contact Allan Cooper on 01725 517624.
HMS St Vincent 1952-53: Dusty is writing
the memoir of his Naval career, but he is not sure of the name of the New Entry division at HMS St Vincent at the time he was there. He thinks the names of the four main divisions were Blake, Duncan, Anson and Hawke? He was in Blake 167 and believes the other two classes of their entry was Duncan 38 and Anson 39. Please correct him if he is wrong. He would like to hear from anyone from his entry, September 1952 to August 1953. Names that come to mind are: J Cox, Featherstone, P Blake, Flook and Stickland. Contact Dusty Miller at dustym7391@ talktalk.net or tel: 01752 330024.
UKPSG St Louis: George Masson
would like to hear from anyone from the UK Phantom Support Group, St Louis 1965-69. Contact George at georgemasson512@ hotmail.com or tel: 01604 432130.
Kenneth William Frank Capper: Seeking
or write to 16 New Road, Warsash, Southampton, Hants, SO31 9SB.
HMS St George: Seeking information
her was another escort, RAN Parramatta. I would like to contact any person from any of the ships who were present at the sinking, also after photographs of the crew or of the ship before she was damaged. Contact John Solway, 21 Precista Court, 48 High Street, Orpington, Kent, BR6 0LA or tel: 01689 833860.
or tel: 07960 464867. HMS Rodney: John Shepherd is offering to send a photocopy of a watercolour by Sydney James, that his father had commissioned in 1945. A charge to cover photocopying A3-size, postal tube and airmail stamp should be sent to PO Box 12, Billinudgel, New South Wales, Australia 2483.
Sgt Leonard A Coates: I am trying to contact my cousin Sgt Leonard A Coates of the Royal Marines as part of a family tree research project. Little is known other than he was born in 1943 in East Ham, London to Harry George and Lily Blanch Coates. It is possible that he was stationed in the Devon/Cornwall area. He was discharged in 1975. Contact: Ian Robertson at ian@ iandjrobertson.co.uk or tel: 01253 711279.
HMS Ceylon 1956-58 Commission:
or tel: 01249 712774.
HMS Cleopatra Old Shipmates
or tel: 01752 366611.
The Survey Ship Association: Any past
or present member of ships’ company of any RN Survey ship is eligible to join as a full member. For further information send a stamped addressed envelope to: The Secretary SSA, 8 Grosvenor Court, 74 East
. uk or telephone 023 9279 1258. HMS Pathfi nder: Charles Beech joined the RNVR before the outbreak of WW2. He joined HMS Maori at the outbreak of WW2 and stayed in her for about 18 months, he then joined Pathfi nder when she was commissioned and served in her for the rest of the war. His nicknames were ‘Scouse’ on the Maori and ‘Ping’ on the Pathfi nder. Charlie recalls an offi cer on Pathfi nder, Lt Cdr David Reid, who married Anne Shelton. Other names he remembers are: Hinds, Burglar Bill, Waters and Taffy. He would like to hear from anyone who remembers him. Contact Charles via Graham Clamp at gpc@ f2s.com or write to 3 West View, Preston on the Hill, Cheshire. WA4 4AX. HMS Endurance: Seeking Neil Obeney (‘Obz’) who served on Endurance from 2001- 2003. His last known whereabouts was HMS Dumbarton Castle as an LWEM(R). Please contact ex-LMEM Max ‘Nobby’ Clarke, 9 Southwold Crescent, Great Sankey, Warrington, Cheshire, WA5 3SG or tel: 07908 312073.
Friends of Rodwell Trail Association are
hoping to raise £500 to erect an information board and a plaque at the Ferry Bridge end of the Rodwell Trail in Weymouth to remember the 1946-51 training battleship squadron that existed at Portland: ships Nelson, Anson, Howe, King George V, Vanguard and Victorious. Donations for this project by cheque made payable to ‘The Friends of the Rodwell Trail’ c/o Mr Mike Clark, 4 Clearmount Cottages, Old Castle Road, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8QQ.
PO(UW) Tim Pollard-Rice currently
serving on board HMS Iron Duke, looking for swap draft to any Plymouth ship deployed, deploying or not. Please contact
Bulwark, Albion & Centaur Association:
or website: http:// www.bulwarkassoc.plus.com or write to Glenmoray, Hayford Place, Cambusbarron, Stirling, FK7 9JX.
guns until the first attack was under way.
The next raid also used Barracuda, Wildcat, Hellcat and Corsair aircraft and took place an hour later, by which time a smoke screen had been laid; overall the Tirpitz was hit by four 1,600lb bombs and ten 500Ib. There were 438 casualties and the ship was to be out of action for a further three months; British casualties were minimal, two Barracudas were shot down, a damaged Hellcat had to be ditched and only nine aircrew were killed.
to sail on sea trials.
This raid was carried out by Barracuda torpedo-bombers, Wildcat and Hellcat fighters strafing the enemy’s decks and Corsair fighters providing high- level protection against the expected Luftwaffe response which never occurred. The Germans were unaware of the incoming raid and did not open fire with anti-aircraft
While Tirpitz was seriously damaged the air attacks were mounted with such determination that many bombs were dropped too low to pierce the ship’s armour and cause even greater damage. Several further attacks were mounted on Tirpitz by the Fleet Air Arm in the ensuing months; she was finally sunk by Royal Air Force Lancaster bombers of 9 and 617 Squadrons (the Dambusters) on November 12 1944.
Speak to John Lister
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