Operation Pedestal

 This picture was painted by the late Robert Blackwell and depicts the American oil tanker Ohio and the refrigerated cargo ship Port Chalmers just before the former was torpedoed by the Italian submarine Axum. The deadly salvo also hit the cruisers Cairo and Nigeria.

 Operation Pedestal

Operation Pedestal can be purchased direct from the author complete with a clear Adaptaroll sleeve neatly over the dustcover. The cost is £27.80p, including postage and packing. A copy of any one ship's 'Letter of Proceedings' can be added, free of charge, upon request.

Simply email: briancrabb@talktalk.net

Journal for Maritime Research
Volume 17, Issue 1, 2015
Pages 74-75
Published online: 28 April 2015

Book Review

Operation Pedestal: The Story of Convoy WS21S in August 1942, by Brian Crabb, Donington, Shaun Tyas Publishing, 2014, 262 pp., £24 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-907730-19-1

Brian Crabb's treatment of the Pedestal convoy to Malta in August 1942 is comprehensive in its scope and makes for a very readable account of this important naval operation. At 236 pages long including various appendices, the book is fairly short, but this in no way detracts from its appeal to the casual reader or usefulness to serious students of the Second World War. The text is engagingly written and rich in both technical detail and eyewitness accounts by the participants. Most of the latter are drawn from the Allied perspective, but much attention has been paid to putting across the experiences and tactical issues faced by the Germans and Italians as well. While the main portion of the book deals with the complex narrative of Pedestal, due attention is given to the strategic context and the place of these events in the wider war in Europe. Unfortunately, the narrative is occasionally disrupted by minor spelling mistakes which, while not serious, can cause momentary confusion by changing the meaning of a sentence. For example, the phrase 'access the damage' occurs once when it should read 'assess the damage'.
    The book is well illustrated throughout with photographs, maps and convoy formation diagrams. As added 'chrome', the chapter and section headings boast attractive and accurate profile illustrations of some of the ships involved in Pedestal: the merchant vessel drawings are reminiscent of those found in Duncan Haws' Merchant Fleets series and the warships adapted illustrations from Jane's Fighting Ships. The bibliography is very impressive and comprises a good mix of primary and secondary sources. The entries here are clear and consistent and are a valuable resource for anyone wishing to conduct further research on this subject.
    The introduction and first two chapters provide a detailed background to the fighting in the Mediterranean theatre, and the particular importance of Malta as a strategic asset for the British. The problems of keeping the island base supplied in the face of Axis air superiority are analysed, as is British planning for Pedestal and Axis preparations to attack the convoy. Chapter two comprises an assessment of the Allied merchant ships chosen to participate, along with some of the escorting warships. This section goes into a fair amount of technical detail, including a discussion of the merits of the tanker Ohio's design with reference to a simplified general arrangement plan of the ship (17). Impressively, the text does not become bogged down in jargon and presents no difficulties for readers unfamiliar with ship technology.
    Chapters 3–11 comprise the main narrative part of the book. These cover the departure of the convoy from the Clyde on 2 August up to the arrival of the last straggler, the tanker Ohio, at Malta on 15 August. The progress of the convoy and the intense series of air and sea attacks it endured are dealt with in detail, with dates and times given in GMT for clarity. The two convoy formation plans and four route maps really come into their own here, and are well placed to support the narrative of the events. Not unexpectedly, the experiences of some ships are covered in more detail than others, and this seems in part due to the variable availability of information and source material. With regard to the final stage of the convoy's journey after 12 August, the events that befell some of these ships (particularly the stragglers) form important milestones in the narrative and thus merit the closer attention given them by the author. Chapter 11 concludes with the reception of the cargo at Malta and of the men who delivered it, and perhaps fittingly closes by describing the final disposal of the doughty Ohio in 1946.
    Contrary to expectation, the last two chapters of the book do not contain a 'sum up' of the success of the 'Pedestal' convoy. This is not strictly necessary as the subject is dealt with earlier in the book. The arrangement of these chapters is however a little odd. The subjects of Chapters 12 and 13 are, respectively, the controversial trial of Captain Drew of HMS Manchester and the narrative of the return of the escort ships of Force X to Gibraltar after seeing the bulk of the 'Pedestal' convoy safely into Malta. The fact that the events described in Chapter 12 took place months after those in Chapter 13 somewhat upset the narrative flow, and it would probably been better had 'The Long Run Home' appeared before 'Travesties of Justice' in the text.
    The appendices show an impressive depth of research, and greatly enhance the book's usefulness. The topics covered by include Rolls of Honour for both Allied and Axis personnel, general information and potted histories of the participating merchant ships, honours and awards issued to Allied personnel, orders of battle for both sides, brief biographies of key personnel and details of contemporary parallel operations to name but a few.
    The author's stated reasons for embarking on this publication aside, it is clear that this work is a labour of love and the product of intensive research. In Operation Pedestal, Brian Crabb has achieved a very good balance between detail and readability, and despite some very minor issues with the text, this book is highly recommended to anyone with the interest in the Second World War operations in the Mediterranean theatre in general, or the Pedestal convoy in particular.

Andrew Choong Han Lin
National Maritime Museum
© 2015. Andrew Choong Han Lin

February 2015

Review by Francis Beaufort

The famed 'Pedestal' convoy to Malta in August 1942 was an epic running fight across contested waters in the Mediterranean at a time when the outcome of World War Two was still in the balance. In 'Operation Pedestal'(Shaun Tyas, £24, hardback) Brian James Crabb starts with an account of operational planning that went into marrying thirteen cargo ships and a tanker with the most powerful of escort forces ever assembled by the British (and with aircraft carriers as an integral part). The Axis powers threw everything they could at Pedestal and nine merchant ships were sunk, along with three naval vessels (including the veteran carrier HMS Eagle). Six warships were crippled (including the carrier HMS Indomitable). Only four cargo ships and the tanker Ohio made it to Grand Harbour. Yet, despite this level of damage, the effort was worth it, as Malta - and the naval forces operating from it - remained a thorn in the side of the Germans as their grip on North Africa loosened. Attempting to subdue the brave little island was a serious drain on Axis forces. Through dedicated and exhaustive research, in 'Operation Pedestal' Crabb provides details on anything and everything important in the telling of this story. While impressive, there is a danger so many layers of information become overwhelming and get in the way of the story. For instance, when given information on attacking aircraft, we would perhaps like to know whether its German or Italian, what type, and possibly (in broad Geographic terms) from where it has flown. Do we really need to know the squadron, where the airfield is located, and even the name and rank of the pilot? However, in this respect the book is perhaps aimed at the avid information-gathering enthusiast, a researcher, or even aviation artist. The narrative forms 156 pages, while the generous appendices are contained in a further 67, including the names of those killed in action (very fitting) and a list of enemy vessels sunk and damaged by Malta-based British submarines between January 1941 and May 1942 (not strictly necessary). Best of all are the vivid eyewitness accounts that run throughout 'Operation Pedestal'. Summarising the gravity of losses from Axis attacks on the convoy - too early in the narrative is an error, removing a vital ingredient of suspense. Crabb concludes his 'Pedestal' account with a chapter on the Admiralty-held Courts of Enquiry that were convened afterwards. Here, for the record, Crabb settles some injustices with regard to the loss of HMS Manchester and HMS Sussex, something that he is to be highly commended for. There are many excellent photographs in the book (plus other illustrations. not least some very tidy ship profiles by the author). For the serious naval enthusiast this book offers a deeply satisfying high level of detail, mixed in with well-chosen and skillfully used eyewitness contributions; a fitting tribute to one of the key British convoy victories of World War Two.

If you only read one book about Operation Pedestal make sure it is this one.
                                                                                        Mark Hirst
                                                                                    15 January 2015
Letter written to Brian J. Crabb by Alan S. Mallett and received on 31 December 2014:

'I write to congratulate you on your book 'Operation Pedestal', which I recently acquired. I think the printing and production generally is first class, and you have clearly done a vast amount of research into the operation which shines forth right the way through. Your biggest problem will be surpassing it in your next book!'

Review on Amazon Books website:

I first heard of Operation Pedestal in April 1951, immediately before my eleventh birthday, when I was lucky enough to travel 14 days from Cape Town to Southampton on board RMS Pretoria Castle, commanded by Captain Richard Wren DSO.  Wren rapidly became aware of my interest in shipping and Union-Castle Line and not only allowed me access to the bridge but gave me a very full account of Rochester Castle's participation in Pedestal, indeed that was where I learnt a number of new words of which my parents did not approve!
    This story has fascinated me ever since and Brian Crabb has done a fantastic job of research into the origins, execution, and outcome of this epic operation.  Quite the best of the many books I have read on the subject over the years.
     The presentation is excellent, the writing flows and is easily read, the illustrations are comprehensive and the ultimate fate of the surviving ships is covered. As a Union-Castle fan I might have been disappointed that Wren, his ship and crew perhaps did not receive the cover of some of the others, but on reading the whole this disappointment does not stand up, for Brian has, rightly, concentrated on the far greater challenges that so many of the others, especially those that did not survive, and of course of Ohio, had to face.
    This book is a well balanced account of Operation Pedestal, and I commend it to everyone.  I count myself privileged to have met  Captain Wren, and to have learnt of the valour which he and his crew, and indeed his colleagues in the other 13 merchant ships, the Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm exercised in this key battle. Buy it!

Review by Alan S. Mallett

14 January 2015

by Brian James Crabb:

by Steven Watts - December 2014.


The Story of Convoy WS21S - August 1942 by Brian James Crabb

This book reveals the true story of Operation 'Pedestal' a convoy that had to get through to Malta, which was undergoing severe rationing at the time and was the key to the battle for the Mediterranean and North Africa.

Thirteen modern cargo ships and the new American oil tanker Ohio were selected for their speed, size and reliability. On the second day of entry into Mare Nostrum the aircraft carrier Eagle was struck by four torpedoes and sunk within eight minutes by U 73, followed by crippling damage to Indomitable from the air the following day, reducing the Allied air cover by half. The convoy was repeatedly attacked by aircraft, submarines and E-boats, resulting in the loss of the cruisers Cairo and Manchester and the destroyer Foresight. Nine of the cargo ships were sunk, while six naval vessels were put out of action for differing periods of time.However, despite the determined efforts by Axis' forces Port Chalmers, Rochester Castle and Melbourne Star reached Malta on 13 August. The following day Captain Riley, who had nursed his ship Brisbane Star along the African coast alone after torpedo damage to her bows, made a solo dash from Sfax and also arrived successfully with a sizeable cargo. Meanwhile, the precious tanker Ohio which had been torpedoed and bombed to a standstill, was eventually towed, nursed and coaxed into Valletta's Grand Harbour on the 15th, against all odds. Her voyage is legendary and Captain Dudley Mason was deservedly awarded the George Cross for his action.

Many brave men were lost during this heroic and most bombarded convoy of the Second World War; awards were numerous, including another brave act by a crew member of HMS Ledbury who dived into the burning sea to rescue a young man who had survived the sinking of Waimarama; he was awarded the Albert Medal, an equivalent to the George Cross. All are recorded at the back of this book. There is also a comprehensive list of those lost in 'Pedestal', although the sizeable list of Axis personnel lost is incomplete, due to sensitivity over access.
Cased hardback (full-colour, laminated), x + 262 pages, with 107 illustrations, appendices, index etc., 252 x 192 mm.

This beautiful new book has been available from 1 April 2014. The actual cost of the book is £24, plus postage, depending on where in the world you live. All copies supplied by the author can be signed and dedicated.
    Also, if required, there will be an extra cost of £1.00p, because of the addition of an Adaptaroll clear protective sleeve, which improves the presentation to a standard which matches the book; the labour has been absorbed by the author, including the packing...
    The current postage cost within the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands is £2.80p.

Enquiries can be made by email:  briancrabb@talktalk.net or by telephone: 01275 844229 (or 00441275844229 from abroad) or mobile number: 07811582082.

So, you might ask yourself, what is the difference between buying this book from Amazon or, anywhere else, on other websites. The answer is quite simple: When ordered from the author, your copy will be personally signed, dedicated to whoever you want; and, if requested, have the 'Letter of Proceedings' for any Royal or Merchant Navy ship involved in this famous convoy added free of charge with any order.
Suggestion: Bite the bullet: Because this book is selling very fast and will not be reprinted. (Over half of the copies have been sold since May 2014). Believe me, you will not be disappointed. BJC.

Nautilus International Telegraph

October 2014

Book Review

A Welcome Addition to the Annals of the Merchant Navy at War

Operation Pedestal
by Brian James Crabb
Shaun Tyas, £25.00
ISBN: 978 19077 30191
Email: briancrabb@talktalk.net

Merchant Navy war veterans quite rightly object when their contribution is overlooked or downplayed – and it is a sad truth that some remembrance events still are not getting it right. But the Merchant Navy certainly has not been forgotten by the history books. Many a month sees a new wartime narrative arrive at the Telegraph offices, and this time the topic is Operation Pedestal, the convoy to relieve the stricken island of Malta in 1942.
        Author Brian Crabb is a former Merchant Navy engineer, and his father Percival 'Buster' Crabb took part in Operation Pedestal as a Royal Navy stoker. Having found that research into the Second World War helped him to feel closer to his late father, Brian took up historical writing twenty-two years ago, and for his fifth book he has turned to the Allies' gruelling effort to bring lifesaving supplies through some of the heaviest bombardment of the war.
       Nine years in the researching and writing, Operation Pedestal is very thorough, with background information, blow-by-blow accounts of events, witness testimonies and dramatic photographs. Appendices record those lost on both sides, as well as listing the honours awarded for bravery, and giving technical information such as ship particulars.
       It's a book which would probably best be enjoyed by Second World War history buffs rather than newcomers to the subject, but that is not a criticism, this is a grown-up history telling a painful and heroic story in the detail it deserves.
by Andrew Linington

[By far, the best account written so far about this famous convoy - RDC].

Sea Breezes
Christmas Bookshop
November 2014
Book of the Month
Operation Pedestal
The Story of Convoy WS21S in August 1942

Brian James Crabb
Operation Pedestal was a British operation to get desperately needed supplies to the island of Malta in August 1942, during the Second World War. Malta was the base from which surface ships, submarines and aircraft attacked Axis convoys carrying essential supplies to the Italian and German armies in North Africa. In 1941-42 Malta was effectively under siege, blockaded by Axis and naval forces. To sustain Malta, the United Kingdom had to get convoys through at all costs. This book reveals the true story of Operation Pedestal. Many brave men were lost during this heroic convoy of the Second World War; awards were numerous, and all are recorded at the back of the book. A riveting read that throws fresh light on this, the most bombarded convoy of all of the Second World War. Hardback, 262 pages and illustrated with black & white photographs.

