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Thread: RAF personnel on torpedoed RMS Duchess of Atholl - Henrichsen (128628)

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    Default RAF personnel on torpedoed RMS Duchess of Atholl - Henrichsen (128628)

    On 10 October 1942 the RMS Duchess of Atholl was torpedoed. According to uboat.net there were 97 RAF personnel among the passengers traveling from South Africa to the UK.

    It is my believe that one of the RAF personnel was the Danish pilot Poul Henrichsen (128628), but I have not been able to link him to this specific this. Does anyone know of any sources that might describe the group(s) of personnel on-board. Henrichsen had trained in Rhodesia at RAF Cranborne.

    Uboat.net lists some of the passengers including the following RAF personnel:



    Another possible ship is RMS Orcades torpedoed on the same day, but nearer Cape Town. Of 103 passengers and crew listed on uboat.net none is RAF personnel. This is not to say that no RAF member was on-board, however.

    Any ideas on how to proceed this research?

    Regards

    Mikkel Plannthin
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
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    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    Default Re: RAF personnel on torpedoed RMS Duchess of Atholl - Henrichsen (128628)

    In ADM199 series at the National Archives there will almost certainly be a narrative report of the loss of the ship by the senior surviving officer, typically several pages of close typed pages which will describe the voyage and vessel armaments, large groups of passengers, the attackk, sinking and time spent in life boats before rescue.
    cheers Pete
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    Mikkel Plannthin (25th July 2021)

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    Default Re: RAF personnel on torpedoed RMS Duchess of Atholl - Henrichsen (128628)

    Lloyds of London War Losses entry for "Duchess of Atholl" records that she had 271 crew, 25 gunners and 534 passengers aboard. Only 4 of the crew on duty in the engine room when the torpedo struck were killed.

    Lloyds shows "Orcades" with a crew of 327, 27 gunners and 712 passengers. Of these 25 crew, 2 gunners and 18 passengers died.

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    Default Re: RAF personnel on torpedoed RMS Duchess of Atholl - Henrichsen (128628)

    Needs some actualitie. The limited reports available, and checking the "usual places", do not seem to agree!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: RAF personnel on torpedoed RMS Duchess of Atholl - Henrichsen (128628)

    Quote Originally Posted by Resmoroh View Post
    Needs some actualitie.
    I'm not being flippant Peter, but what do you actually mean?!
    https://www.collinsdictionary.com/di...actualit%C3%A9

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    Default Re: RAF personnel on torpedoed RMS Duchess of Atholl - Henrichsen (128628)

    Andy,
    All I meant was that reading the (Wiki!) version, the post, and looking in CWGC, I couldn't seem to make it all fit together. PeteS' 'narrative' is needed!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: RAF personnel on torpedoed RMS Duchess of Atholl - Henrichsen (128628)

    Thank you for the suggestions and information. I have found no references to the specific incident in ADM 199 on either Duchess of Atholl of HSM Corinthian.

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
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    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    Default Re: RAF personnel on torpedoed RMS Duchess of Atholl - Henrichsen (128628)

    There is a Ship's Log for the Corinthian for October 1942, that might have something.

    Must try that if this COVID-situation shall ever allow me a visit to Kew again. Under the present guidelines it's not worth to travel from Denmark to Kew :-)

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    Default Re: RAF personnel on torpedoed RMS Duchess of Atholl - Henrichsen (128628)

    How easy it is to get American information ?
    Not related to the sinking but earlier .

    2 Mar 1942
    Second increment (7,000 personnel) of MAGNET Force
    arrives in Belfast in a 21-ship convoy plus escorts
    (sailed from Brooklyn 19 February):
    - MAGNET elements as embarked consist of 8,555 troops
    on 8 ships
    - SS Barnett with the 34th Infantry Division
    headquarters and parts of the 2d and 3d Battalions of
    the 133d Infantry embarked
    - USS Fuller with 109th Medical Battalion embarked
    - Dutchess of Athol with embarked troops including:
    parts of the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 133d
    Infantry; 168th Infantry (less 1st and 2d
    Battalions); 109th Ordnance Company; 34th
    Quartermaster Company
    - SS Betelgeuse with 1st Platoon of the 34th
    Reconnaissance Troop embarked
    - SS Neville with 34th Signal Company and 34th Military
    Police Company embarked
    - Other vessels in this MAGNET convoy include:
    - SS Ehresmann
    - USS Almaack which has embarked the 467th Engineer
    Maintenance Company
    - USS Elliot
    - SS Athena
    - NOTE: USAT American Legion had been part of this
    convoy but had to turn back on 21 February due to
    engine trouble; embarked units included:
    - Company B, 109th Engineer Battalion
    - 79th Ordnance Depot Company
    - Main body of 5th General Hospital
    - Other units embarked include:
    - 14th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company (V
    Corps)
    - Detachment (12 personnel), 53d Ordnance
    Ammunition Company
    - 7th General Dispensary
    - NOTE: The first American Red Cross personnel arrive
    in Northern Ireland with this second MAGNET Force
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 26th July 2021 at 10:48.

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    Default Re: RAF personnel on torpedoed RMS Duchess of Atholl - Henrichsen (128628)


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