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Thread: Deaths 16-1-1942 MV Llangibby Castle

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    Default Deaths 16-1-1942 MV Llangibby Castle

    Hi,

    I'm wondering if anybody has any knowledge about the torpedoed MV Llangibby Castle 16-1-1942. I have a list of 17 RAF personnel who I believe died when a torpedo blew the rudder of the troopship as she made her way to the Far East ! The men names are recorded on the Runnymede Memorial.

    RAF Overseas list Unit Runnymede Mem Unit
    1285380 AC2 A.A ACKRED Destroyer Y-7 x
    1063017 AC2 S BINDERMAN Destroyer Y-7 x
    1436611 AC2 P.A BOYCE Age 16 Destroyer Y-7 x
    1280508 AC2 W.E BROWN Destroyer Y-7 4 SQDN
    1028218 AC2 J COOLEY Destroyer Y-7 x
    1432048 AC2 D.H EMMETT Destroyer Y-7 x
    1262097 LAC W.G HALL Destroyer Y-7 x
    1193356 AC2 T. HOLMES Destroyer Y-7 x
    1102826 CPL E.W LANGLEY Destroyer Y-7 x
    1353880 LAC H. MARTIN Destroyer Y-7 x
    1358216 LAC W.J MORGAN Destroyer Y-7 720 SQDN
    1437263 AC1 L.A PARKINS Destroyer Y-7 x
    950496 AC1 N.W REES ACC x
    1307982 LAC S. SHALLOE Destroyer Y-7 x
    1355215 AC2 G.T TAYLOR Destroyer Y-7 MV Llangibby Castle
    1434757 AC1 D.B TIMMS Destroyer Y-7 MV Llangibby Castle
    1358662 AC1 C TRASK Destroyer Y-7 MV Llangibby Castle

    I'm wondering about Destroyer Y-7 !

    Thanks

    Mark

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    Name Llangibby Castle
    Type: Troop transport
    Tonnage 11.951 tons
    Completed 1929 - Harland & Wolff Ltd, Govan, Glasgow
    Owner Union-Castle Mail SS Co Ltd, London
    Homeport London


    Llangibby Castle (12053 tons) was torpedoed by U-402 (Lt at 46.04N, 19.06W - Grid BE 5716) while part of convoy WS15.

    At 11.15 hours on 16 Jan, 1942, the Llangibby Castle (Master Bayer) was torpedoed by U-402 north of the Azores. One torpedo hit the stern and blew away the after gun and the rudder, but the propellers remained intact. The ship limped to Horta in the Azores at 9 knots, fighting off attacks by German Fw200 aircraft on the way. The neutral Portugal allowed only 14 days for repairs and on 2 February, the ship had to leave with the troops still on board and set course to Gibraltar, assisted by an Admiralty tug and escorted by three British destroyers.
    On 3 February, the small convoy was followed by several U-boats, but none managed to hit the ship, while the HMS Westcott (D 47) sank U-581 (Pfeifer). On 8 February, the troopship arrived at Gibraltar in tow of the tug and disembarked the troops.
    On 6 April, the Llangibby Castle left Gibraltar under escort after temporary repairs, but still without rudder, for the UK, arriving on 13 April. Altogether she sailed 3400 miles without a rudder and with a badly damaged stern, only using her engines for steering, a feat for which her master was awarded the OBE.

    Nothing definite, but a possibility for Y 7 is the MS Trawler HMS Slebech who used the pennant number Y 7.28. See...
    http://www.uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/7191.html

    Hope this helps,

    Bruce

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    Default Y7

    I think the 'Y 7' mystery is solved: read the description of TNA file WO 361/158...

    "Casualties at sea, Atlantic: SS Llangibby Castle (Y7), sunk on 16 January 1942 1942 Jan 01 - 1942 Dec 31"

    Even though the title of this file at The National Archives reads as if the ship was sunk in the attack, it identifies SS Llangibby Castle as Y7.


    Bruce

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    Thanks Bruce !

    When I first came across a Destroyer Y-7 loss for 1942 I thought it might of been related to the Dieppe raid !

    Mark

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    Mark,
    Here is some further information concerning the RAF personnel lost in that action. In a report by W/C H. Conder (O.C. Troops Y.7) 19/1/42 to the Air Ministry London, the names given are close matches for those on your list, but there are a few detail differences, namely...

    1235580 AC2 A.A ACKRED
    1436611 AC2 P.A BOYCE
    1432048 AC2 E.H EMMETT
    1262097 LAC HW HALL
    1103356 AC2 C. HOLMES
    1358216 LAC J MORGAN
    1437263 AC1 JA PORKINS
    1280568 AC2 W.E BROWN

    And then there is
    905496 AC1 N.W REES
    950496 “ “ “
    (name appears in the report with two different numbers)

    The confirmed killed were Langley, Cooley, Brown, Taylor and Ackred, the remainder ‘missing, believed killed’ at the time of the report.

    Also, 1306383 LAC J WHITE was seriously wounded with a fracture to the right femur and transferred to Shore Hospital at Horta, Fayal, reported as ‘progressing favourably’.

    One of the first to see the approaching torpedoes appears to have been AC2 Robertson 1370909, who was on the welldeck at the time of the attack. He was attempting to run amidships when the torpedo struck, knocking him down. The blast blew the ship’s 6” gun overboard, blew out the stern which was left open to the sea, and wrecked a number of cabins occupied by troops. The steering was destroyed. Many troops were gathered on the welldeck aft, or the casualty list could have been higher. All lighting was knocked out on the ship, adding to the difficulties of her Master, Captain RF Bayer and Chief Engineer, Mr J Mills. An RAF Chaplain, D. Benson (sp?), wrote of watching explosions on another ship while waiting at his boat muster point, plus a number of similar reports from Army survivors.

    Three hours later came a second attack, by an Fw200. This may have resulted in the loss of that aircraft. All accounts describe the plane being heavily engaged by the AA defences of Llangibby Castle and the escorting destroyer H-77, with one credible and detailed statement claiming the Fw was losing height in a steady glide as it departed.

    The troops were not given the order to abandon ship, and discipline was maintained. For the rest of the ships journey, they remained above decks except for brief trips below for meals. All told, Llangibby Castle covered over 1000 miles in this condition, steering by engines alone in the Atlantic, which earned high praise for her crew.

    Another detail that has emerged is that the time of the attack I quoted in my original posting was the German time: either 08:15 or 09:15 (seems the Admiralty and the Army were on different clocks!) was the 'British' time aboard ship.

    Hope this helps,
    Bruce
    Last edited by bruce dennis; 30th December 2008 at 01:37.

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    Thanks again Bruce !

    I thought the circumstances of the deaths would be like the reports. I only thought some of the RAF casualties might of been buried on land when the ship made port ?

    Mark

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    Default LLangibby Castle

    My father was on the LLangibby Castle when it was torpedoed, somewhere i have copies of photos taken

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