Bristol Times – 23 September 2014

How Malta was saved from being starved into surrender

Operation Pedestal

If you don't know what Operation Pedestal was, then you might at least have seen the 1953 film The Malta Story starring Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins.
    The film used real footage of the German and Italian air attacks on the island, which the Axis powers were desperate to seize as it was an important base for British air and naval operations in the Mediterranean.
    As the Axis campaign went on, the island was bombed mercilessly, and supplies of everything from food and fuel to medicines ran low.
    As local author Brian Crabb writes: 'From 2 April to 10 May 1942 ... Nearly 7,000 tons of bombs were dropped in and around the city and harbour of Valletta ... At times the island's airstrips resembled the surface of the moon, festooned with craters from the constant bombardment. Over 10,000 houses were demolished, the island's reservoirs were destroyed and many food stores and gun emplacements flattened. Valletta's harbour was soon in total disarray; most of the cranes and installations were battered beyond repair, while wharfs were gutted and most of the surrounding warehouses reduced to rubble. Ships lay damaged or sunk in the harbour.'
    In August 1942, Britain made a desperate attempt to lift the siege by despatching a convoy of 14 fast, reliable, modern cargo ships with a huge escort of Royal Naval vessels. The convoy would in fact be covered by two naval forces, comprising in total two battleships, three aircraft carriers, seven cruisers and more than 30 destroyers.
    This was Operation Pedestal, and while the Alec Guinness movie concentrates on the plight of Malta and its garrison and islanders, the story of the convoy remains one of the most remarkable episodes of the entire Second World War.
    The convoy and its escorts were pounded relentlessly by German and Italian aircraft, dropping bombs and mines. They were also attacked by submarines and torpedo boats. The only thing that stopped it being any worse was the fact that the ships of Mussolini's blustering tinpot regime were desperately short on fuel, so the Italian navy could not venture out in anything like the force it could have mustered.
    By any conventional standards, Operation Pedestal was a disaster. Shortly after it entered the Mediterranean the Carrier Eagle was sunk by a U-boat. The carrier Indomitable was forced to withdraw by bomb damage the next day, drastically reducing the air cover available to the convoy. There were further naval losses, and nine of the cargo ships were lost.
    But the pay-off was that five of the merchant ships got through, most famously the American-built tanker Ohio, which was painstakingly towed into Valletta even though she was only being kept afloat by Royal Naval vessels lashed to her.
    For the disastrous losses in ships and men, Malta had been saved from being starved into surrender. British aircraft were now there in sufficient numbers  to protect the island from air attack, and in the longer term Malta was secure as a base to stop the Italian and German armies in North Africa being supplied. Without Operation Pedestal, victory at El Alamein might not have been achievable.
    The whole story is told in meticulous detail by Brian Crabb in a new book, which came out a few months ago, Operation Pedestal: The Story of Convoy WS21S.
    The book has taken him nine years to research, and all that hard work certainly shows. If you are interested in the most minute technical specifics about the ships and aircraft involved on both sides, it's all there.
    That, for most readers though, will probably not be the point. This is above all a tale of triumph in the most demanding circumstances, and for some reason one which doesn't seem to get as much attention in popular memory of the Second World War as it deserves.
    Mr Crabb has done as much work on the human side of the story as he has on the machines, producing where possible eyewitness accounts (the story of how destroyer HMS Ledbury rescued men from a burning sea, and then went on to nurse Ohio safely into Valletta is the stuff of legend) and even court proceedings.
    Between all this, and a huge number of contemporary photographs and later paintings, it's probably safe to say that this book will be the last word on this incredible and heroic episode for many years, and probably decades, to come.
Operation Pedestal: The Story of Convoy WS21S is available from the author Brian Crabb, 24 Exeter Road, Portishead, Bristol, BS20 6YF; telephone: 01275 844229 or email: briancrabb@talktalk.net
The price is £25 plus £2.80p postage in the United Kingdom.

Review by Eugene Byrne

SHIPPING – Today & Yesterday

Book Review
November 2014

Operation Pedestal. The story of convoy WS21S in August 1942

by Brian James Crabb

This book reveals the true story of Operation 'Pedestal', the convoy to relieve the desperate plight of Malta in August 1942. Thirteen modern cargo ships and the new American oil tanker Ohio were selected for their speed, size and reliability, protected by a large escort of Royal Navy warships. But on only the second day after their entry into the Mediterranean, the aircraft carrier Eagle was sunk, followed by crippling damage to Indomitable from the air the following day.
      However, Port Chalmers, Rochester Castle and Melbourne Star reached Malta on 13 August. The following day, a damaged Brisbane Star was also nursed into harbour. But the best news of all was the arrival of the crippled oil tanker, Ohio, on the 15th. She had been bombed to a standstill, but was kept afloat by the Royal Navy and towed to Valletta, against all odds. Her voyage is legendary.
      The book tells a gripping, heroic story, accompanied by a generous selection of photographs and a host of technical detail.
      This is an outstanding book about this famous convoy, accompanied by some incredible photographs. I would highly recommend it to all our readers.

Ships Monthly
Book Review
October 2014

Book of the Month

Operation Pedestal. The Story of Convoy WS21S in August 1942

Brian James Crabb

Published by Shaun Tyas, 1 High Street, Donington, Lincolnshire, PE11 4TA [or contact the author direct at]   briancrabb@talktalk.net
Hardback. Price £25 plus postage [£1 has been added for a clear, protective adaptaroll cover, which greatly enhances this beautiful book].

This book reveals the true story of Operation Pedestal, the convoy to relieve the desperate plight of Malta in August 1942, which involved thirteen modern cargo ships and the new American oil tanker Ohio. They were selected for their speed, size and reliability, and were protected by a large escort of Royal Navy warships.
     But on only the second day after their entry into the Mediterranean, the aircraft carrier Eagle was struck by four torpedoes and sunk by U 73, followed by crippling damage to Indomitable from the air. The convoy was repeatedly attacked by aircraft, submarines and E-boats. Nine cargo ships were sunk, and [two cruisers and a destroyer were also lost]. However, Port Chalmers, Rochester Castle and Melbourne Star reached Malta [on 13 August, followed by Brisbane Star and Ohio on 14 and 15 August].
     Many brave men were lost during this heroic and most bombarded convoy of World War Two, and all are recorded in this well researched and thorough book, which tells the story of the convoy, accompanied by a fine selection of photographs and a host of technical details.

Book review by Nicholas Leach, editor of Ships Monthly

Book Review

Britain at War
September 2014 - Issue 89


'THE BATTLEMENTS of Malta were black with thousands of people, all cheering and shouting and there were bands playing everywhere. It was the most amazing sight to see all these people, who had suffered so much, cheering us.' These were the words of Lieutenant-Commander Roger Hill the captain of the destroyer HMS Ledbury as the survivors of Convoy WS21S limped towards Malta's Grand Harbour. It was, he said, the happiest day of his life. He had helped bring succour to the beleaguered little island.
    Other than the ill-fated PQ17, this was probably the most famous convoy of the Second World War. The story of WS21S has every element one could wish; dogged determination, horror, pathos and the final triumphant finale. Its drama is matched by its scale. To protect the fourteen merchant ships taking essential supplies to the Mediterranean island, the Royal Navy committed four aircraft carriers, two battleships, seven light cruisers, and thirty-two destroyers. Of these, one of the aircraft carriers was sunk during the operation as were two light cruisers and one destroyer. Three other warships were damaged.
    Though the naval ships came under heavy and repeated attack from on, above and below the surface, it was the merchant ships that were the principle targets of the Axis aircraft and vessels. Only five of those fourteen reached Malta. Those ships took 29,000 tons of general cargo into the Grand Harbour along with petrol, oil fuel, kerosene and diesel fuel. It meant that the island's defenders could continue to fight and the Maltese could continue to support them. Yet it was only enough to last for little more than two months – but it was enough, just enough.
    Brian Crabb tells this tale well. He opens his account of Operation Pedestal with a detailed examination of the planning undertaken. The most dangerous part of the journey from Gibraltar to Malta was the stretch of water between Sicily and Tunisia, known as the Narrows. There were only two possible routes through this dangerous area, both between Sicily and Cape Bon on the Tunisian coast, divided by the small island of Pantelleria. The best chance of passing through this perilous area in the time available was during the moonless period between 10 and 16 August. With Malta on the verge of collapse, if the convoy could not get through in August, there would be no other opportunity. Almost every available resource was therefore committed to the operation. Speed was obviously another major factor and the merchant ships selected for the convoy had to all be capable of at least fifteen knots. The most important of these ships was the oil tanker Ohio. Her sister ship Kentucky had been sunk on the previous attempt to take fuel to Malta in Operation Harpoon. This left just Ohio as the only fast, modern tanker in service. It was simply a case that if Ohio did not reach Malta, the island would run out of fuel. The significance of this was that it would mean the end of its operations against Axis shipping crossing the Mediterranean taking supplies and equipment to Rommel in North Africa. The consequences of failure were almost incalculable.
    Brian Crabb details all the ships involved in WS21S, the journey down to Gibraltar, and gives an exciting account of the desperate race through the Mediterranean, highlighted with accounts from those that took part. It is, as I have said, a story with every element one could wish for and laid out in fine style in this excellent book.

Reviewed by John Greham

Publisher: Shaun Tyas
ISBN: 978-1-907730-19-1
Hardback. 262 pages
RRP: £24.00

Copies can be ordered direct from the author. For more information please email: briancrabb@talktalk.net

Finer details:
Illustrations - yes    Appendices - yes    References/Notes - yes    Index - yes

Reader's Reviews: (emailed on 28 August 2014)

I have just finished reading your 'Operation Pedestal' book and must say what a great job you have done – much better than Peter Smith's book in my opinion. Co-incidentally I also had the June copy of 'Britain At War' magazine which includes the article 'Rough Justice' to hand – my brother and I share it and it had only recently been passed to me. This Court Martial of Captain Drew always rankled my Uncle, who was one of the torpedomen who set the scuttling charges and subsequently ended up in Vichy hands  - he thought Drew been very unfairly treated. I seem to recollect that HMS Manchester had been dived on in recent years and the damage she sustained, reviewed, resulting in a vindication of Drew's actions – sadly too late for him to be aware of it.
   May I ask if I may use the splendid diagrammatic maps as illustrations in the talk I'm preparing with suitable accreditation of course. I would not dream of doing so without your agreement.

My kind regards

David Slade

Reader's Reviews continued:

Meticulously Researched Blow by Blow Account:

Operation Pedestal is the most detailed account that I have read about the vital but costly convoy that relieved the siege of Malta in August 1942. Brian Crabb's meticulous research gives an almost minute by minute account of the action, complemented by descriptions of the process of putting together the convoy and the aftermath of inquiries and courts martial resulting from the losses of RN warships, notably the cruiser HMS Manchester.
    As in his other books, Brian Crabb is very concerned to cover the human aspects of war at sea with many personal recollections and anecdotes from people who took part in the action. He also includes a comprehensive roll of honour of all those lost on the allied side and, as far as possible, the axis too.
    The book is lavishly illustrated with informative captions accompanying every photograph, map or line drawing. I was particularly interested to see pictures of HMS Indomitable noting the large forward lift that enabled her to strike down (store below deck) Sea Hurricanes, unlike her sister carrier HMS Victorious, which also took part in Operation Pedestal. This is a great read for anyone interested in World War Two at sea.
Review written by Clive Owen, ex- Army Major (31 August 2014 - re: Amazon Books website).

Book Reviews and Reports:

North Somerset Times 14 May 2014 - Report by Tracey Fowler

Naval historian writes book on Dad's convoy

A Portishead writer has seen nine years hard work come to fruition.
    Operation Pedestal, by retired garage owner Brian Crabb, has recently been published revealing the true story of a 1942 Malta-bound convoy, which was vital for getting supplies to feed and fuel the island.
    It involved one of the largest naval escorts of the Second World War, splitting essential goods between 13 fast cargo ships to increase the chances of them reaching their destination [with a percentage of the cargo].
    Nine of the merchant ships were sunk en route, along with an aircraft carrier, two cruisers and a destroyer, the remainder [including the American oil tanker Ohio] completed the journey.
    Brian's interest in convoy WS21S is fuelled by the fact his dad, Percival, served in HMS Kenya, one of the ships that escorted the convoy.
    The author researched all the names of the Allied and Axis' men lost and compiled a list of all the honours and awards that were given, details of which can be found on his website.
    This beautifully illustrated hardback book is available from the author at a cost of £25 [and can be delivered by the author, providing the address is local] by emailing briancrabb@talktalk.net or for more details visit www.briancrabbmaritimebooks.co.uk or telephone: 01275 844229 or 07811582082
    To view report in the North Somerset Times' website go to:


July 2014

Book Review

Heroes on all sides in Malta epic

Most convoy battles are faceless, nameless affairs in endless, forbidding stretches of ocean.
    But Convoy WS21S has passed into history – albeit under the code name for the operation, Pedestal. The story has been told many times over the years. But there is still plenty of new material to be found, even after more than seven decades.
    Brian Crabb's father served as a stoker on board HMS Kenya (the cruiser was torpedoed but survived), prompting his interest in the battle of August 1942. But Operation Pedestal: The Story of Convoy WS21S (Shaun Tyas, £24 ISBN 978-1-907730-191) isn't a memoir or an autobiography. It's a very comprehensive, detailed and heavily illustrated account, based on wide-ranging research in The National Archives, with a heavy input from the Italians (whose role in the Mediterranean is often underplayed in favour of the Germans), as well as the Luftwaffe.
    The log of the Italian submarine Axum charts a few devastating minutes which saw three ships – escorts Nigeria, Cairo and soon-to-be-legendary tanker Ohio – torpedoed. As a result, Axum was subjected to a sustained two-hour-long depth charge attack before surfacing to see the results of her deadly attack: 'A big ship in flames, another burning with much smoke, a third ship already burnt out.'
    So bright were the flames that they lit up the outline of Renato Ferrini's submarine. He dived and left the scene.
    Elsewhere, it was air attacks which delivered fatal blows. The merchantman Waimarama exploded after being hit by up to four bombs from dive-bombers, leaving behind what the commanding officer of the escorting destroyer Ledbury, Roger Hill, described as 'a great pylon of flame and black smoke on the sea.' His ship closed Waimarama's last position, but didn't expect to pick up any survivors given the cataclysm which shook the ship and the oil burning on the surface of the Mediterranean.
    Instead, he found some merchant men in the water and Ledbury spent two hours rescuing them. Hill wrote: 'I cannot speak too highly of the sheer guts of these men. They were singing and encouraging each other and, as I went through them explaining that I must get the ones nearest the flames first, I received cheerful answers of 'That's all right, sir. Go and get the other chaps...'
    What's striking throughout this volume is the heroism on all sides. The Italian submariners, British submariners, Merchant seamen, Royal Navy sailors, German, Italian and Fleet Air Arm aircrews. Heroic acts and feats of endurance were performed by all.
    The commander of an Italian E-boat who sank Glenorchy was cheered through the streets of Trapani in Sicily for his exploits – and presented with a garland – in much the same way that the Maltese welcomed the battered Ohio into Grand Harbour
    Helmut Rosenbaum in U 73 slipped through the escorts to sink the aircraft carrier Eagle – earning the German equivalent of the Victoria Cross for his actions.
    The 16 inch guns of the battleship Rodney spewed a wall of fire and steel through which enemy dive-bombers flew, while Fleet Air Arm pilots grappled with their foe in the Mediterranean skies – the Axis often had faster aircraft, and almost always appeared in superior numbers. Admiral Sir Edward Syfret, commanding Pedestal, described their performance in a single word: 'Grand.'
    Syfret's judgement isn't the only bit of choice Royal Navy understatement. Fed up with being the victim of constant air attacks, HMS Pathfinder's commanding officer Commander Gibbs decided to take the offensive, heading towards  Italian torpedo-bombers with every weapon on the destroyer blazing until the ship 'was almost within a biscuit toss' of the enemy formation.
    The Italians scattered and dropped their torpedoes at random, while a delighted Pathfinder turned away with a feeling, wrote Gibbs, that she'd 'hit a boundary.'
    At great cost, of course, Pedestal got through. At a pretty bleak moment for the Allied cause – Rommel was at the gates of Cairo, Hitler deep in the Caucasus and about to invest Stalingrad – it provided a fillip to flagging morale, not least in Malta.
    'The battlements of Malta were black with thousands of people, all cheering and shouting and there were bands playing everywhere.' Roger Hill wrote: 'It was the most amazing sight to see all these people who had suffered so much cheering us.'
    This is an excellent addition to the body of Pedestal literature – as well as a very detailed account of the battle, liberally sprinkled with first-hand descriptions from those who were there, there are more than a dozen appendices.

