Dido Class WW2

HMS_Argonaut 2

Laid Down – 21st November 1939

Launched – 6th September 1941

Ship Yard – Cammell Laird ( Birkenhead )

Commissioned – 8th August 1942

Decommissioned – 1946

HMS Argonaut was completed in the August of 1942 at Cammell Laird shipyard Birkenhead . She was the last of the 11 Dido Class Light Cruisers to be built during the war.

The ships main armaments were five 5.25″ guns three forward turrets and two aft. The ship also had six 21″ torpedo tubes and depth charges. Her wartime complement was 550 crew plus two ships mascots Maiski the Dog who joined in Murmansk in October 1942 and then Minnie the Cat who joined in Hebburn-on-Tyne in December 1943.

HMS Argonaut and her company were adopted by the City of Coventry after HMS Coventry the Ceres Class Light Cruiser had been sunk in September 1942 off the cost of Egypt by German JU-87 dive-bombers. Coventry ’s Councilors and Citizens kept in touch with the ship throughout the war.

Argonauts first mission was as part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron Home Fleet. She set sail under the Command of Captain Longley-Cook she sailed from Rosyth in Scotland on October 13th 1942  escorted by HMS Intrepid and HMS Obdurate she headed for Spitzbergen a Norwegian island in the Artic Circle here Argonaut disembarked a number of 3.7″ Naval Guns and a detachment of Norwegian Soldiers who were to set up a gunnery position to harass Axis shipping in the area.

On leaving Spitzbergen she continued East to Murmansk in the Kola Inlet in Russia to deliver essential spare parts to for the Allied bombers that had been flown there by British and Australian pilots to be used by the Russians. Three crew members were lost overboard on the convoy due to the very rough weather experienced. One of the crew members lost is remembered at the Lawford Memorial in Bedfordshire it reads “Leonard Douglas Brereton – Able Seaman P/JX157102 HMS Argonaut RN died Friday 16th October 1942, aged 21. Son of William and Lily Brereton of Lawford Beds. Commemorated Portsmouth Naval Memorial panel 03 column 2.

The pilots of the bombers returned on board Argonaut along with 245 officers and men of RAF Hampden and the crews of three motor minsweepers to Scapa Flow most of whom were sea sick.

On the October 30th 1942 Argonaut sailed from again from Scapa Flow this time in company with HMS Nelson, HMS Renown, and HMS Duke of York along with 11 Destroyers the convoy was joined by two Aircraft Carriers HMS Illustrious and HMS Formidable. After a short stop over in Gibraltar the ship was to form part of Force H under the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir Neville Syfret. Force H would assist in the Allied invasion of North Africa (Operation Torch.)

Argonaut did not form part of the main invasion force but was dispatched to the Mediterranean to act as a decoy and try and entice the French Fleet out of Oran . It was also thought that the Axis Fleet would intercept the Argonaut’s false signals and be diverted from the landings and Force H.

In December of 1942 she joined Force Q and on December 1st as part of the 12th Cruiser Squadron in company with two other Cruisers HMS Aurora and HMS Sirius plus the Destroyers HMS Quentin and HMAS Quiberon she was engaged in an hour long battle with the enemy, the squadron sank the Italian Destroyer Folgore plus four Troopships they also damaged the Destroyer da Recco and three Torpedo-boats that were on passage to North Africa as re-enforcement’s for Rommel’s Campaign. On the way back to base the Squadron came under heavy air attack and HMS Quentin was sunk by torpedoes dropped by German torpedo aircraft the survivors were picked up by HMAS Quiberon.

