- SS Manela during the Second World War -
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Those known to have sailed in
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Evans Trevor Nicholas. Warrant Officer
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Warrant Officer Trevor Nicholas Evans AFC. Wireless op air gunner. 210 SquadronMemories of 210 squadron and other flying boats
I joined 210 squadron in June 1939 and was crewed on L2168, The skipper was Shorty Evison with second Dickie Pilot officer Kite. It was rather an awe inspiring event in my life. I was an AC1 W/OP, it took me quite a while to get used to all things on board, but I would not have changed one second of it.
We flew up to Garth Voe on the 2nd. of Sept 1939 and were based on the S.S.Manela. On the 3rd of Sept at the declaration, we were armed with DC's and ammunition and went on our first anti sub patrol on the 4th of Sept 1939. No sightings were made then on the 12th September 1939 we flew back to PD for camouflage etc. and made a further 5 operational sorties.
My memory is not so good so the only crew member names I can recall are Colin Churm known as "Ches" an old school chum of mine. He was a WEM. Nat Irwin (Scouser) The armourer and the rigger named Reynolds known as quackquack because of his high toned voice.
My service with 210 was a short one. In December 39 after a gunnery course at Warmwell I got my brass bullet, and was posted to Calshot to become a member of the crew on Empire class flying boat-Cabot. Her sister boat was the Caribou. There were 3 other RAF types in the crew who made up the four gunners. The Captain and remainder of the crew were seconded Imperial airways personnel. On completion of training we flew to Invergordon which became our base and after another 10 operations we flew to Bodo via the Lofotens. This was on the 4th May 1940.
Having landed at Bodo we moored up and got supplies and equipment ashore. With a ground wireless technician we erected an aerial and transmitter plus receiver and connected up a factual generator and make contact with the VR
We returned to the aircraft and started to make our dinner, but were rudely interrupted by sirens and a Heinkel 115. This aircraft attacked us while we were taxiing to avoid being hit, but unsuccessfully a number of crew were wounded but not before we shot down the 115. We beached the Bothe aircraft and swam ashore with guns ammo and wounded. Both aircraft were attacked and bombed again, the rest you can guess.
The Norwegians were good to us and we were given beds,food and dry clothes and remained in the hotel until we were rescued by HMS Vansitart. The Vansitart took us to the Lofotens then on to HMS Zulu to Cripple Creek as it was called because Navy ships, British and Polish were damaged and anchored there. From there we were taken up the fiord, picking up several army personnel and thence to Greenock in Scotland. With our wounded we were billeted at Abbotsmith for a few days then back to Invergordon.
After this we were sent to Rochester to collect 3"G" boats bigger than Sunderlands or "C" class, they were the Golden Horn, Golden Hind and Golden Fleece. After some time on ops. with these boats, and having lost the Fleece they were retired to Imperial airways. I was then posted back to Invegordon as an instructor and remained there until November 1942.
(M/SIG) T.N.Evans AFC
This letter is a copy of my brothers recollections of his time in the forces up until 1942. He was finally discharged in March 1968. His log books medals etc. were left to my son along with this recollection. My brother was 16 years my senior so I was too young to know much about the war, but am trying to piece together all the things that happened to him.Eileen Brooks
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