Please Note: You can contact the author direct by emailing: briancrabb@talktalk.net

Book Review

Published in SHIRE newspaper August 2014 No. 511

New WWII book from former Shire resident

BRIAN CRABB, who used to live in 156 Nibley Road, Shirehampton, has spent the last nine years writing and researching a new book entitled: Operation Pedestal. The Story of Convoy WS21S. This was a convoy sent to reach and relieve Malta in August 1942, accompanied by the biggest Royal Navy escort assembled at any point in the Second World War.
    The convoy suffered heavy losses when repeatedly attacked by Axis aircraft, submarines and E-boats, and hundreds of men lost their lives, including a number with links to the local area. 21 year old Able Seaman William Henry Johnson, who was a DEMS gunner on board the MV Waimarama, had been recently married to Dorothy May Johnson of 10 Barrow Hill Road. His parents lived in Avonmouth. He was tragically killed, when MV Waimarama, which was carrying high explosives, blew up and caught fire in spectacular fashion, after being bombed by a Junkers 88 dive bomber on 13 August. The author's late father, Percival Crabb, who was born in 26 Priory Road, was serving in the 6 inch cruiser HMS Kenya during this epic convoy. She was torpedoed in the bows by the Italian submarine Alagi, but managed to carry on.
    This hardback book covers every detail of this legendary convoy and is lavishly illustrated. It has a Roll of Honour for both Allied and Axis' men lost and much more. The book costs £25, which is a generous price compared to other books of similar size. If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy, the author will deliver it personally, providing the address is local. To order a signed copy simply phone 01275 844229 or 07811582082 and ask to speak to the author.
     To see a photograph of the final moments of the MV Waimarama go to the Photo Gallery
Book Review

The New Bridge Bi-Monthly News Magazine for Avonmouth Residents and Industry. August/September 2014 No. 39.

New Book Discovers Fate of Avonmouth Born Son

A new book entitled 'Operation Pedestal.

The Story of Convoy WS21S in August 1942' by Brian James Crabb reveals that Able Seaman William Henry Johnson RN was lost in the MV Waimarama on 13 August 1942; he was the son of William Henry and Alice Johnson, who lived in Avonmouth. William, a DEMS gunner on board Waimarama, was killed during a fatal attack by a German Junkers 88 dive bomber, leaving a young wife, named Dorothy May Johnson, who lived at 10 Barrow Hill Road, Shirehampton.
     The ship, which was carrying high-explosives, exploded and caught fire in spectacular fashion, as a convoy, consisting of thirteen fast modern cargo ships and the British-crewed American oil tanker Ohio, bravely tried to reach Malta in August 1942. Nine of the cargo ships, including Waimarama, were sunk; not to mention an aircraft carrier, two cruisers and a destroyer.
     The book uncovers the true facts about this convoy, which was known by the Admiralty, to be about to endure massive and continuous attacks by the Axis' forces. Selection of the fourteen merchant ships depended on size, reliability and speed; for this was a 14-knot convoy. The author's interest, in a book that has taken nine years to research and write, stems from his late father Percival Crabb, who was born in 26 Priory Road, Shirehampton, and served in the 6 inch cruiser HMS Kenya, which formed part of the largest Royal Naval escort ever assembled during the Second World War.
    A Roll of Honour not only names all the Allied personnel lost, but the Axis personnel too. Such was the vastness of the research, the author had to index it, to gain easier access to the detailed information held at The National Archives in Kew. This hardback book, which is lavishly illustrated, costs £25 (a price somewhat lower than books of similar size and content). Copies can be ordered by telephoning the Shirehampton-born author at 01275 844229 or 07811582082. Signed copies can be delivered by the author, providing the address is local.




Abbreviations used:

(A): Air Branch.
C: Chatham (Chats).
CO: Commanding Officer.
DEMS: Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship.
D: Devonport (Guzz).
Div: Division.
dra: death recorded as.
(E): Engineer Specialist.
FAA: Fleet Air Arm.
Lt: Lieutenant.
MID: Mentioned in Despatches.
NAS: Naval Air Squadron.
NP: Discharge Book (Merchant Navy only) 'Not  Produced'.
(O): Officer's Cook or Steward (rating).
Off No: Official Number.
P: Portsmouth (Pompey).
(Pens): Pensioner.
RMB: Royal Marine Band.
RNASBR: Royal Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth  Reserve.
SBA: Sick Berth Attendant.
(T): Torpedo.

HMS Eagle – 11 August 1942

Royal Navy

Surname Christian Name/Names (Age): Rank: Port Div/Off No:

Anderson Sydney (24) Able Seaman D/JX 221093
Askew Alfred John (42) Signalman P/J 76275
Atkinson Edward James (23) Able Seaman D/JX 165648
Atkinson Eric Samuel (27) Petty Officer Stoker P/KX 84087
Baggett Alfred Richard Evis (22) Able Seaman C/JX 206241
Baker Thomas William (22) Able Seaman D/JX 165164
Baldwin Edward George (26) Shipwright 3rd Class P/MX 48803
Barnden John Thomas Hayward (35) Chief Petty Officer Cook P/M 39111
Barrett Arthur Reginald George (32) Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class P/MX 52909
Baynes Thomas James Alfred (23) Stoker 1st Class C/KX 104486
Bond Arthur James (40) Chief Stoker P/K 59033
Brooks Ernest (33) Leading Stoker P/KX 78444
Brown John Walter (35) Chief Petty Officer Supply P/MX 45910
Brunton Louis Walter Laurence (29) Stoker 1st Class C/KX 104488
Butcher Benjamin (37) Leading Stoker P/K 61306
Butler Sidney Charles (19) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 298280
Callingham William Owen (24) Able Seaman D/JX 165604 Wales
Clark John Maurice (26) Leading Stoker P/KX 96082
Coombes Ronald Charles (22) Shipwright 4th Class P/MX 59129
Coyne Daniel Patrick (21) Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 134693
Cutland Percy Gordon (40) Chief Shipwright P/M 23062
Dagnell Bertie Reginald (32) Leading Seaman P/J 113905
Daine Harold Brownhill (20) Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 136558
Darley Fred (23) Engine Room Artificer 4th Class P/MX 63911
Davidson John Henry Cyril (21) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 294858
Davies William (29) Assistant Steward P/LX 28815
Davis Frederick Thomas (27) Petty Officer Stoker P/KX 82982
Dawson Oscar Neilson (21) Stoker 1st Class C/KX 107984
Dixon Gordon Crozier (25) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 190681
Donnell Charles Maurice (18) Ordinary Seaman P/SSX 36264
Donnelly Henry (21) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 295153 Scotland
Eason Jack (23) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 294987
Edwards Robert George (19) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 135126
Eggington John Hubert (20) Steward P/LX 28000
Farr Nelson Victor (22) Leading Stoker P/KX 93651
Gemmell Alfred (19) Ordinary Seaman P/SSX 35655 Scotland
Goulding Thomas James (35) Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class P/X 959 EB
Grainger George Thomas(28) Sick Berth Attendant P/MX 82722
Grant Ronald George (21) Leading Stoker P/KX 99097
Gray Henry (22) Able Seaman P/JX 175581 Scotland
Haithwaite Leonard Alwyn (20) Ordnance Artificer 5th Class P/MX 126692
Hall Robert (22) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 117523
Hamilton William John (25) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 106713
Handley Henry George William (19) Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 136681
Hargest William Henry (23) Lieutenant (E) Wales
Harvey John Dewar (26) Petty Officer Stoker P/KX 86404 Scotland
Harwood Douglas Michael (28) Joiner 2nd Class P/MX 51725
Hayward Bertram Cecil (25) Telegraphist P/JX 205820
Hearne Joseph Percy (21) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 295077
Heyman George (35) Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 119314
Hill John (32) Engine Room Artificer 4th Class P/MX 78692
Holland Albert (35) Petty Officer Stoker P/KX 77069 Northern Ireland
Hooper Reginald (28) Ordinary Seaman D/JX 217160
Hunter Thomas Scott (23) Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 136328
Jerred Ronald James (21) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 294997
Jones James Henry (23) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 97473
Jones Percival George (39) Petty Officer Cook (O) P/L 14612
Judd Noel Arthur James (19) Stoker 2nd Class C/KX 136483
Kane John Martin (21) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 295172 Scotland
Law Alec Arthur (29) Supply Assistant P/MX 68545
Law Alexander (21) Scotland Ordinary Seaman P/JX 295167
Lawson John George (21) Steward P/LX 26811
Lett Ronald Frederick (22) Electrical Artificer 4th Class P/MX 79046
Levett John Henry (20) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 294985
Lilley Arnold Leonard (25) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 106721
Llewellyn William Henry (19) Able Seaman C/JX 208340 Wales
MacCarron Bernard (22) Leading Stoker P/KX 95666
Maddicks William George (41) Able Seaman P/J 90218
Mandeville Geoffrey Fortescue (41) Commander (E) Irish Republic
Marsh Clarence (39) Chief Stoker P/KX 75145
Mason John (41) Chief Stoker P/K 59647 Scotland
McDonald Arnold (21) Stoker 1st Class D/KX 118399
McGrath Daniel Joseph (22) Stoker 2nd Class P/K 138263 Irish Republic
McGuckin William Charles (25) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 106677
McMahon John Robert (19) Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 135020
Mead William Charles Edward (19) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 294998
Merry Francis William (25) Telegraphist C/SSX 32446
Miles Harold (21) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 97982
Milson Robert Albert (29) Stoker 1st Class C/KX 101347
Moody Cyril George (25) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 116581
Moore James (27) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 119957
Morey Arnold Harris (24) Leading Writer P/MX 59945
Morris Stanley John (24) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 136032
Moses Alfred Herbert (32) Engine Room Artificer 4th Class C/MX 69267
Nicholls John (21) Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 136545
Northeast Alfred John Chapman (39) Petty Officer Steward P/L 13791
Oates Jack Richard (18) Leading Signalman C/JX 161693
O'Brien Albert James (20) Supply Assistant P/MX 70880
O'Mahony Edmund (26) Engine Room Artificer 4th Class D/SMX 32
Parker Victor Robert Wolfe (34) Able Seaman C/J 109498
Pearson William Stuart Anthony (21) Able Seaman P/JX 274399 Scotland
Pickard Benjamin (34) Petty Officer Stoker P/KX 78294
Pounder Walter Connor (35) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 122259
Pycraft James William (22) Able Seaman P/JX 148379
Radley William George (22) Stoker 1st Class C/KX 106069
Reed William (19) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 297990
Reynolds John Burridge (36) Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 119316
Robson Daniel Stephenson (22) Stoker 2nd Class C/KX 116685
Robson Stephen (33) Able Seaman P/JX 273145
Russell Leslie Frank (21) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 294890
Searle Sidney Charles (36) Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 135117
Sheed Francis (29) Leading Seaman P/SSX 21605
Smith Albert (24) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 97984
Smith Francis John Robert (36) Petty Officer Stoker P/KX 78366
Smith Thomas Hill (26) Shipwright 3rd Class P/MX 49322
Snelgrove James (25) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 113178
Southwell James Harold (38) Chief Stoker P/K 59855
Stevens William Henry (39) Petty Officer Sick Berth P/MX 46745
Symes William Herbert (23) Leading Stoker P/KX 96927
Taylor Albert (34) Able Seaman D/JX 217131
Taylor James (30) Engine Room Artificer 4th Class P/MX 88688
Taylor James (21) Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 135070 Scotland
Thompson Edward (23) Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 135067
Thompson John Alfred MID (41) Chief Mechanician P/K 57369
Tierney Patrick Joseph (27) Steward D/LX 26342
Tiller James Alfred (28) Petty Officer P/JX 149033
Tingle Arthur George (21) Leading Cook (O) D/MX 64823
Trory William Edward (25) Stoker 1st Class C/KX 110220
Twigg Joseph (20) Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 135136
Urwin Joseph (20) Joiner 4th Class P/MX 79489
Venvell Thomas Edward (44) Chief Painter P/M 35259
Wade William (31) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 273489
Waite John Henry (45) Chief Ordnance Artificer 2nd Class P/M 36229
Ward Frank (27) Steward P/LX 24497
Warren Edward Charles (30) Yeoman of Signals P/J 131813
Waugh David (28) Able Seaman P/SSX 19673 Scotland
Wead James Richard (21) Leading Stoker P/KX 96121 Northern Ireland
Welch Reginald Gordon (38) Able Seaman P/J 95227
Welch Wilfred Rupert (24) Able Seaman P/JX 169862
White Dudley Norman (22) Able Seaman P/JX 184974
White William Charlton (22) Able Seaman P/SSX 22093
Wilson Edward Ronald (29) Petty Officer Stoker P/KX 80930
Withers Reuben RNASBR (35) Leading SBA P/SBR/X 7684
Wonderley John Joseph (22) Able Seaman D/JX 217233
Wood Laurence Harry (19) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 297983
Wren Jack (27) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 120481

Total: 136

Royal Marines

Cox John Arthur (18) Musician RMB/X 1235
Creese Herbert (25) Marine PO/X 1364
Dacre Albert Reginald Peter (21) Corporal PO/X 2685
Fensham Colin Arthur (18) Musician RMB/X 1132
Fitton Donald (27) Musician RMB/X 1654
Granger Roy (20) Marine PO/X 103104
Hands William Arthur (20) Marine PO/X 4671
Hartley Wilfred Cyril (18) Musician RMB/X 1253
Humphries Stanley Leslie (26) Musician RMB/X 1443
Lunnon Kenneth Aubrey Ronald (22) Marine PO/X 100762
Millne William Augustus (21) Musician RMB/X 1599
Parsons Arthur (25) Marine PO/X 102125
Partridge John Samuel (20) Musician RMB/X 1664
Ray Benjamin (29) dra 12 Aug 42 Marine PO/X 1187
Regan Michael (23) Marine PO/X 2428
Smith Ronald William (19) Musician RMB/X 1133
Witchell Desmond Terry (18) Musician RMB/X 1228

Total: 17

Fleet Air Arm

Dinsdale James Leslie (24) Air Mechanic 1st Class (A) RN FAA/FX 76211
Hake Jack (23) PO Air Mechanic (A) RN FAA/FX 80030
Heeley William Arthur (22) Leading Air Fitter (O) RN FAA/FX 80376
Hudson Alfred James (22) Air Fitter (E) RN FAA/SFX 1312
Mayland Arthur Richard (21) Leading Air Mechanic (E) RN FAA/SFX 131
Tyrrell Lawrence William (22) Air Mechanic 1st Class (O) RN FAA/SFX 2362
Williams Charles Valentine (22) Engine Room Artificer 4 RN FAA/FX 83260

Total: 7

In Air Combat

Hankey Michael (26) MID Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR

Michael Hankey (801 NAS) was airborne at the time of the sinking of Eagle on 11 August 1942. He was flying Hurricane V7229 and landed on Victorious. On 12 August he flew off Victorious, but failed to return, being shot down by an enemy aircraft, causing him to crash into the sea.