On the December 13th Argonaut joined HMS Aurora, HMS Eskimo and HMS Quality and left Bone to intercept another Axis convoy however delays in setting sail meant they missed the convoy. On December 14th 1942 at 0600 HMS Argonaut was hit by two torpedoes from the Italian Submarine Mocenigo and was badly damaged with both her bow & stern blown off. Whilst dealing with the damage she was also attacked by aircraft with a near miss to the starboard quarter. Three members of her crew were killed by the explosion. The ship made its way under constant harassment by aircraft to Gibraltar via Algiers using only two of its four propellers. In Gibraltar a make shift bow was made which proved to be useless. The Germans were certain that the Argonaut had been sunk and reported it on German Radio. The National Savings Committee announced that the City of Coventry had raised £2,250,000 to replace the Argonaut after the announcement by the Axis.

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Repairs were to take place in Philadelphia United States of America this meant crossing the U-boat infested Atlantic so on April 4th 1943 she set sail from Gibraltar with a new Commanding Officer in charge Captain Haynes RN and with her escort HMS Hero on April 7th she arrived in Ponta Delgada on the Portuguese islands of the Azores . Under the World Government Convention Ships engaged in war could shelter in Neutral ports for three days to carry out urgent repairs. When the Argonaut arrived in Ponta Delgada the ships company were surprised to see a German U-Boat along side also under going repairs. On April 8th the Argonaut set sail just a few hours after the German U-boat, HMS Hero carried out an ASW sweep and Argonaut was prepared for an attack by the U-boat but none came. HMS Hero developed problems with her engines and was detached by the Admiralty on April 9th and the Argonaut was left on her own to cross the Atlantic . On April 13th USS Butler was sighted and joined the Argonaut on her voyage. The ships reached Bermuda on April 17th after more repairs on the hull and Argonaut set sail on April 27th under the escort of USS Tumult and USS Pioneer the ships reached the port of Philadelphia on April 30th 1942.

The following press report in a Philadelphia newspaper said it all:

“Cruiser Wreck Got Home” (from our own correspondent.) It is disclosed today that the British Cruiser, Argonaut, now in the Pacific, was one-third rebuilt in the Philadelphia Navy Yard after the Germans thought they had sunk her in the Mediterranean in the Spring of 1943.

The courage of the crew enabled her to cross the Atlantic after she had received a barrage of torpedoes, and skilled workers replaced her bow and stern. The Germans had every reason to believe they spoke the truth when they proclaimed they had sunk the Argonaut, said the Navy Department, for a spread of fish fired by a submarine just before dawn blew off her bow and blasted away her entire stern, including her rudder and two of her propellers. By dogged determination, the Royal Navy brought the cripple across the Atlantic under her own power. The crew steered her with two remaining propellers by speeding one and slowing the other. Her speed once dropped as low as 4 knots, but she camethrough.

Fully impressive from the official point of view was the way the Navy Yard, crammed with battle-damaged jobs and new construction, tackled the fresh problem of re-building a foreign ship. In spite of the din caused by all the welding and riveting that had to be done, the crew lived aboard while the repairs were being made. According to their allies, their only request was “Hurry it up if you can. We want to get back out there.”

The repairs in Philadelphia completed on November 13th 1943. On returning to Britain on December 2nd 1943 Captain Longley-Cook re-joined and Argonaut joined the Home Fleet once again.

On April 7th Argonaut sailed from Hebburn to Scappa flow to conduct a general work up.

Argonaut sailed from Greenock on June 4th 1944 in company with HMS Belfast, HMS Diadem, HMS Orion, HMS Ajax and HMS Emerald as the 10th Cruiser Squadron. Argonaut joined in Operation Neptune the naval element of the invasion of Normandy (D Day) with Force K off Gold Beach. Much to the surprise of the crew the Longley Cook announced that if the ship was hit he would attempt to ground her hand carry on firing. The ship fired 400 shells on the first day and was struck by an enemy shell that penetrated the quarterdeck and emerged again on the starboard side luckily no one was hurt over all Argonaut fired 4359 shells in support of the land forces. The Argonaut was congratulated by General Miles Dempsey, Officer in Charge of the British Second Army, for the accuracy of our gunnery, especially when the Army was battling for Caen – and Caen was at the extent of our range, some 12 miles inland. We had to make a quick return to Portsmouth during the campaign for more ammunition.

