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during the Second World War 1939-1945.
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Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.
Lt. Charles William Thomas Saunders DSO. HMS RorqualMy father, Lt (Engineering)Charles Saunders, served on the minelaying submarine, HMS Rorqual during most of it's Mediterranean career. Before joining the submarine service during the War, he had been serving as an officer on HMS Shropshire in 1939; in charge of the Walrus catapult launching system. I suspect he trained for submarines in 1940 - 41. I am sure he would have known and served under two of Rorqual's CO's Dewhurst and LW Napier, because I remember him telling stories of the Ursus incident and the faulty torpedo which forced Rorqual to dive out of harm's way as it was going round in circles, eventually exploded.
Also he described an incident where Rorqual was on the surface at night near the island of Pantellaria (near Tunisia) with faulty aft mine doors. In discussion with Lt Commander Napier, my father was instructed to go outside in the water with a colleague to try to sort out the problem of the jammed doors. He was advised that if the submarine had to dive in an emergency, both of them should swim to the island and await to be collected the next evening. There is also the story of the successful mining of the 'Ankara' outside Tunis harbour. Mr father also recalled an Admiralty signal congratulating Rorqual on this success, stating: "Rorqual Well Done".
I'm afraid I do not know much more than this and other reminiscences are sketchy. My father died in 1970 at Newport, Isle of Wight. He retired from the Royal Navy in the early to middle 1950s with the rank of commander.John Saunders
SBA. William Henry Johnson HMS HoldernessWilliam Johnson, served on ships Holderness, Shrophire, Fencer, Bermuda RN Hospital, Wardmater RN Singapore Hospital. He was well known throughout the SBA branch so if anyone has a dad in same branch would be delighted to hear from you. Johnno Johnson very sociable and enjoyed a pint when such luxuries were affordable to the ordinary man.Edward Johnson
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