Total: 1


Vaggers Denys John (18) Canteen Assistant NAAFI

Total: 1

Total ship's company lost: 162

HMS Foresight – 12 August 1942

Royal Navy

Evans Harry Reginald (48) Lieutenant
Jones Christopher William (23) Leading Seaman dra 24 Aug 42 Wales D/JX 143141
Mellors Stanley (29) Stoker 1st Class dra 11 Aug 42 D/KX 105795
Shelley Samuel Beynon (31) Petty Officer D/JX 130785 Wales
Woods Victor (20) Able Seaman P/SSX 33778

 Total ship's company lost: 5

HMS Indomitable (damaged) 12 August 1942

Royal Navy

Bailey Edward Joseph (22) Steward P/LX 24131
Blacker Charles Edwin (28) Steward dra 14 Aug 42 P/LX 26507
Bray John Osborne (29) Steward P/LX 25415
Cass Frank Thomas (25) Assistant Steward P/LX 26297
Hempstead Leslie George (22) Petty Officer Steward P/LX 22611
Maxfield George Arthur (22) Able Seaman P/JX 190700
Richardson William Barnett (23) Leading Writer P/MX 62236
Stewart William Hamilton (22) Steward P/LX 23665
Tanner George Alexander (32) Paymaster Lieutenant (S) Wales
Vasey Frank (30) Joiner 4th Class D/MX 75043
Venables John Henry (22) Leading Stoker P/KX 92576
Wilde Reginald Stanley (22) Able Seaman P/SSX 28650

 Total: 12

Royal Marines

Ahearne John Patrick (20) Marine PO N/X 101841 Wales
Arlow Henry (28) Marine PO N/X 102354 Northern Ireland
Bidwell Leonard John (22) Corporal PO E/X 100771
Binns James William (24) Marine PO N/X 101733
Clark Henry (34) Marine PO A/22127
Farrow Denis William (23) Marine PO N/X 3541
Frankpitt James (22) Corporal PO A/X 2683
Fraser David (26) Marine PO E/X 102655 Scotland
Gardner Raymond (22) Marine PO E/X 100387
Golbourn Alfred George (22) Marine PO A/X 101726
Gourley Robert Gray (26) Sergeant PO A/X 1637 Scotland
Greenwood Kenneth Gordon (22) Corporal PO N/X 2765
Harding Thomas Henry (22) Marine dra 22 Aug 42 PO/X 2345
McCheyne George (22) Marine PLY/X 100456
Patten Harold York (22) Marine PO A/X 101730
Rowsell Leslie Maurice (22) Marine PO E/X 101731
Ryan Daniel William (29) Marine PO N/X101857
Scott Hugh Kelly (21) Marine PO E/X 101561 Northern Ireland
Simpkins Henry George (43) Marine (Pens) PO I/22479
Summers Harold Ernest George (46) Colour Sergeant (Pens) PO A/22042
Welch Victor (29) Marine PO I/X 101860
Williamson Andrew (25) Marine PO A/X 1701
Wood Joseph Maurice (28) Sergeant PO A/X 1035

 Total: 23

Fleet Air Arm

Cunliffe-Owen Hugo Leslie 'Boy' (21) Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR (880 NAS)Downing George Edward (26) Air Mechanic 1st Class (O) FAA/SFX 711
Freeman John Herbert (36) PO Leading Air Fitter (E) RN dra 15 Aug 42 FAA/F 55055
Gray Frederick Louis Alfred MID (27) Air Artificer 4th Class dra 15 Aug 42 FAA/FX 76784
Lindley Ernest (24) Air Mechanic 1st Class (A) RN FAA/SFX 674
Lindsay William Campbell (22) Scotland Air Mechanic 2nd Class RN FAA/FX 81744
Measures George Frederick (25) Lieutenant (A) RNVR (827 NAS)
Park Richard Bruce DSC (25) Lieutenant (A) RN (827 NAS)
Protheroe William Loyd 'Willy' (21) Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR (827 NAS)Sainsbury John Maurice (25) Leading Air Mechanic (O) FAA/FX 79980
Squires Francis Arthur (19) Air Mechanic 2nd Class (A) RN FAA/SFX 2513
Taylor Thomas Lewis Norman (25) Leading Air Mechanic 1st Class (O) dra 21 Aug 42
Williams Leonard Chenery (31) Lieutenant RN

 Total: 13

In Air Combat

Cruickshank John Imlay (23) Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR Scotland
John Cruickshank (880 NAS) was badly wounded while flying Sea Hurricane V7311. He was shot down by a Messerschmitt 110 while attacking a Heinkel He111. The Bf110 was shot down by Hawker Hurricane 2435.

Johnston Robert Louis (29) MID Lieutenant RN
Robert 'Sloppy' Johnston (CO of 806 NAS) was badly wounded while flying Grumman Martlet AJ136 and attacking a Junkers 88. Upon landing back on Indomitable without wing flap control, the arrester hook broke and the aircraft went into the sea, killing the pilot.

Judd Francis Elton Christopher DSC (33) Lt Commander RN South Africa
Francis 'Butch' Judd (880 NAS) was flying Hawker Hurricane Z7088. He attacked a Heinkel 111 of 6/KG26, but had his starboard wing shot away. The aircraft dived into the sea from 500 feet, killing the pilot.

Lucas John Michael (21) Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR
John Lucas (800 NAS) while flying Hawker Hurricane V7100, left a patrol to attack an enemy aircraft and failed to return; cause of death unknown.

 Total: 4

Total ship's company lost: 52

HMS Cairo – 12 August 1942

Royal Navy

Bye Alfred William (41) Petty Officer Stoker P/K 59924
Comben Stephen Charles (26) Leading Stoker P/KX 97442
Earnshaw Joseph (37) Petty Officer Stoker P/K 66079
Gomes Alfred Frederick (19) Cook (S) P/MX 80515
Halsey William Arthur MID (41) Able Seaman P/J 54128
Lamb Frank Bruce (28) Leading Stoker P/KX 82691
Lambert Harry James (22) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 97981
Mackay Charles (23) Leading Stoker P/KX 90354 Scotland
Mitchell Walter Lowman (37) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 294640
Packwood-Leddy William (26) Leading Steward P/LX 25664
Wright Norman Alfred (39) Chief Stoker P/K 62732

Hutt Edwin Algernon (24) Leading Stoker P/KX 97474 dra 2 Nov 42
(Buried in Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery. Plot 2. Row E. Joint Grave 5.)

 Total: 12

Royal Marines

Crago Alfred Charles (31) Marine PO/X 794
Dalling Reginald Alfred (20) Marine PO/X 4000
Durnford Laurence George (20) Marine PO/X 104075
Hadlow Thomas (24) Marine PO/X 2448
Henderson William DSM (23) Marine PO/X 2707 Scotland
Mittens Richard Stanley Albert (25) Marine PO/X 3465
Mullineux Richard (37) Corporal PO/21786
Redman William Charles (25) Marine PO/X 1857
Slark Kenneth John (19) Marine PO/X 4840
Wallace Samuel (32) Marine PO/X 102898
Wellings George Hosier (28) Sergeant PO/X 1030
Whale William Ebenezer (33) Marine PO/X 648

 Total: 12

 Total ship's company lost: 24

 HMS Nigeria (damaged) 12 August 1942

Royal Navy

Alsop Christopher Terence (24) Able Seaman C/SSX 18142
Aris John Copeland (20) Ordinary Telegraphist C/JX 207145
Armstrong Kenneth (18) Ordinary Seaman C/JX 162936
Betts Charles George (22) Leading Telegraphist C/SSX 24984
Box John Thomas (19) Able Seaman C/JX 162491
Boyce Gordon Charles (18) Ordinary Telegraphist C/JX 161695
Brawn Cecil George (26) Petty Officer C/JX 137301
Bray Paul Eric Neville (20) Able Seaman C/SSX 32645
Burns Edgar Ernest (23) Able Seaman C/JX 127408
Castle William Ernest Alfred (19) Able Seaman C/JX 163153
Coleman Herbert Edwin Charles (19) Able Seaman C/JX 161579
Coote Eric Hendy (29) Able Seaman C/JX 129556
Coxon Kenneth Norman (24) Telegraphist C/JX 178385
Culver Eric Roy (19) Able Seaman C/JX 163530
Ebbage Herbert Thomas (26) Leading Seaman C/JX 149934
Fox Ernest (39) Able Seaman C/JX 237564
Grose Henry (19) Scotland Ordinary Seaman P/JX 300867
Hart Reginald Thomas (28) Able Seaman C/JX 259672
Hoare James (22) Able Seaman C/JX 145018
Ingoldby Patrick Roger (17) Midshipman
Irving Norman (19) Able Seaman C/JX 162859
Isaac Douglas John (19) Able Seaman C/JX 159891
James Gordon Patrick (20) Stoker 2nd Class C/KX 135445
Johnstone Cecil Frederick (32) Ordinary Seaman C/JX 269805
Jones Arthur Leonard (39) Chief Petty Officer Stoker C/K 61374
Ker Claude Buchanan (18) Midshipman
Lebbing Clifford Henry (24) Able Seaman C/JX 181550
Martindale John Thomas (31) Ordinary Seaman C/JX 319702
Martyr Alfred Arthur (35) Warrant Electrician
McInnes James Friels (18) Ordinary Seaman C/JX 348948 Scotland
Page Albert Raymond (20) Supply Assistant C/MX 63741
Perry Alfred James (37) Petty Officer C/J 103979
Reeves Arthur William (19) Able Seaman C/JX 164154
Roberts Henry George (20) Able Seaman C/JX 259485
Robinson George William Albert (28) Petty Officer Telegraphist C/JX 133413
Skoyles Henry William (30) Petty Officer C/JX 128664
Smith Arthur Sidney (22) Stoker 1st Class C/KX 104577
Tuffill John Daniel (17) Midshipman
Waller Herbert Arthur (20) Able Seaman C/JX 158008
Wicks Thomas Albert (26) Able Seaman C/JX 135502
Wiley Edmund (28) Leading Seaman C/SSX 14420
Wilkinson Cyril (19) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 296899
Wilson John McEwan (30) Able Seaman C/JX 129367

 Green John Frederick (22) Engine Room Artificer 4th Class dra 5 Sept 42 C/MX 66721
(Buried in Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery. Plot 2. Row D. Joint Grave 8.)

 Total: 44

Royal Marines

Clarke John Albert (27) Musician RMB/X 1420
Conn Frederick William James (29) Musician RMB/X 1556
Morey William Cecil (35) Musician RMB/2944
Phillips Jack Albert (34) Musician RMB/X 1836
Powell Richard (25) Band Corporal RMB/X 479
Ray William David George (23) Musician RMB/X 555
Ridout Albert Edward (33) Bandmaster 1 RMB/2877
Rope Aaron (31) Musician RMB/3044
Walter Arthur Victor (22) Musician RMB/X 650

 Total: 9

Total ship's company lost: 53

HMS Victorious

Fleet Air Arm/In Air Combat

7 August 1942/Operation 'Berserk'/809 Naval Air Squadron

Elson James Frederick (24) Leading Airman FAA/FX 78368
Taylor Colin George (21) Sub Lieutenant RNR

12 August 1942

Churchill Robert Alec Farquhar (31) Lieutenant RN
Robert 'Buster' Churchill (884 NAS) was flying Fairey Fulmar X8800. He was shot down, with his co-pilot Alan Nunn, while attacking a Cant Z1007bis. Both men were killed.

Nunn Alan (22) Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR
Alan Nunn (884 NAS) was killed with Robert Churchill.

Evans Charles John (21) Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR Wales
John Evans (809 NAS) was flying Fairey Fulmar DR721. He was shot down by enemy fighters, which dived out of the sun. The pilot and co-pilot John Stewart were killed.

Stewart John (22) Leading Airman RN FAA/FX 77310
John Stewart (809 NAS) was killed with John Evans.

Nihill John Harry O'Carroll (21) Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR
John Nihill (809 NAS) was flying Fairey Fulmar BP785. He was shot down while attacking a SM79. The pilot and his co-pilot Walter Regan were killed.

Regan Walter Richard (26) Leading Airman RN FAA/JX 228503
Walter Regan (809 NAS) was killed with John Nihill.