In August Argonaut was transferred to the Mediterranean for Operation Dragoon under the command of the US Eighth Fleet. Second only to the Normandy Invasion, Operation Dragoon was the controversial Allied invasion of the French Mediterranean coast that came within an eyelash of being scrubbed. Initially, Operation Dragoon was planned to coincide with the D-Day invasion-instead it got “bogged down” over military objectives between the American and British hierarchy. The British wanted to push into the Balkans and beat the Soviets to the prize, but President Roosevelt, seeking re-election saw the “Balkan adventure” as a British postwar interest. All the while Joseph Stalin, the cunning Soviet dictator, backed the U.S. while secretly stalking out that region for himself. In the final analysis, Operation Dragoon was a startling success. It achieved its military goals; it annihilated Hitler’s 19th Army; captured over 100,000 German prisoners; liberated the southern two thirds of France and linked up with the Normandy invasion forces all within 30 days. Yet to his dying day, Prime Minister Winston Churchill believed Operation Dragoon was a blunder that set the stage for Soviet domination for nearly all of Eastern Europe .

In September Argonaut was moved to the Aegean the ship encountered an armed caique overloaded with 200 German troops which Argonaut sank some of the soldiers jumped overboard and Argonaut picked them up as Prisoners of War. Argonaut was then involved in bombarding German positions near to Athens Greece .

In early November she was ordered to Trincomalee in the East Indies this was the head quarters of South East Asia command and the Eastern Indies fleet under Admiral Lord Louie Mount Batten. Argonaut joined the 4th Cruiser Squadron and was assigned to escort duties for Operation Outplank and Meridian that involved bombardment of the oil fields at Palembang in Sumatra . Argonaut was attacked on many occasions by Kamikaze but fortunately no major damage was sustained.

In January 1945 she was ordered to join the British Pacific fleet in Sydney Australia. The British Pacific fleet was the largest ever fleet ever assembled it consisted of a total of 336 ships and 300 aircraft. Captain Longley-Cook left the ship upon his promotion to Vice-Admiral the new Commanding Officer was Captain W.P. McCarthy RN.

In February 1945 Argonaut sailed for Manus the forward operating base for the British and American fleets Argonaut took part in the shelling of positions at Saskishima while the Americans concentrated on Okinawa . She was withdrawn in August 1945 and sailed to Formosa (now Taiwan) to help with the evacuation of British Prisoners of War from the port of Kiirun on September 5, 1945. Then the Argonaut sailed for Shanghai to repatriate British internees. Hong Kong was the ships next stop for a similar mission.

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She finally returned to Portsmouth Britain on July 6th 1946 and was reduced to reserve and never re-commissioned again. In November 1955 she arrived at Cashmore’s Shipyard in Newport, Gwent, South Wales for disposal.

37 thoughts on “Dido Class WW2

  1. Angela Montague

    My Dad Aubery Reginald Withers (Reg) was on the Argonaut and told many tales of his life on board he wrote about it in a journal hoping to get it printed in the news of the world sadly this was declined, Dad was a Royal Marine based at Southsea Portsmouth. sadly Dad died 11 years ago he would have been very interested seeing all about your web on the net

  2. Lee Sankey

    Angela, my father Fred Sankey was also a Royal Marine on the Argonaut during this period. Sadly he too has passed away. Apart from the trip across the Atlantic with the bow missing not a lot was spoken about his time aboard. I do however know that he was in the ships turrets. If you wouldnt mind, I would be very much interested in your fathers journal especially as my son has now joined the Navy.

  3. Louis Clayton Howard

    Hi too all
    Our Father Louis Clayton Howard served as chief Stoker on this ship during world war 11. I have one picture of dad with another Seaman name unknown .Dad died 1990 , I would love to share any group photo in case he is on them . Angela could I share the journal I will gladly pay for a copy , my name is Roberta Cotton

  4. Alan Procter

    Hi Everyone:
    I have just found this site and do have some contributions if there is any interest. My father [Willaim Procter] was an officer on the Argonaut from 1944 – 1946 as the Captain’s Secretary. He is still alive in the UK, though at 96 he is now getting frail. However his war memories are still very vivid. I do have a number of photos and memoirs. I have one of the whole crew [I think]. Tell me what you are looking for.

