Tolfree, Derek (Oral history)
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- whole: Duration 90, Number Of Items 3
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- object name: Oral history
- object category: IWM interview
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British midshipman and officer served aboard HMS Westminster in GB coastal waters, 1942-1945
REEL 1 Recollections of operations as midshipman and officer aboard HMS Westminster in GB coastal waters, 1942-1945: background to joining Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve; joining HMS Westminster as midshipman, 12/1942; characteristics of Wear Class destroyers; ship's radar; amusing story of reaction of HMS Wallace to presence of pawn broker balls on bridge of HMS Westminster's bridge; organisation of east coast convoys; relations between his captain and convoy commodore; threats faced by convoys; navigation. REEL 2 Continues: description of convoy escorts; air activity over convoys; further details of threats faced by convoys and methods of navigating by wrecks; secrecy surrounding radar; ship's officers; leave and courses attended in port; taking surrender of German U-boats, 5/1945; move to Norway waters, 5/1945. Aspects of period with Royal Navy from 1945: leaving ship and joining Tremathic Bay; towing U-boat to Russia; ashore in Russia; joining minesweeper. REEL 3 Continues: relations with captain of minesweeper; demobilisation and civilian career. Aspects of operations as midshipman and officer aboard HMS Westminster in GB coastal waters, 1942-1945: use of hydrophones to pick up sound of German E-boats; clash with E-boats; opinion of German E-boats and Coastal Forces; ship's officers; ship's anti-aircraft defences; amusing story of why ship was not involved in Dunkirk Evacuation; discussions of photographs and journal; period as midshipman aboard HMS Nelson; use of flags to signal.
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