 Total ship's company lost: 8

MV Glenorchy (R570) – 12 August 1942

Merchant Navy

Cowley Eric Ernest (40) Second Engineer Officer 67439 Isle of Man
Fletcher Charles William (22) Greaser R 208501
Foreman Thomas Wilkinson (21) Junior Engineer Officer NP
Leslie George DSC (55) Master 394194/039706
McQuilliam William (37) Greaser R 80768
Threlfall James (51) Chief Engineer Officer 726146
Wood John Winston (28) Junior Engineer Officer R 219433

Total crew lost: 7

DEMS – 7/4 Maritime Regiment – 13 August 1942

Seal Herbert Richard (36) Gunner RA 11260275

Total Royal Artillery personnel lost: 1

 Total ship's company lost: 8

 MV Deucalion (R572) – 12 August 1942

DEMS – 7/4 Maritime Regiment

Hutchinson Alexander (32) Gunner RA 1835498 Northern Ireland

Total Royal Artillery personnel lost: 1

 Total ship's company lost: 1

 SS Clan Ferguson – 12 August 1942

Merchant Navy

Anderson James (20) Greaser NP Scotland
Blair Alistair (27) Third Engineer Officer R 172954 Scotland
Bruce Hugh Gilbert (54) Surgeon NP Scotland
Connell Robert (33) Fireman/Trimmer R 229656 Scotland
Crawford William (20) Fireman/Trimmer NP Scotland
Grant William McLean (21) Sixth Engineer Officer R 170656 Scotland
Hollywood John (29) Greaser R 206022 Scotland
McCrory William James (40) First Radio Officer 1045009
Ryan Michael (35) Fireman/Trimmer SE 00456 Irish Republic
Stewart Alexander (56) Fireman 896019 Scotland
Wilde John Robert MBE (58) Chief Engineer Officer 932285

Died while interned in North Africa as POW
Beavan Hayden Edward (18) Fireman/Trimmer R 260482 dra 7 Sept 1942 Wales
(Buried in Medjez-el-Bab War Cemetery, Tunisia. Grave No. 16. C. 9.)

Total crew lost: 12

HMS Manchester – 13 August 1942

Royal Navy

Coyle James Holland (22) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 119971
Dunning Thomas William Frederick (32) Petty Officer P/J 114798
Frankland Leonard Musgrave (23) Sub Lieutenant (E) RNVR
Godden Leslie John (22) Leading Stoker P/KX 94509
Hodgkinson Francis Ronald (22) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 119880
Noble William Henry (20) Stoker 1st Class P/KX 114857 Scotland
Powis William Arthur (35) Petty Officer Stoker P/KX 78723
Smith Charles Frederick (37) Chief Mechanician P/K 64666
Toogood William Claude (22) Engine Room Artificer 4th Class P/MX 60360 Isle of Wight
Whitehead Ronald Gordon (22) Able Seaman P/SSX 25152

Turner Bert (21) dra 14 Aug 42 Stoker 1st Class P/SKX 202
(Buried in Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery: Prot. Sec. (Men's) Plot F Coll. Grave 102.)

Died while interned in North Africa as POW
Bristow William Ernest (42) dra 7 Sept 42 Leading Seaman RNR P/X 6696C(Buried in Dely Ibrahim War Cemetery, Algeria, Grave ref. 2 J 21)

 Greaves Norman (22) dra 19 Oct 42 Stoker 2nd Class P/KX 130745
(Buried in Dely Ibrahim War Cemetery, Algeria, Grave ref. 2 J 10)

Total ship's company lost: 13

MV Melbourne Star (R571)

Royal Navy – 12 August 1942

Gilpin William George (31) Australia Able Seaman RANR F 2141 dra 12 Aug 42

 Total RN personnel lost: 1

Royal Artillery – 208 Bty 58 HAA Regiment

Wallace Arthur (27) Gunner 1585821

DEMS – 7/4 Maritime Regiment – 13 August 1942

Bache Harold (32) Bombardier RA 826511
Ince Howard Richard MID (22) Second Lieutenant RA 197630
Stewart John (21) Gunner RA 1476971 Northern Ireland
Turner John (37) Gunner RA 4262702

Total Royal Artillery personnel lost: 5

Merchant Navy – 13 August 1942

Brown Andrew (28) Greaser NP
Cochrane Patrick (28) Greaser R 117696
Kelly John Thomas (23) Greaser R 259529 Scotland
Morgan Dennis (18) Steward's Boy R 249723
McCann Peter (23) Greaser R 196075
Owen William (18) Sailor R 228782 Wales
Walker Daniel (39) Greaser NP Scotland
Welch Harry (46) Assistant Steward 782456

Total crew lost: 8

Total ship's company lost: 14

MV Waimarama (R574) – 13 August 1942

Merchant Navy

Annetts Gilbert Charles R. (40) Fifth Engineer Officer R 179936 New Zealand
Atkins Charles Frederick (21) Third Refrigeration Engineer Officer R 215785
Baines William Peter (44) Steward 1132733
Bell John Colin (18) Sailor R217815
Betts George Robert (25) Able Seaman R193527 Falkland Islands
Bird Walter (20) Assistant Steward R 259963
Bolton Ralph Kearsley (33) Second Officer R65089
Bowdrey Robert Joseph (56) Assistant Steward 602891
Bowyer Arthur Charles (33) First Electrician R 87367
Caley Ronald Herbert Alfred (26) Third Electrician R 195067
Calvert Leonard Ernest (18) Deck Boy NP
Clarke Hugh (45) Able Seaman NP
Dickell Ralph Henry Charles (47) Fireman 852786
Evans Henry MM (50) Greaser 597696
Gallacher John (42) Cook 1029200
Gallagher Patrick (49) Greaser 1065213
Gladwell Frederick (19) Ordinary Seaman R 193769
Hayward Leslie Albert (34) Able Seaman R 210057
Hutchinson William Mackay (40) Fourth Engineer Officer R 205052 Australia
Jones Alan Richard (24) Able Seaman R 125208 Wales
Jones Edward Ian (27) Third Engineer Officer R 156867
Lane Maurice Arthur (24) Seventh Engineer Officer R 233194 New Zealand
Lee Arthur (25) Ordinary Seaman R 255351
Little Ernest William (51) Chief Steward 731884
McBride John Stewart (22) Eighth Engineer Officer R 256687 Isle of Wight
MacDonald Ian (29) Third Officer R 140876 New Zealand
McLean Malcolm (52) Able Seaman 1087522 Scotland
MacLeod Allan (52) Boatswain 1060989 Scotland
Margitson John Stuart (44) RNVR Chief Engineer Officer MB 1437/1066669 USA
Marshall Reginald Ernest (44) Second Engineer Officer R 176979
Meaghan, George Thomas (47) Greaser 1042964
Mooney Gerard (29) Greaser R 145532
Mounsey Thomas James (33) Greaser R 72058
Murray Norman (30) Able Seaman R 146219 Scotland
Neville Robert Francis (43) Storekeeper 1036418
Ody Vivian (24) Steward R 169335
O'Shaughnessy John (41) First Radio Officer 985934
Palmer Thomas Frederick (52) Chief Refrigeration Engineer Officer R 667870
Parr John Francis (20) Tenth Engineer Officer NP
Parry David (19) Ordinary Seaman NP Wales
Pearce Robert Strasenburgh (54) Master NP
Phillips Stanley (15) Deck Boy R 104195
Powderham Andrew John (15) Deck Boy NP
Price Hugh Longueville (21) Sixth Engineer Officer R 253244 Scotland
Reid Henry Denis Clark (22) Fourth Officer R 254070
Richardson George (20) Greaser R 253523
Richardson James Joseph (25) Greaser R 128134
Roberts Harry Glyn (35) Able Seaman R 8367 Wales
Roberts John (52) Wales Lamptrimmer R 231137
Rooff Arthur John (25) Second Refrigeration Engineer Officer NP Australia
Ross Hugh Macbeth (19) Apprentice NP Scotland
Saunders Joseph (18) Steward's Boy R 200943
Schofield Douglas (20) Sailor R 258586
Stephens William Alfred (28) Carpenter R 160179
Suleman Dawood (51) Donkeyman 982967
Thomas John Trevor (30) Electrician R 139884 Australia
Thompson Robert (27) Greaser R 41937
Thorne Ronald Leslie (39) Steward R 44125 Wales
Thowless William (36) Chief Officer R 22647 Belgium
Town Robert Charles (20) Ninth Engineer Officer NP
Willett John Raymond (20) Sailor NP
Wright William (57) Chief Cook 759545

Wilson Robert Gordon (19) Second Radio Officer dra 13 Aug 42 NP
(Buried in Enfidaville War Cemetery, Tunisia. Grave No. V. B. 7.)

 Total crew lost: 63

Royal Army Medical Corps

Davies Emlyn (25) Private 7375939 Wales

Total RAMC lost: 1

DEMS – Royal Artillery

Bouttell Robert Victor (39) Gunner 11006690
Brennan James Edward (37) Gunner 11006695
Shepherd Edward Campbell (40) Gunner 11006804
Wilson Sidney Robert (39) Gunner 11006846

DEMS – 1/1 Maritime Regiment

Benham George (20) Gunner RA 2991096
Brown Lewis Colin (20) Gunner RA 3962370
Collins Ira Alexander (25) Gunner RA 13023760 Wales
Thomas Edward John (22) Bombardier RA 4204243

DEMS – 7/4 Maritime Regiment

Bond Rupert (43) Gunner RA 1486380
Chitty John George (27) Lance Bombardier RA 5334597
Creen Joseph (32) Gunner RA 1543928
Taylor Sidney Harris (20) Gunner RA 6401656
Twist Thomas S. (34) Lance Sergeant RA 1768312
Wreford Arthur John (28) Gunner RA 1547418

DEMS – 130/4 Maritime Regiment

Crookshank Alexander Oldfield Second Lieutenant RA 217128

Total Royal Artillery personnel lost: 15

Royal Navy

Dearing Henry James (23) Leading Seaman C/JX 165663
Fensome Dennis Charles James (18) Signalman P/JX 166815
Hawthorn Walter George Victor (20) Yeoman of Signals P/JX 154008
Hitch Charles William (21) Able Seaman P/JX 266762
Hufton Frederick Hillier Jones (23) Signalman P/JX 186297
Kellaway Henry Charles (28) Able Seaman P/JX 249485
Morrow Victor James (27) Able Seaman RANR S 2223 Australia
Withers Stuart Montgomerie (24) Lieutenant

Jones Arthur Ronald (19) dra 31 Aug 42 Able Seaman D/JX 335705
(Buried in Imtarfa Military Cemetery, nr Mdina, Malta. Coll. Grave No. 3. 3. 26)


Hill Thomas (35) Able Seaman D/JX 268037
Johnson William Henry (21) Able Seaman D/JX 290968
Jordon Charles Frederick (20) Able Seaman D/JX 289712
Ormerod Jack (22) Holland Able Seaman D/JX 217058

Total RN personnel lost: 13

Total ship's company lost: 91

 MV Brisbane Star – 13 August 1942

Merchant Navy

Corfield Edward (60) dra 13 Aug 42 Greaser 814918
(Buried in Enfidaville War Cemetery, Tunisia. Grave No.11. D. 3.)

Total crew lost: 1

SS Santa Elisa (R546) - USA

Royal Army Ordnance Corps – 4 AA Div Workshops

Twyford Walter Thomas Cornelius (23) Lance Corporal 6346933

Total RAOC lost: 1

DEMS – 6/3 Maritime Regiment

Fairclough Thomas (32) Gunner RA 4467825
Taylor James Gordon (21) Gunner RA 1795139

                                  Total Royal Artillery personnel lost: 2

SS Ohio – 13 August 1942

DEMS – 7/4 Maritime Regiment

Brown Peter (38) Gunner RA 1823820

Total Royal Artillery personnel lost: 1

Royal Australian Air Force

Buntine Robert Athol (24) Flight Sergeant 403554
(Spitfire pilot – 1435 Squadron – shot down and killed by gunners on board MV Dorset (R573) – 13 August 1942)

Fox Harry Donald (19) Sergeant (Wireless Op/Air gnr) 405353
(Killed in a Vickers Wellington – 221 Squadron – which crash-landed at Luqa, Malta, after being hit by flak during a second air raid on Comiso – 13 August 1942. He is buried in Malta (Capucchini) Naval Cemetery. Prot. Sec. (Men's) Plot F. Coll. Grave 9)

Total: 2

Royal Canadian Air Force

Smith Jerrold 'Jerry' Alpine (21) Pilot Officer J/6280
(Shot down and killed, after shooting down a Ju88 just north of Malta, while flying Spitfire BR366 – 126 Squadron – 10 August 1942)

Jay David Joseph DFC (22) Pilot Officer ------
(Shot down and killed by a Bf109, while protecting the 'Pedestal' convoy, flying Bristol Beaufighter T5101/W – 248 Squadron – 13 August 1942)

Total: 2

Royal New Zealand Air Force

Tanner John Harold (22) Flight Sergeant 41960
(Spitfire pilot – 126 Squadron – reportedly shot down and killed by a German Bf109 – 13 August 1942)

 Total: 1

HMS Kenya – 14 August 1942 (damaged, but still seaworthy)

Evans Harold (21) dra 15 Aug 42 Able Seaman D/SSX 28689
Jones Herbert Edwin Christopher (19) Able Seaman D/JX 160563
Payne William Harold (22) Leading Seaman D/JX 145448 Wales

 Total ship's company lost: 3

Overall Total of Personnel lost: 457



SS Almeria Lykes Brown Henry First Assistant Engineer Officer USA
(Jumped from the window of a New York hotel – dra 5 September 1942)

HMS Ledbury (Accident* – dra 19 August 1942)

Reid James Samuel (20) Ordinary Seaman P/JX 298953 Scotland
*James Reid was tragically lost during the voyage back to Gibraltar, with Penn and Bramham in company. Two twin-gun mountings on the stern of Ledbury had been used to engage an enemy reconnaissance plane. A faulty shell fuse exploded as it exited the muzzle of one of the guns, killing him instantly.

SS Ohio (Cause of death – peritonitis – dra 26 September 1942)

Banner Raymond (25) Assistant Steward
(Buried in Ta' Braxia Cemetery, Pieta, Malta, plot 8 vault No. 6)

 Overall Total: 3







(Translation from Italiana to English:

Capitano - Lieutenant.
Capitano (Ingenere Meccanico) - Lieutenant (E).
Sottotenente di Vascello - Sub Lieutenant.
Sottotenente - Midshipman.
Capo di Prima Classe - Chief 1st Class.
Capo di Seconda Classe - Chief 2nd Class.
Capo di Terza Classe - Chief 3rd Class.
Sottocapo - Junior Chief.
Sergente - Sergeant.
Comune - Rating.