    Alan Procter

  5. richard turner

    My father James E Turner served on Argonaut from 1942–1946 has a Royal Marine. I remeber his best friend was called lofty. He gave some of his biscuit to the dog that was on ship called maiski. also have many photos of crew and ship. all heroes.
    R K Turner

  6. Gemma Carter

    Hi there

    My grandfather Harold Johnson served on the Argonaut until 1945. If anyone has any picutres of him I would be very grateful if you could get in contact with me with any information you have. He was originally from Cheshire.

    Thanks
    Gemma Carter

  7. ROBERT

    HELLO ALL.THIS IS A POEM A MAN WROTE IN ROUGH ON BOARD THE ARGONAUT,IT IS SIGNED S.D.A AND IS WW2 I HAVE VARIOUS ITEMS OF INTREST FROM THE GREAT SHIPS PAST,

    TONIGHTS THE NIGHT

    THE CAPTAIN WILL SPEAK ON THE S.R.E
    IN FIVE MINUTES TIME
    SO THEY TOLD ME
    IN FIVE MINUTES TIME
    THATS SEVEN O CLOCK,
    EXPECT WERE OFF ON ANOTHER HOP,
    OR PERHAPS TO FIND SOME KIND OF FIGHT,
    ANYWAY CHAPS TONIGHTS THE NIGHT
    HELLO ARGONAUTS CAME THE OLD REFRAIN
    CAPTAINS SPEAKING ONCE AGAIN
    TONIGHT WERE GOING OUT TO SWEEP
    AFTER A CONVOY .PERHAPS A FLEET
    SO EVERY LOOKOUT MUST USE HIS SIGHT
    FOR REMEMBER LADS TONIGHTS THE NIGHT,
    HANDS WILL CLOSE UP ABOUT 11
    IF THERE LUCKY.SECURE AT 7
    THE PAY COMMANDER ON THE BILL.
    HAS SCRAN ENOUGH FOR EACH MANS FILL
    YOU PEOPLE WITH NO WATCH TO KEEP
    HEADS DOWN NOW AND GET SOME SLEEP
    WAKE UP FEELING FRESH AND BRIGHT
    DONT FORGET ,TONIGHTS THE NIGHT
    TURRETS CREWS CLOSE UP AT THE DOUBLE,
    IF NOT THE SHIP WILL BE IN TROUBLE.
    THE CLOSE RANGE BOYS WONT FAIL I KNOW.
    SO GET STUCK IN LADS MAKE A SHOW
    ONE THING MORE LETS BEAR IN MIND.
    SAID HE IN GUTTERAL TONES REFINED
    THE SHIP MUST BE KEPT WATERTIGHT.
    KNOWING THAT TONIGHTS THE NIGHT,
    THEN AS WE STEAMED INTO THE BLUE
    SOME SAID OUR DAYS WERE UP AND THROUGH,
    WHILE OTHERS GAVE A KNOWING WINK,
    AND VOWED WE DITCH THEM IN THE DRINK
    FULL WELL THEY KNEW THAT SINKING WOPS
    WAS SIMPLE AS GUZZLING BRICKWOODS HOPS
    DAUNTLESS .NEVER IN A FRIGHT
    KNOWING THAT TONIGHTS THE NIGHT
    AT LAST A CONVOY LOOMED IN SIGHT
    THE WOPS JUST SCATTERED LEFT AND RIGHT
    WE STEAMED ON THROUGH THEM LINE AHEAD
    SHOWERING THEM WITH STEEL AND LEAD
    TILL THE ITY SHIPS WERE ALL ABLAZE
    MAKING THE SEA A FIREY HAZE
    AS IF HELLS WRATH HAD SHOWN ITS MIGHT
    THE SKIPPER SAID TONIGHTS THE NIGHT,
    AND SO OUR MIGHT AT LAST WAS SHOWN
    FULL SPEED AHEAD AND BACK TO BONE
    WHILE PLOUGHING THROUGH THE FOAM AND SPRAY
    A ROAMING HUN FLEW OUT OUR WAY
    SHOUTING TO HIS CREW AUCHTUNG !
    HIS FISH KNOCKED OUT THE QUINTINS BUNG
    AND AS THE PLANE FLEW OUT OF SIGHT,
    WE REMEMBERED WELL TONIGHTS THE NIGHT
    OFF FLEW THE GERMAN BACK TO LAND
    THE FEUHERS CROSS WILL BE HIS BRAND
    FORCE Q SAILED SAFELY BACK TO HOME
    WITH HOPES OF ALL NIGHT IN AT BONE
    EACH MAN HAD DONE HIS JOB ALRIGHT
    FORCE Q HAD SAID TONIGHTS THE NIGHT !

