- HMS Howe during the Second World War -
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Those known to have sailed in
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
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Peter Wilfred " " Phillibrown HMS HoweMy granddad, Peter Wilfred Phillibrown served on HMS Howe & HMS Nelson, I'm not sure which way around, sadly though he's no longer with us as I would of loved to of met him. I'm trying to get as much information about him as I can, if anyone has any information or photos I would very grateful. As my Dad & I are trying to put the puzzle together.Dolly
Able Sea. Raymond Arthur Osborn HMS HoweMy father Raymond Osborn, volunteered to join the Royal Navy just before his 18th birthday in September 1941. Prior to this date he had been a member of the Home Guard. His service dates from 17th December 1941, when he was posted to HMS Collingwood for basic training, which he completed in February 1942. After his basic training and after 3 weeks officially attached to HMS Victory, he was posted to the commissioning crew of the new battleship HMS Howe which had been launched in August 1941 and was being fitted out on the river Clyde. He remained with HMS Howe until March 1946, when he returned to the UK from the Far East. After another month or so attached to HMS Victory he was de-mobbed in May 1946.
On the Howe he was an Anti Aircraft Gunner on a bank of Pom-Pom short range anti aircraft guns. After HMS Howe was commissioned she was sent immediately to escort support duties on the Arctic convoys to North Russia and later to Iceland for Atlantic convoy support and more Arctic convoy work. In 1943 the Howe was attached to the Mediterranean fleet and took part in Operation Husky, the Allied landings on Sicily. Where she took part in the bombardment of the island of Favignana (just of the western end of Sicily) and the nearby Italian naval base of Trapani. Following this the Howe and her sister ship HMS King George V escorted two captured Italian battleships to Alexandria.
After a brief trip back to the UK for a refit, the Howe was posted to the Pacific. The voyage to the Far East was via the Suez Canal. At that time the Howe was the largest ship to pass through the canal. The passage was not without excitement, as she went aground in the shallow Bitter Lake. The journey was via the Seychelles and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)to Sidney, Australia. Dad told me a story about Christmas Day 1944, which was spent chasing a Japanese submarine out of Sydney Harbour (I still don't know if that was true or not).
Next stop was Ackland, New Zealand, where the ships company took part in a march past. In 1945 the Howe was attached to the US Pacific Fleet and took part in the American island hopping campaign. Her last action was in the Battle of Okinawa, April to June 1945, where the Howe was one of the ships to lay down the initial naval bombardment and used to bombard the Japanese defenders throughout the battle. It was here that dad received a slight wound due to Kamikaze action. After Okinawa the Howe started her voyage home. First stop was Singapore, where the ships company marched past at the official signing of the surrender documents by Lord Mountbatten, in September 1945. The Howe then returned to the UK via he Cape of Good Hope, with stops at Ceylon, Seycheles, Mombassa, Durban and Cape Town then straight back to the UK for February 1946. Dad was de-mobbed on 1st May 1946.
I have all Dad's service documents, photos and medals, including the Russian Arctic convoy medal, the British Arctic Star brooch and (as of 18 October 2013) I am awaiting delivery of his official British award, the Arctic Star, which has been a long time coming.John Osborn
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