Surname/Christian/First Name: Rank:

Alfieri Francesco Comune
Basso Primo Capo di Seconda Classe
Bertazzi Alessandro Sottocapo
Brondi Bernardo Capo di Terza Classe
Campagna Filippo Sottocapo
Cannia Matteo Sergente
Cascella Francesco Sergente
Catalano Domenico Sottotenente di Vascello
Cavallotti Guglielmo Comune
Cerami Francesco Sottocapo
Ceresoli Mario Sottocapo
Cesarotti Eros Sottocapo
Corallo Salvatore Sergente
De Hoffman Gabriele Sottotenente
Di Bella Giacomo Comune
Di Blasi Ugo Comune
Di Lucia Giovanni Comune
Ellena Arturo Comune
Femmino Guiseppe Sottocapo
Filippini Renato Capitano (Ingenere Meccanico)
Gaggiott Vincenzo Capo di Seconda Classe
Galano Adamo Comune
Gatti Alfredo Capitano
Ghezzi Federico Capo di Seconde Classe
Grapputo Evelino Sottocapo
Lops Donato Capo di Seconda Classe
Marci Raffaele Capo di Terza Classe
Marzocchi Giuseppe Capo di Seconda Classe
Mele Biagio Capo di Seconda Classe
Midili Antonio Sottocapo
Modica Salvatore Sottocapo
Napoleone Aniello Comune
Orlandi Giovanni Comune
Pasquero Giustino Capo di Seconda Classe
Pecori Renato Capitano
Pileddu Enrico Comune
Riva Adriano Comune
Salemi Saverio Sergente
Salvenelli Renato Sottotenente
Soffietti Renzo Comune
Stabile Salvatore Sottocapo
Stefanini Gennaro Sergente
Travain Guiseppe Capo di Prima Classe
Vallorini Nello Sottocapo
Zaccaria Agostino Sottocapo


Gardella Giovanni Tenente
Volpe Mario Comune


Nacca Francesco Sottocapo

Total Italian submariners lost: 48


(Despite contact with many relevant German and Italian Archives, it has not been possible to confirm the deaths of those listed below. Although all were shot down during, or as a result of the 'Pedestal' convoy, some may have been rescued. The author, therefore, apologises for any errors.)

Surname/Christian/First Name (Age): Rank: Aircraft/Squadron Details:

Bastian Walter Stabsfeldwebel Ju88 (L1+EH) of II./LG1/1St.
Bennebach Oskar Unteroffizier Ju87 (S7+BL) of III./StG3
Böhr Gerhard Unteroffizier Ju88 (L1+BL) of LG1
Deidlauf Helmut Leutnant Ju88 (L1+GN) of II./LG1/5St.
Dotterweich Adam (25) Unteroffizier Ju88 of II./LG1/5St.
Fiedler Siegfried Oberfeldwebel Ju88 (L1+AP) of II./LG1/6St.
Gerlich Axel (22) Oberleutnant Ju88 (L1+ON) of II./LG1/5St.
Gössling Herbert Unteroffizier Ju87 (CG+SK) of I./StG3
Hamann Hanns-Ernst (21) Leutnant Ju88 (L1+HP) of II./LG1/6St.
Hedrich Hans Leutnant Ju88 of II./LG1
Hronek Franz Unteroffizier Ju88 (F6+FK) of 2(F)/122
Kopishchel Arno Feldwebel Ju88 of KGr.806
Kühn Edmund Feldwebel Ju88 (L1+DN) of II./LG1/5St.
Lagauer Leopold Oberleutnant Ju88 (3Z+ES) of 8/KG77
Langer Hugo Feldwebel Bf109 of II./JG77
Limmertz Heinz Oberfeldwebel Ju88 (3Z+FM) of 4/KG77
Lüben Werner Hauptmann Ju88 (L1+YK) of II./LG1/2St.
Pietsch Leutnant Ju88 of KGr.806
Ritter Karl-Erich Pilot/Leutnant Ju88 (M7+DH) of KGr.806
Seiler Kurt Unteroffizier Ju88 (F6+FK) of 2(F)/122
Schmiedgen Hans-Joachim Unteroffizier Ju88 (F6+KK) of 2(F)/122
Streubel Helmut Feldwebel Ju88 (3Z+ET) of KG77/9St.
Vogt Werner Stabsfeldwebel Ju88 (L1+OH) of II./LG1/1St.

Total: 23


Angelucci Silvio (posthumously awarded Madaglia d'Oro) Tenente SM79sil/105º Gruppo AS
Barani Guido Tenente SM79sil/132º Gruppo Aut. AS
Barba Alessandro Della Sottotenente SM84/38º Gruppo/50a Squadriglia
Battistini Alfonso Tenente SM79sil/30º Gruppo/56a Squadriglia
Calorenna Giuseppe 1º Aviere Motorista Ju87/102º Gruppo/239a Squadriglia
Casavola Ugo Sergente Ju87/102º Gruppo/239a Squadriglia
Cremonesi Giulio Sergente Ju87/102º Gruppo/239a Squadriglia
Crimi Michele Sottotenente Re2001/2º Gruppo/362a Squadriglia
Dessi Tullio Sottotenente SM84/38º Gruppo/50a Squadriglia
Ferrante Bartolomeo Tenente SM79/32º Gruppo/58a Squadriglia
Masini Italo Tenente Z1007bis/33º Gruppo/59a Squadriglia
Mollo Giovanni Capitano SM79/32º Gruppo
Moretti Vittorio Sottotenente Shot and killed at Pantelleria airfield
Ottaviani Vittorio Tenente Z1007/51º Gruppo/212a Squadriglia
Parietti Giovanni 1º Aviere Motorista Ju87/102º Gruppo/239a Squadriglia
Raimondo Oscar Sergente Maggiore Ju87/102º Gruppo/239a Squadriglia
Ravazzoni Ivo Tenente Colonnello SM84/25º Gruppo/9a Squadriglia
Rombola Marc Pasquale Sergente Maggiore SM79sil/109º Gruppo
Scarpetta Pier Luigi (posthumously awarded Madaglia d'Oro) Maggiore Re2001/2º Gruppo/362a Squadriglia
Tarabotti A. Aviere Scelto Motorista Ju87/102º Gruppo/239a Squadriglia
Tosi Renato Sottotenente BR20/88º Gruppo/264a Squadriglia
Zanardi Alfredo Capitano SM79/109º Gruppo

Total: 22

Total known Axis airmen lost: 45



(Please Note: All London Gazette dates are 10 November 1942, except where stated.
Where an asterisk* appears it denotes that the same award has already
been given to the same person for a different action).

HMS Ashanti

Surname Christian Name/Names Rank Number Award

Onslow Richard George, Sir DSO Captain DSO*
Symonds Kenneth Morland Lieutenant Commander (E) DSC
Whitworth William Lieutenant Commander DSC
Aird Matthew ER Artificer 4th Class C/MX 75689 DSM
Dahne David Richard Stoker 1st Class C/KX 99292 DSM
Hooke Herbert John Wilson Chief ER Artificer C/M 38845 DSM
Allen George William Yeoman of Signals C/J 106735 MID
Bailey Edward Anthony Savile DSO Lieutenant MID
Buckeridge John Leslie Lieutenant MID
Burrell Percival John William Leading Stoker C/KX 99508 MID
Crees Charles John ER Artificer 4th Class C/MX 61414 MID
Dockwra Harry Wallace Petty Officer C/JX 125035 MID

HMS Bramham

Baines Edmund Francis Lieutenant DSO
Milford Haven David Michael, Marquess of Lieutenant DSC
Burr Richard ER Artificer 2nd Class RNR D/X 2868 DSM
Maddocks Edward Able Seaman D/SSX 25326 DSM
May George Ware PO Telegraphist D/JX 145868 DSM
Wren William Charles Petty Officer D/JX 128072 DSM
Dumaresq Vernon John George Ordinary Seaman D/JX 287707 MID
Maxwell Charles Alexander Chief Engineer MID

HMS Cairo

Hackett Percy Sick Berth Attendant P/MX 68170 DSM
Scott Robert Leading Stoker P/KX 91001 DSM

HMS Charybdis

Bowles Gordon Fred Charles Ordnance Artificer 2nd Class D/MX 54018 DSM
West George Edward Able Seaman (LTO) D/JX 204732 DSM
Dibbs Frank William Wireman D/MX 74485 MID
Humble Stanley Leading Seaman (RDF) P/JX 192889 MID
Rusher John James Sherwood Lieutenant Commander MID
Skelton William Falcon Lieutenant MID
Webster John Stoker 1st Class D/KX 113187 MID

HMS Eagle

Brabner Rupert Arnold MP DSO (801 Sqn) Ty/Act/Commander (A) RNVR
(LG: 28.8.43) DSC
Hutton Peter James (801 Sqn) Ty/Act/Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR (LG: 23.3.43) DSC
Hankey Michael (801 Sqn) Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR (LG: 23.3.43)Posthumous MID
Owen Charles Edward Ansell Lieutenant Commander MID
McDonald Douglas John Act/Sub Lieutenant (A) (LG: 23.3.43) MID

HMS Fury

Houston James Able Seaman P/JX 295136 DSM
Petter William Frank PO Telegraphist P/JX 128033 DSM
Campbell Hugh Stoker Petty Officer P/KX 75662 MID
Clegg Ian Mosley Lieutenant MID
Leighton William John ER Artificer 3rd Class P/MX 59511 MID
Payn Sydney Alfred James Stoker 1st Class P/KX 100687 MID

HMS Icarus

Beynon Thomas Hewitt Chief ER Artificer P/MX 51223 DSM
Crossman James Darling PO Telegraphist P/JX 132635 DSM
Burnley Maxwell Lawrence Lieutenant RANVR MID
Hobbs Edmund Stoker Petty Officer P/K 58072 MID
Roxburgh William George Petty Officer P/J 112088 MID
Smith Adam Chief Stoker P/K 60289 MID

HMS Indomitable

Troubridge Thomas Hope, Sir Captain DSO
Bruen John Martin DSC Lieutenant Commander (800 Naval Air Squadron) DSO
Cork Richard John DSC Lieutenant Commander (880 NAS) DSO
Fiddes Donald Brian Milner Lieutenant (880 NAS) DSO
Boddam-Whetham Alfred Patrick Lieutenant (Deputy Deck Landing Officer) DSC
Brooks Douglas Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR DSC
Morgan Erick Henry Ty/Act/Lieutenant Commander (A) RNVR DSC
Muir-Mackenzie Hamish Lieutenant (800 NAS) DSC
Mylius Victor Ivor Henry Lieutenant Commander DSC
Thompson Andrew John Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR (800 NAS) DSC
Warner George DSM Chief Petty Officer P/J 20817 DSM*
Edwards Ernest William Ty/Petty Officer P/JX 156681 DSM
Gill Thomas Francis ER Artificer 4th Class P/MX 57494 DSM
Green George Act/Leading Air Mechanic FAA/FX 77217 DSM
Horsburgh Harold Bertram Air Artificer 4th Class FAA/FX 75157 DSM
Pryde Herbert Marshall Master at Arms P/M 39996 DSM
Taylor Ronald Joseph John Leading Air Mechanic FAA/FX 75747 DSM
Titcomb Ernest Arthur Robert Act/Petty Officer D/JX 129550 DSM
Walker Frank Edgar Chief Petty Officer C/JX 67361 DSM
Wright George William Marine RM PO/X 2311 DSM
Gray Frederick Louis Alfred Air Artificer 4th Class FAA/FX 76784
Posthumous MID
Johnston Robert Louis Lieutenant (806 NAS) Posthumous MID
Judd Francis Elton Christopher DSC Lieutenant Commander (880 NAS)
Posthumous MID
Buckee Edgar Air Artificer 4th Class FAA/FX 75091 MID
Child Maurice Ty/Lieutenant (AE) RNVR MID
Grant Leonard Act/Leading Air Mechanic FAA/FX 76010 MID
Swallow Ralph Geoffrey Commander MID
Harris Stephen Noel Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR (880 Sqn) MID
Martyn William Haig DSC Lieutenant (A) (800 NAS - Senior Pilot) MID
McDowall Redvers Donald Payton Ty/Act/Warrant Mechanician MID
Price Ronald Russen Act/Fitter (E) RNSR FAA/FX1016 MID
Ritchie Blyth Ty/Act/Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR (800 NAS) MID
Patrick John Bryan Surgeon Commander MID

HMS Intrepid

Beazley Albert Petty Officer P/JX 133442 DSM
Wix Robert Alfred Yeoman of Signals C/JX 132767 DSM
English Ernest Edward ER Artificer 4th Class C/MX 60603 MID
Glew James Able Seaman C/JX 176192 MID
Swinnerton Walter James Stoker Petty Officer C/KX 79072 MID

HMS Ithuriel

Evans John Philip Olgivie Lieutenant RNVR DSC
Gray Andrew Ty/Sub Lieutenant RNVR DSC
Lawrence Sidney James Ordinary Seaman P/JX 321486 DSM
Perkins Donald Able Seaman P/JX 202476 DSM
Lindsay John Edward Leading Seaman (LTO) P/JX 140620 MID
Maitland-Makgill-Crichton David Hugh DSC Lieutenant Commander MID
Saunders Jack Able Seaman P/J 73260 MID

HMS Kenya

Russell Alfred Spalding Captain DSO
Johnston David Selby Lieutenant DSC
Barker Joseph Frank Ty/Act/Petty Officer D/JX 137121 DSM
Edwards Albert Victor Act/Petty Officer D/JX 133610 DSM
Ford John Act/ER Artificer 4th Class D/MX 74509 DSM
Ladner Richard Owen Supply Assistant D/MX 72516 DSM
Buxton Walter Petty Officer D/JX 128781 MID
Hare Richard George Wyndham OBE Lieutenant Commander MID
Horton Ernest Chief Stoker D/K 66843 MID
Lansdowne Cyril Henry Act/PO Telegraphist D/JX 125996 MID
Moss Robert Ty/Instructor Lieutenant MID
Rouch George Ordnance Mechanic 4th Class D/MX 90212 MID
Ryan Clement Joseph Ty/Sub Lieutenant RNVR MID
Smith Frederick Barnett Petty Officer D/J 106093 MID
Weston Arthur Chief Yeoman of Signals D/J 97337 MID

HMS Laforey

Hutton Reginald Maurice James Captain DSO
Wilson John DSM Yeoman of Signals P/JX 132176 DSM*
Durham Philip Edward Lieutenant MID
Hazell Rowland Percy Telegraphist P/SSX 28787 MID
Spencer Albert Edward Chief Yeoman of Signals P/J 90111 MID

HMS Ledbury

London Gazette 15 December 1942:

Walker Charles Henry Petty Officer (Cook) P/MX 49348 Albert Medal (bronze)


The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the ALBERT MEDAL for great bravery at sea to:

Petty Officer (Cook) Charles Henry Walker, P/MX 49348, HMS Ledbury.

During a convoy to Malta [Operation 'Pedestal'] a vessel [MV Waimarama] was hit by bombs in an air attack [13 August 1942] and burst into flames fore and aft. An escorting destroyer [HMS Ledbury] went very close, lowered her whaler and picked up survivors in the sea. Petty Officer Walker seeing a man [Alan Fran Bernett] in difficulties dived over the destroyer's side and rescued him. The heat was intense and he knew that his ship might have to turn away at any moment. Both rescued and rescuer were picked up.