  8. Vicky Reed

    My grandad served on H.M.S argonaut during WW2. He was on there from 1942 to 1945. His name was Derek Reed who was a gunner. Has anyone got any pictures or know of him? Please leave a comment saying you do.

  9. janette groombridge (nee Reed)

    This is janette reed, daughter of Derrick Edward Reed. My father passed away on 4th November 2010, and he had so many tales of war time and life on the H.M.S Argonaut. I have many pictures of him and wonderful memories of a great dad. miss him every day. xx

  10. Dane Parsons

    Hello Everyone.

    My Grandfather William John Greenway (Bill) was a Gunner on the HMS Argonaut from 1943-45.

    He had great memories serving on this amazing war ship, if anyone has any articles or pictures of him would be greatly appreciated.

    Sadly, he has recently passed away on December 13th 2011 aged 86.

    He is dearly missed and was the best grandfather anyone could ask for.

    kindest regards to all
    Dane Parsons

  11. Des Gough

    I served in ARGONAUT 1945/46 as Captain’s Writer with Bill Procter as my boss, we keep in touch. My father, George Gough also served in AGONAUT July 42 to Jly 44 (died July 83). I left ARGONAUT in Colombo for GOULD, then AORANGI and TAMAR in Hong Kong

  12. Theresa Stabb

    Dear All
    I have recently been tracing my father’s naval career and his records include service on the Argonaut from 6th November 1945 to 9th November 1946. His name was Albert Stabb and he died suddenly when I was 12. I never got the chance to talk to him about his experiences.
    I found a photograph on the internet of the Argonaut’s crew at Kegon Falls, Nikko Park in Japan, February 1946 and I can see that one of the crew looks very much like my father. I have enlarged it but I am just not sure, so I wondered if anyone out there could tell me roughly when in February the photo could have been taken.
    I know it’s a long shot but any help would be so appreciated. Of course, if anyone out there remembers my father, or has any photos of his time on the Argonaut, I would be delighted to hear from you.
    Kind regards
    Theresa

  13. Robert Mahan

    My uncle was a US Navy wireless operator and served as liason on The Argonaut late in the war.

  14. tony carey

    my grandfather ron vidler was on this ship sadly no longer with us he was on the guns. He joined the ship after it was repaired i would love to meet up sometime with other relatives

  15. Donald Benham Anderson

    My uncle (dec’d Mar 2009) was Leutenant John Willaim Benham and served on HMS Argonaut in WW2. He was Portsmouth born in 1912. I believe he published a short treatise on his experiences and the torpedoing of Argonaut. I believe this was for a small circulation magazine. Unfortunately I don’t have a copy.

  16. Suzanne Parsons

    My father was William (Bill) Greenway. He was on the Argonaut in WW2. We have a photo of Dad on board while stores were being loaded and another great photo of the ship on its last voyage with all the crew and officers at attention on the ship. It has details of the ship written underneath. Sadly Dad passed away last December but had great stores to tell us throughout his life of his time on the Argonaut and I have his letters written home when he was on the ship to his mother.

