- HMS Lookout during the Second World War -
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Those known to have sailed in
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Toon Ernest Harold. Chief Electrical Artifice
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Chief Electrical Artifice Ernest Harold "Lofty" Toon Croix de GuerreMy story relates to the events involving HMS Lookout on the night of 18th March 1945. The ship was the last survivor of the (L)(lightning)class fleet destroyers.we had had a busy war, mainly in the mediteranean in fact I think statisticly we were the most heavily bombed of the flotilla to survive the war.
At the end of 1944 life was beginning to quiet down although our major task from then on was to carry out bombardments of the German armies as they marched northwards up the left flank of Italy. The Italians had surrendered and the German activity diminished and by the time we had reached Spezia there was a definite feel of peacetime in the air.
We lay alongside at Spezia and took advantage of the quiet period to tidy up the ship. On the 16th March we sailed to take up a patrol position in the Gulf de Juan. Our captain Lt Cdr Hetherington DSO, DSC and two bars informed us of our appointed task for the next period.
Because the war had eased to almost zero in Italy our troops were to be transferred from Spezia to Marselles allowing them to join up with our troops in northern France who were pressing on toward Germany. Information was received that the enemy were in the process of laying mines on the route to be taken for our troop convoys. Four allied destroyers were to patrol 50 miles apart on the route Spezia to Marseilles, this force known as le Grande Guarde, lookouts position was nearest to Spezia whilst meteor was followed another 50 miles toward Marselles by a French vessel and then the last 50 miles was covered by another Frenchman.
At approximately 0200 hrs we went to action stations, three enemy minelayers had been sited off Spezia. Lookout opened fire with all three turrets firing 4.7inch flashless ammo. The enemy was taken completely by surprise one being sunk by lookout and one being severely damaged by a combined attack from lookout and meteor,the third ran of with tail between its legs and was found within the next few weeks beached and badly bent in Genoa. Was this, the battle of Cape Course, the last firing of naval guns in battle during the war in Europe?Ernest H. Toon
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