Hill Roger Percival Lieutenant Commander DSO
Hollings Herbert Anthony John Lieutenant DSC
Musham Charles Edward Ty/Act/Gunner DSC
Meakin Douglas Leading Seaman P/SSX 21909 DSM
Preston George Walter Ordnance Artificer 3rd Class P/MX 49240 DSM
Sida Reginald Alfred Edward Ordinary Seaman P/JX 297259 DSM
Burden William Thomson Able Seaman P/SSX 29942 MID
Guy Robert David Able Seaman P/JX 176413 MID
James Arthur Edward Able Seaman P/JX 165645 MID
Mitchell Edward Ordinary Seaman P/JX 297193 MID
Prior Albert John Able Seaman P/JX 171415 MID
Wren John Henry Petty Officer P/J 114065 MID

HMS Nelson

Syfret Edward Neville Sir CdG CB MID Vice Admiral (LG: 8.9.42) KCB
Dunnill Reginald Ty/Act/Leading Seaman RNVR P/LD/X 5434 MID
English William Gordon Able Seaman P/SSX 21747 MID
Pine Melbourne Addis Ty/Act/Leading Seaman P/JX 156986 MID
Sellers Norman William Malin Ty/Sub Lieutenant RNVR MID

HMS Nigeria

Burrough Harold Martin Sir CB DSO Rear Admiral (LG: 9.9.42) KBE
Jones Frederick William OBE Engineer Commander DSO
Livingston James Barrett Act/Lieutenant Commander DSC
Horrocks John Chief ER Artificer C/M 38836 DSM
Rayfield Sidney Ty/Leading Stoker C/KX 88957 DSM
Rowland Arthur Henry Hall Chief Shipwright C/M 36857 DSM
Starling Sidney Harry Mechanician 2nd Class C/KX 85937 DSM
Barritt William Regulating PO C/M 40178 MID
Cassidy Michael Alphonsus Act/Chief ER Artificer C/MX 46900 MID
Edwards William Arthur Act/ER Artificer 4th Class C/MX 77566 MID
Ings Albert Henry Ordnance Artificer 4th Class C/MX 60286 MID
Lock William Turner Lieutenant (E) MID
Paton Stuart Henry DSC Captain (LG: 16.4.43) MID
Tucker Reginald Stanley ER Artificer 4th Class C/MX 52279 MID

HMS Pathfinder

Malins Charles Wickham Lieutenant DSC
Colley John Frederick Able Seaman D/JX 145029 MID
Gibbs Edward Albert DSO Commander MID
Hopkins Frederick Robert Chief ER Artificer D/MX 46022 MID
Mercer Richard Harvey Lieutenant (E) (LG: 24.11.42) MID
Srodzinski Charles Stanislaus Chief Petty Officer D/JX 145829 MID
(LG: 24.11.42)

HMS Penn

Swain James Hamilton Lieutenant Commander DSO
Marten George Grosslin Lieutenant DSC
Lankaster Arthur William Chief Stoker C/KX 62967 DSM
North Frank CGM Chief ER Artificer C/M 11514 DSM
Witham Albert Wallis Richard Chief Petty Officer C/J 105117 DSM
Smeal James Edward Patrick Lieutenant Commander (E) MID
Wellstead William Henry Ordnance Artificer 3rd Class C/MX 54845 MID

HMS Rodney

O'Connor John Albert Ty/Leading Seaman D/JX 150839 MID
Say Leonard Vivian Ordnance Artificer 4th Class D/MX 60566 MID
Thickett Harold Able Seaman D/JX 160237 MID
Wells-Cole Charles Peter Neville Lieutenant MID
Williams Denis Edward Leading Seaman D/JX 152752 MID


Pearson John Andrew DSC Act/Lieutenant Commander RNR DSC*
Farquhar Burnett Ronald Able Seaman P/JX 162474 DSM
Fleetham Harold Able Seaman P/SSX 25474 DSM
Prior Ronald Leading Seaman P/JX 149077 DSM
Parkin Philip Charles Ty/Lieutenant RNVR MID

HMS Somali

Duguid James ER Artificer 4th Class P/MX 58327 DSM
Cooper Frank Henry Isaac Chief Yeoman of Signals P/J 87227 MID
Lee Moses James Lieutenant MID
Robertson William Henry Able Seaman P/JX 148466 MID

HMS Speedy

Doran Andrew Edward Lieutenant Commander MID

HMS St Angelo

Jerome Henry Joseph Alexander Savil Act/Commander DSO

HMS Tartar

Tong Frederick Henry Ordinary Seaman D/JX 256665 DSM
Hollingworth Robert Chief Petty Officer RNR D/6999C MID
Joyce Stanley William Petty Officer D/JX 128540 MID

HMS Unbroken

Mars Alistair Campbell Gillespie Lieutenant (LG: 22.12.42) DSO

HMS Victorious

Lyster Arthur Lumley St George, Sir CVO DSO Rear Admiral (LG: 8.9.42) CBE
Bovell Henry Cecil CBE Captain DSO
Coke Charles Playfair Commander DSO
Savage Edward Graham DSC Lieutenant (809 Naval Air Squadron) DSO
Borthwick William Jason Maxwell Ty/Act/Lieutenant Commander RNVR DSC
Carver Rodney Harold Power Lieutenant (885 NAS) DSC
Hallett Nigel George Lieutenant (884 NAS) DSC
Napper Arthur Bevan Ty/Act/Lieutenant (A) RNZNVR DSC
Pennington Frank Athol Joseph Ty/Lieutenant (A) RNZNVR (884 NAS) DSC
Barrick Leonard Francis PO Airman (884 Sqn) FAA/FX 76495 CGM
Dawson Charles Frederic Ty/Act/Leading Airman (809 NAS) P/JX 235011 DSM
Green Arthur Edward Chief PO Air Fitter FAA/FX 75950 DSM
Robinson Harold Fletcher Corporal RAF 571562 DSM
Sawyer Alfred William Henry Air Artificer 2nd Class FAA/FX 75964 DSM
Churchill Robert Alec Farquar Lieutenant (884 NAS) Posthumous MID
Brandreth Thomas Tarleton Lieutenant Commander (E) MID
Edwards Sanford James Kingsley Lieutenant RNR MID
Paterson Brian Lieutenant (A) (885 NAS) MID
Garland Anthony McDonald Ty/Act/Sub Lieutenant (A) MID
Grose Richard John Hicks Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR (809 NAS) MID
Morrison Hugh Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A) RNZNVR MID
Richardson Robert Murray Ty/Act/Sub Lieutenant (A) RNZNVR MID
Long Andrew Scott Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR (885 NAS) MID

Total awards given to RN/FAA personnel: 199


RFA Brown Ranger

Ralph Donald Benjamin Charles DSC Captain DSC*
London Gazette 16 February 1943:
Cunningham John Chief Officer MID
Goodwin Oscar Chief Engineer MID

RFA Dingledale

London Gazette 1 December 1942:
Duthie Robert Tait Captain DSC

London Gazette 16 February 1943:
Carlyle Malcolm N. Chief Engineer MID
South John Leslie Chief Officer MID

Total awards given to RFA personnel: 6


SS Almeria Lykes (USA)

Fry Albert Edward Bombardier 4th MAA RA 1609901 DSM
Huckle Albert Leslie Gunner 4th MAA RA 992248 DSM
Stephenson Thomas William Sergeant 4th MAA RA 393432 DSM

MV Brisbane Star

London Gazette 8 September 1942:

Riley Frederick Neville Captain DSO
Dobbie James Junior Second Engineer Officer DSC
Nicol Allan Ramsay Chief Engineer Officer DSC
Abel David Act/Able Seaman RN P/JX 265817 DSM
Barrett George William Act/Able Seaman RN C/JX 291000 DSM
Coady Henry Act/Able Seaman RN P/JX 266618 DSM
Mills John William Harold Act/Yeoman of Signals RN P/JX 152725 DSM
Moulton Charles Albert Leading Telegraphist RN P/SSX 31447 DSM
Blackburn Henry Act/Able Seaman RN C/JX 312620 MID
Woodhouse Stafford Roy Able Seaman RANR S/2864 MID

London Gazette 8 December 1942:

Wilkinson Cyril Eldridge Lieutenant 2nd MAA RA DSC
Priest William Benjamin Bombardier 4th MAA RA 3863121 DSM
Wake Oswald Anthony Bombardier 4th MAA RA 1556576 DSM

London Gazette 9 February 1943:

Pretty Arthur James Junior Third Engineer Officer MID

London Gazette 23 February 1943:

Horton Charles Second Officer DSC
White Robert First Officer DSC
Nylander Alexander Carpenter DSM
Wilson Frederick Boatswain DSM

SS Clan Ferguson

London Gazette 29 September 1942:

Lofthouse Frank Stewart DSC# Captain (Civ) OBE
Miller John James# Chief Officer (Civ) MBE
Wilde John Robert# Chief Engineer Officer (Civ) MBE

# For services during many Medterranean convoys, including 'Pedestal'.

London Gazette 30 March 1943:

Allson Albert Geoffrey Apprentice DSM
Black Arthur Huntington# Second Officer DSC

# Also, for saving the life of a survivor.

Ungazetted award by Lloyd's:

Allson Albert Geoffrey Apprentice Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Lofthouse Frank Stewart DSC Captain Lloyd's Bravery Medal

MV Deucalion

Brown Ramsay Captain DSC
Campbell John Chief Engineer Officer DSC
Collins Edward Charles Norman Yeoman of Signals RN D/JX 141176 DSM

London Gazette 8 December 1942:

Morrow Martin John Sergeant 4th MAA RA 1573203 DSM

London Gazette 26 January 1943:

Lawley William Able Seaman DSM
McCaughey William Boatswain DSM
Owen Norman Warden Carpenter DSM

(Owen was involved in supplying ammunition to the hoists on Bramham; he also assisted with the prevention of further flooding and the repeated reconnection of broken tow ropes on Ohio)

Mead Percy Raymond Ty/Act/Leading Seaman RN C/JX 213038 MID

London Gazette 2 February 1943

Gregson John Sedgwick Apprentice Albert Medal


The KING has been graciously pleased to award the ALBERT MEDAL to:
Apprentice John Sedgwick Gergson, MV Deucalion.

The ship [Deucalion] was set on fire by the explosion of a torpedo during an attack by enemy aircraft. The flames spread rapidly and almost immediately orders were given to abandon ship. One of the ship's gunners, however, was pinned under a raft. Apprentice Gregson immediately went to his assistance and help free him. The gunner had sustained severe injuries and, as it was impossible to get him into a boat or onto a raft, he was dropped overboard. Gregson dived into the sea after him, and, in the darkness, towed his helpless shipmate to a ship [HMS Bramham] which picked them up, a distance of about 600 yards.
    But for Apprentice Gregson's gallant and determined action, undertaken with complete disregard of his personal safety, the injured man would have had little chance of survival.

London Gazette 9 February 1943

Bracewell Peter Postlethwaite Apprentice MID
Ogilvie James Simpson Chief Officer MID
Price James Michael Fourth Officer MID
Ward Walter Edward Second Engineer Officer MID

Ungazetted award by Lloyd's:

Brown Ramsey Captain Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Gregson John Sedgwick Apprentice Lloyd's Bravery Medal

MV Dorset

Tuckett Jack Collier Captain DSC
Fern James Gregory Leading Signalman RN P/JX 141451 DSM

London Gazette 26 January 1943:

Spence Thomas Chief Engineer Officer DSC
Trotter John Chief Officer DSC
Anderson William Rutledge Able Seaman RANR PM/1678 DSM
Gordon Patrick Alexander Trimble Apprentice DSM

London Gazette 9 February 1943:

Andrews Walter Johnson Second Engineer Officer MID
Bush Robert George Third Officer MID
Newman Francis Wade Second Officer MID

Ungazetted awards by Lloyd's:

Anderson William Rutledge Able Seaman RANR PM/1678 Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Gordon Patrick Alexander Trimble Apprentice Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Spence Thomas Chief Engineer Officer Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Trotter John Chief Officer Lloyd's Bravery Medal
Tuckett Jack Collier Captain Lloyd's Bravery Medal

MV Empire Hope

Williams Gwilym Captain DSC
Bennett Ernest James Leading Signalman RNVR C/LD/X 4161 DSM
Cain John Leading Telegraphist RN D/JX 152740 DSM

London Gazette 26 January 1943:

Conolly Gerard Vincent Third Officer DSC
Leffler Henry Ramsay Chief Engineer Officer DSC

London Gazette 9 February 1943:

Sendall Cyril William Second Officer MID
West John Edward Fourth Engineer Officer MID
Winyard Harold Chief Officer MID
Young David Cadet MID

London Gazette 16 February 1943:

McCallum Donald* Cadet BEM (Civ)
* For saving a lifeboat, when the ship was sinking, by going down a fall and inserting a plug.

MV Glenorchy

London Gazette 23 February 1943:

Skilling Benjamin Hunter Second Officer DSC
Collier Louis James Able Seaman DSM
Simon Ronald Mackie Third Officer MID
Leslie George DSC Captain Posthumous MID

London Gazette 5 February 1946:

Upton William* Deck Boy Commendation

MV Melbourne Star

London Gazette 8 September 1942:

MacFarlane David Rattray OBE Captain DSO

London Gazette 10 November 1942:

Blandford Harry Chief Engineer Officer DSC
Parsons Leslie Thomas Chief Officer DSC
Claydon John Charles Lance Bombardier 4th MAA RA 1595504 DSM
Cook John Boatswain 1081741 DSM
Fairclough Jack George Bombardier 4th MAA RA 1488978 DSM
Fleming James Able Seaman DSM
Greenwood Alexander Able Seaman DSM
McWilliam Frederick Lamptrimmer DSM
O'Connor Herbert Ship's Steward DSM
Bache Harold Bombardier 4th MAA RA 826511 Posthumous MID
Ince Howard Richard Second Lieutenant 4th MAA RA Posthumous MID

London Gazette 9 February 1943:

Almond Charles William Chief Refrigeration Engineer Officer MID
Knight George Douglas Third Officer MID
McNeilly Hugh Storekeeper MID
Richards William Edward Second Officer MID
Whiton Ralph Donkeyman MID

SS Ohio

London Gazette 8 September 1942:

Mason Dudley William Captain George Cross


The KING has been graciously pleased to award the GEORGE CROSS to:

Captain Dudley William Mason, Master, SS Ohio.

During the passage to Malta of an important convoy Captain Mason's ship suffered most violent onslaught. She was a focus of attack throughout and was torpedoed early one night. Although gravely damaged, her engines were kept going and the Master made a magnificent passage by hand-steering and without a compass. The ship's gunners helped to bring down one of the attacking aircraft. The vessel was hit again before morning, but though she did not sink, her engine room was wrecked. She was then towed. The unwieldy condition of the vessel and persistent enemy attacks made progress slow, and it was uncertain whether she would remain afloat. All next day progress somehow continued and the ship reached Malta after a further night at sea.
    The violence of the enemy could not deter the Master from his purpose. Throughout he showed skill and courage of the highest order and it was due to his determination that, in spite of the most persistent enemy opposition, the vessel, with her valuable cargo, eventually reached Malta and was safely berthed. (The award is dated 4 September 1942.)