  17. John E Favill

    My cousin Jim ( given name Leslie) LEWIS served on the Argonaut in WW2. I moved from England to the US in 1979 and Jim and I exchanged letters. The last letter I had from him gave an account of the episode when the bow and the stern were “modified” by torpedoes. The following is an extract from the last letter I received from him just before his unexpected death.

    I haven’t been back to the States since during the war. I have great memories of the people I met there. I enclose a cutting about the “Argonaut”. A German U Boat thought we didn’t need bows and astern, so they blew them off with two “fish”. To cut a long story short we called in “Parto Del Gardo” in the Azores to shore up our bulk heads as we were likely to founder. The men who took our wires and berthed us, was a U Boat’s crew. They were not Nazis, but good German Seamen, we all got drunk as monkeys together. When we left she was not allowed to sail for 24 Hrs but she never came after us. She could have put us under easy. The only way we could steer was slow ahead on one engine, and up and down on tother. In “Philly”, the Whiddett family met us, they originated from Park Village, Wolverhampton.

    The remainder of the letter is of a personal nature. The cutting referred to, which I still have, is from “The News Phonads Service. Telephone Portsmouth 664422″ and shows a photograph of the Argonaut in Philadelphia Navy Yard with the ships company after the repairs were completed in 1943. The account with the photograph asks for anyone interested in a reunion of the 1942 to 1946 commission to contact Frederick Wood, ( his address was given) the Chief Writer on the Argonaut who with Phil Rookes, an ex-Argonaut who played for Pompey from 1946 to 1951 who were trying to organize the reunion.

  18. Lorraine Dodd (nee Thorpe)

    Thank you for setting up this website. My grandad Harold Rumely Thorpe served on HMS Argonaut during WW2; including the Arctic Convoy. My mum has his bible presented in Philadelphia.
    If anyone can point to sites with photographs i would be most grateful
    love and thanks, Lorraine Dodd (nee Thorpe)

  19. tony carey

    Hi Lorraine google Bill Proctor you’ll find the true story of the ship the one my granfather told me but most versions miss vital parts but Bill was the Captain’s Secretary and his account is full and accurate.Bill died about this time last year

  20. Alan Procter

    Hi Everyone, as noted earlier, my father Bill Procter died in Feb 2012 at the age of 97! Please note the spelling of his name if anyone is Googling. He left a great many momentoes which I share with my brother who lives in the UK – I live in Vancouver Canada. We have photos and scrap books and a few objects he saved from the ship and shore visits. I do not recognize any of the names that have been posted earlier but would be happy to email crew photos to anyone who is interested. One of my current interests is modelling and I have built a 1/350 scale model of the Argonaut. Alan Procter

  21. Sel Roberts

    Hi All,
    My father-in-law, John Henry Peel was on the Argonaut in WW2, although he is now almost 93 and his memory is going, I will ask him if any of the names are familiar to him.

  22. Alan Procter

    Hi Tony:
    Many of the photos that I have are duplicated in the website gallery although I do have others. What are you looking for? I also do not know how to post photos or have an email address for you.

    Alan Procter

  23. Adam Phillips Post author

    Dear Alan

    If you send the images to myself I will post them on the website for you.

    It would be great to see some new images.

    Flipper – Secretary

  24. tony carey

    Don’t know if i can leave it for everyone to see what my email is so maybe the secetary would kindly pass it on. Looking for a photo with the crew standing on her deck or any with her at sea thanks.tony carey

  25. Adam Phillips Post author

    Dear Tony we have a selection of images in the gallery section of our website if you require any of the images please let me know.

    Regards

    Adam – Secretary

  26. Michael Davies

    I have been trying to find information on a close uncle who I believe was on HMS Argonaut during WW2 and for how long he was with the ship. I believe he was billeted with civilians in Australia and America while the ship recieved repairs? He did survive the war but he and my aunt are now deceased and it seems no record of his time on the ship was kept. His name was Harold Johnson and in 1942 would have been 20

  27. Adam Phillips Post author

    Dear Michael,

    I have no record of Harold being a member of the Association. I will have a look at some of the many documents I have relating to the Cruiser Argonaut so see if he is listed. May be someone else on this forum could help you though many of the WW2 crew are no longer with us.

    Regards

    Adam – Secretary

  28. tony carey

    Thank you i see the photos on the site and was very pleased to see mostly photos i’ve never seen before.I would love to have no2,4,15,17,26,28 dont know if i can just down load them from your site or if you need to email them to me,thanks for your help.tony

  29. Adam Phillips Post author

    I will email them over Tony. Can I ask why you want them?

    Regards

  30. tony carey

    thank you for sending them to me i’ll get a couple framed.My grandfather served on her in ww2 Ron Vidler.

  31. Adam Phillips Post author

    My cousin served on the Argonaut in WW2 and I have his letter which he wrote to me a short time before he died, and I quote.
    ” A German U Boat thought we didn’t need bows or stern so blew them off with two “fish.” To cut a long story short we called in Panto Del Gorda in the Azores to shore up our bulk heads as we were likely to founder. The men who took our wires and berthed us, was a U-Boat crew. They were not Nazis, but good German Seamen, we all got drunk as monkeys together. When we left she was not allowed to said for 24 HRS but she never came after us. She could have put us under easy. The only way we could steer , was slow ahed on one engine, and up and down on tother”.

    He included with his letter a cutting from “The News Phonads Service” newspaper with a photograph of the Argonaut and her ships company taken in 1943 in the Philadelphia Navy Yards where the repair to the Argonaut took place. The short article gives the name and address of Mr Frederick Wood who was trying to form a ships reunion.

    John Favill, Brookfield, WI, USA ex Wolves.

  32. Wayne Drewitt

    Does anyone have any information on my grandad Reginald Stacey he served on hms argonaut during ww2 … As a kid he used to tell me tales of his and other men on board heroics and the places they visited .. He sadly passed away 1982 and I’ve been trying ever since to find any servicemen or relatives of reg’s pals on board to get more great stories…. Thank you

  33. James Donaldson

    My father served on the Argonaut WW2. (William Donaldson). I have a few photographs taken between 1942 and 1946 which are not on this website – happy to send them to the association.
    James Donaldson

  34. John E. Favill

    I became interested in the HMS Argonaut since I located my cousin who served on the Argonaut during WW2 and was on board when it was torpedoed by either a German or Italian submarine depending who tells the story. I have lived in the US since 1979 ( came to work for Harley-Davidson) and I began my search for him and found him in England living in Southampton. We exchanged several letters but sadly soon afterwards I was notified of his death. His name Leslie LEWIS known as Jim but I have no idea of his rank. In one of his letters he told me the story of what happened after the bows and the stern were modified by the torpedoes. He writes.

    “A German U Boat thought we didn’t needs bows or stern so they belew them off with two “fish” To cut a long story short we called in Ponta Delgada in the Azores to shore up our bulk heads as we were likely to founder. The men who took our wires and berthed us was a U-Boat crew. They were not Nazis but good German Seamen we all got drunk as monkeys together. When we left she was not allowed to sail for 24hrs but she never came after us. She could have put us under easy. The only way we could steer, was slow ahead on one engine and up and down on tother.”

    In no comment on the Argonaut have I read about this German U-Boat at Ponto-Delgarda but if true something surely worth recording. Les

  35. Adam Phillips Post author

    Dear John – You are correct that the U-Boat was in Ponta Delgada. My records show and as is stated in the story the U-Boat sailed first.

    As for what fired the fish that hit her. It is pretty much well recorded that it was the Italian Submarine Mocenigo. I have the log book for the fateful day and it lead up if you’re interested?

    Adam

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