Wyld John Chief Engineer Officer DSO
Barton Denys Evelyn Lieutenant RN DSC
Gray Douglas Hunter Chief Officer DSC

London Gazette 8 December 1942:

Labern Reginald Henry Holswatt Act/Bombardier 4th MAA RA 6202472 DSM

London Gazette 22 December 1942:

Murray Thomas Purvis Fourth Engineer Officer DSC
McKilligan Hector James Second Officer DSC
Sless Henry Seventh Engineer Officer DSC
Stephen Joseph Ross MBE Third Officer DSC
Dolan Peter Fireman DSM
McConalogue John Greaser DSM
McConalogue William Joseph Greaser DSM
McLaughlin William Greaser DSM
Meeks Francis Watson Chief Steward DSM
Pilling Alexander Ty/Act/Leading Seaman RN P/JX 185564 DSM
Woods Albert Greaser DSM

Ungazetted award by Lloyd's:

Mason Dudley William Captain Lloyd's Bravery Medal

MV Port Chalmers

Pinkney Henry George Bacon MBE Captain DSO
Bentley Stanley George Lewis Chief Engineer Officer DSC
Bettess Richard Second Officer DSC
Dadson Arthur Harvey Quartermaster DSM
Hills William Edward Storekeeper DSM
McKenzie Charles Act/Leading Seaman RNR P/X 18574A DSM
Smith John Hely Able Seaman DSM
Stewart Robert Carpenter DSM
Sunderland Lawrence Bombardier 4th MAA RA 1518732 DSM
Whitcher Alexander Leonard Leading Signalman RN P/JX 135581 DSM

London Gazette 9 February 1943:

Craig William Barth Chief Officer MID
Douglas William Peacock Boatswain MID
Smith Charles Henry Senior Second Engineer Officer MID

MV Rochester Castle

London Gazette 8 September 1942:

Wren Richard Captain DSO
Binfield Edward John Lieutenant Commander RNR DSC
Culpin Arthur James Chief Officer DSC
Massee George Corporal RM CH/ 21556 DSM
Pierson Arthur Sergeant 4th MAA RA 1487381 DSM
Turney Joseph Act/Able Seaman RN C/JX 335638 DSM

London Gazette 9 February 1943:

Icke Kenneth Second Radio Officer MID
Lochhead David Cargill Broadwood Cadet MID

London Gazette 14 September 1943:

Dryden Henry Norman Second Officer DSC
Mattocks Frank Edgar Chief Engineer Officer DSC
Hesse John James Able Seaman DSM
Inglis Percival Able Seaman DSM
Swain Ronald Deck Boy DSM
Brebner Peter Frederick Herbert Intermediate Fourth Engineer Officer MID
Knight Cyril George Engine Room Storekeeper MID
Knowles Thomas Michael Kenneth Second Radio Officer MID
Lee Jeffrey Barrett Senior Fourth Engineer Officer MID
Leeds Robert Ferguson Cadet MID
McDonald Ian Forbes Junior Second Engineer Officer MID
Thompson Marriott Electrician MID
White Horace Frederick Chief Steward MID

SS Santa Elisa (USA)

Dales Francis Alonzo 'Lonnie' Cadet/Midshipman (USA) MM/DSM
Larsen Frederick August Jnr. Junior Third Officer (USA) MM/DSM

London Gazette 8 December 1942:

Jones Alfred George Lance Sergeant 4th MAA RA 1487527 DSM

MV Waimarama

London Gazette 9 February 1943:

Jackson John Third Radio Officer MID
Pearce Robert Strasenburg Captain Posthumous MID

London Gazette 16 February 1943:

Treves Frederick William Cadet BEM (Civ)

Ungazetted award by Lloyd's:

Treves Frederick William Cadet Lloyd's Bravery Medal

MV Wairangi

Chalmers Alexander Chief Engineer Officer DSC
Gordon Henry Robert Captain DSC

London Gazette 9 March 1943:

Dawson George Barton Third Engineer Officer MID
Moffatt Bristow Forbes Chief Officer MID

Total awards given to personnel serving in mercantile ships: 151

Total awards given to personnel involved in Operation 'Pedestal': 356


Please Note: All the lists on this website have been checked and researched by Brian James Crabb. If anyone wishes to use them in a publication, the author would appreciate consent to use part or all of this detailed work.
Thank you. BJC - 25 October 2014.



Force F The whole Force
Force P Convoy and escort. UK – rendezvous
Force M Victorious, Argus and escort. UK – rendezvous
Force J Eagle and escort. Gibraltar – rendezvous
Force K Indomitable and escort. Freetown – rendezvous
Force G Carriers and escort, after rendezvous for 'Berserk'
Force R Oilers and escort
Force W Abbeydale and escort, for 'Berserk'
Force X Escort through to Malta
Force Z Force F less Force X
Force Y Convoy and escort. Malta – Gibraltar. 'Ascendant'
The (letter/number) refers to the pennant number of the ship.



Nelson (28) Captain Humphrey Benson Jacomb
(flag of Acting Vice Admiral Sir Edward Neville Syfret CdG CB MID)
Rodney (29) Captain JamesWilliam Rivett-Carnac DSC

Aircraft Carriers

Victorious (38) Captain Henry Cecil Bovell CBE
(flag of Rear Admiral Sir Arthur Lumley St George Lyster CB CVO DSO)
Indomitable (92) Captain Sir Thomas Hope Troubridge
(flag of Rear Admiral DenisWilliam Boyd OBE DSC)
Eagle (94) Captain Lachlan Donald Mackintosh DSC


Sirius (C82) Captain PatrickWilliam Beresford Brooking
Phoebe (C43) Captain Charles Peter Frend
Charybdis (C88) Captain George Arthur Wallis Voelcker


Laforey (F99) Captain (D) 19th Destroyer Flotilla, Capt Reginald Maurice James Hutton
Lightning (F55) Commander Hugh GreavesWalters DSC
Lookout (F32) Commander Cecil Powis Frobisher Brown DSC
Quentin (G78) Lieutenant Commander Allan Herbert Percy Noble DSC
Tartar (F43) Commander St John Reginald Joseph Tyrwhitt DSC
Eskimo (F75) Commander Edward Gerard le Geyt
Somali (F33) Commander Edmund Neville Vincent Currey DSC
Wishart (D67) Commander Humphrey Gilbert Scott
Zetland (L59) Lieutenant John Valentine Wilkinson
Ithuriel (H05) Lt Commander David Hugh Maitland-Makgill-Crichton DSC
Antelope (H36) Lieutenant Commander Errol Norman Sinclair
Vansittart (D64) Lieutenant Commander Thomas Johnson DSC

Additional ships for detached escorts:

Keppel (D84) Commander John 'Jack/Jackie' Egerton Broome
Westcott (D47) Commander Ian Hamilton Bockett-Pugh DSO
Venomous (D75) Commander Hugh William Falcon-Stewart
Malcolm (D19) Acting Commander Archibald Boyd Russell
Wolverine (D78) Lieutenant Commander Peter William Gretton OBE DSC
Amazon (D39) Lt Cdr Lord Teynham (Christopher John Henry Roper-Curzon)
Wrestler (D35) Lieutenant Reginald William Beecroft Lacon DSC
Vidette (D48) Lieutenant Commander Eric Norman Walmsley DSC


Aircraft Carrier

Furious (47) Captain Tom Oliver Bulteel


Argus (I49) Captain George Tothill Philip DSC


Abbeydale Captain Alfred Edwards MN
Burdock (K126)Lieutenant Commander Eric Hope Lynes RNR
Armeria (K187)Lieutenant Martin Todd RNR



Jonquil (K68) Lt Commander Robert Edward Heap Partington RD RNR
Spiraea (K08) Lt Commander Robert Stevenson Miller DSC RD RNR
Geranium (K16) Lieutenant Commander Alan Foxhall RNR
Coltsfoot (K140)Lieutenant the Hon William Keith Rouse RNVR


Salvonia (W43) Ty/Lt George Moorhead Melville Robinson RNVR

RFA Fleet Oilers

Brown Ranger Captain Donald Benjamin Charles Ralph DSC
Dingledale Captain Robert Tait Duthie



Nigeria (C60) Captain Stuart Henry Paton
(Flag Officer 10th Cruiser Squadron, Rear Admiral Sir
Harold Martin Burrough CB DSO)
Kenya (C14) Captain Alfred Spalding Russell
Manchester (C15) Captain Harold Drew DSC
Cairo (I87) Acting Captain Cecil Campbell Hardy DSO


Ashanti (F51) Captain (D) 6th Destroyer Flotilla, Cdr Sir Richard George Onslow DSO
Intrepid (D10) Commander Charles Arthur de Winton Kitcat
Icarus (D03) Lieutenant Commander Colin Douglas Maud DSC
Foresight (H68) Lieutenant Commander Robert Augustus Fell
Fury (H76) Lieutenant Commander Colin Henry Campbell DSC
Derwent (L83) Commander Royston HollisWright DSC
Bramham (L51) Lieutenant Edmund Francis Baines
Bicester (L34) Lieutenant Commander SydneyWilliam Floyd Bennetts
Ledbury (L90) Lieutenant Commander Roger Percival Hill
Pathfinder (G10) Commander Edward Albert Gibbs DSO
Penn (G77) Lieutenant Commander James Hamilton Swain
Wilton (L128) Lieutenant Adrian Paul Wilbraham Northey DSC


Jaunty (W30) Lieutenant Commander Harold Osburn OBE RNR


17thMinesweeping Flotilla
(Act/Cdr Henry Joseph Alexander Savil Jerome, Senior Officer in Speedy)

Speedy (N17) Lieutenant Commander Andrew Edward Doran
Hebe (N24) Lieutenant Commander George Mowatt RD RNR
Hythe (J194) Lieutenant Commander Leslie Beara Miller
Rye (J76) Lieutenant John Andrew Pearson DSC RNR

3rdMotor Launch Flotilla
(Lt Commander Eric John Strowgler RNVR. Senior Officer in ML 121)

ML 121 Lieutenant Commander Eric John Strowgler RNVR
ML 135 Ty/Lieutenant Ernest Edwin Davis RNVR

(Also under Strowgler's command were MLs 126, 134, 168, 459 and 462)


10th Submarine Flotilla (Malta)
Senior Officer Captain George Walter Gillow Simpson

North of Sicily

Safari (ex-P 211) Commander Benjamin Bryant DSC
Unbroken (ex-P 42) Lieutenant Alistair Campbell Gillespie Mars

Between Malta and Tunisia

United (ex-P 44) Lieutenant Thomas Erasmus Barlow
P 222 (ex-P 72) Lieutenant Commander Alexander James Mackenzie
Uproar (ex-P 31) Lieutenant John Bertram de Betham Kershaw DSO
Ultimatum (ex-P 34) Lieutenant Peter Robert Helfrich Harrison DSC
Unruffled (ex-P 46) Lieutenant John Samuel Stevens DSO DSC
Utmost (ex-P 42) Lieutenant AnthonyWalter Langridge

At Malta

Una (ex-P 32) Lieutenant Desmond Samuel Royst Martin


HMS Victorious

809 NAS 8 Fairey Fulmars (Lt Edward Graham Savage DSC RN)
884 NAS 8 Fairey Fulmars (Lt Nigel George Hallett RN)
885 NAS 5 Hawker Sea Hurricanes (Lt Rodney Harold Power Carver RN)
832 NAS 12 Fairey Albacores (Lt Cdr William John Lucas RN)

HMS Indomitable

806 NAS 9 Grumman Martlets (Lt Robert Louis 'Sloppy' Johnston MID RN)
800 NAS 11 Hawker Sea Hurricanes (Lt Cdr John Martin 'Bill' Bruen DSC RN)
880 NAS 11 Hawker Sea Hurricanes (Lt Cdr Francis Elton Christopher 'Butch' Judd DSC RN)
827 NAS 19 Fairey Albacores (Lt Cdr David Kennedy Buchanan-Dunlop RN)

HMS Eagle

801 NAS 16 Hawker Sea Hurricanes (Lt Cdr Rupert Arnold Brabner MP DSO RNVR)
813 NAS 4 Hawker Sea Hurricanes (reserves) (Lt Tobias J. A. King-Joyce RN)

HMS Argus

804 NAS 6 Hawker Sea Hurricanes (Capt Alan Edward Marsh RM)
Alan Marsh was taken ill, while Senior Pilot Lt C. Walker crashed over the side of Argus and was badly injured. Being inexperienced, the four remaining pilots and aircraft were returned to the United

HMS Furious

823 NAS 4 Fairey Albacores (as reserves)
— 38 Mk VB Supermarine Spitfires (for Malta – 'Bellows')


Names of the pilots who flew Spitfires fromHMS Furious toMalta on 11 August 1942 (one* pilot was forced to land on HMS Indomitable because of a fuel malfunction).

Sergeant R. C. Bolland
Pilot Officer L. Cheek
Group Captain Walter M. Churchill DSO DFC
Sergeant F. W. Clewley RAAF
Sergeant C. H. Cornish
Wing Commander A. H. Donaldson DFC AFC
Sergeant E. H. Francis
Sergeant L. P. Garvey
Flying Officer H. F. Gedge
Sergeant L. R. Gore
Sergeant D. G. Guy
Flight Sergeant E. T. Hiskens RAAF
Sergeant J. H. Houlton RNZAF
Sergeant T. R. D. Kebbell RNZAF
Lieutenant K. C. Kuhlman SAAF
Flying Officer A. I. Lindsay RCAF
Pilot Officer A. R. H. Maynard
Flight Lieutenant E. P. F. L. T. 'Dan' McGruder
Sergeant J. E. Mortimer RNZAF
Pilot Officer L. S. Nomis RCAF (US)
Pilot Officer P. A. J. O'Brien
Pilot Officer R. B. Park RAAF
Pilot Officer D. P. Pollock
Sergeant R. J. Roe
Pilot Officer William T. 'Bill' Rolls DFM
Pilot Officer A. F. 'Art' Roscoe RCAF (US)
Flight Sergeant J. G. Sanderson RAAF
Pilot Officer R. Seed
Sergeant N. D. Sintetos RCAF (US)
Sergeant A. B. Stead RNZAF*
Sergeant L. H. Swain
Sergeant J. Tarbuck
Sergeant J. D. Vinall
Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey H. A. Wellum
Sergeant W. R. Whitmore
Flying Officer P. A. Woodger RCAF (US)
Flight Lieutenant E. N. 'Timber' Woods DFC
Sergeant J. F. Yeatman RNZAF

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