British seaman served aboard HMS Pozarica in Arctic and Mediterranean, 1942-1943 including sinking, 1/1943; served aboard HMS Royal Ulsterman in Mediterranean and English Channel, 1943-1945
REEL 1 Background in Wanlockhead and Southport, 1922-1939: family and education; employment. Reaction to declaration of Second World War, 3/9/1939. Enlistment in Royal Navy, 7/1941. Period of basic training with HMS Collingwood, 1941. Period with HMS Pozarica, in GB waters 12/1941-6/1942: joining ship in Belfast, 12/1941; role of ship; duties in transmitting station; sleeping in hammocks; issue of tropical clothing, 6/1942. Recollections of convoy PQ 17 with HMS Pozarica, 6/1942: appearance of German Air Force spotter aircraft; initial losses to German attacks; announcement to scatter order; running aground in ice field; threat of German heavy ships attacking convoy; disappearance of Russian destroyers with appearance of German aircraft; escorting ships into Archangel; experiences ashore in Archangel; morale aboard ship; reaction to scatter order.
REEL 2 Continues: attempt to release ship from ice; return to GB in convoy QP 14, autumn 1942. Recollections of operations off North African coast aboard HMS Pozarica, 1942-1943: nature of Axis opposition to North African landings, 11/1942; role of ship escorting merchant ships; German Air Force attack which blew off ship's stern; sinking of ship; rescue of survivors by HMS Cadmus off Bougie, 29/1/1943. Recollections of landings with Combined Operations ship HMS Royal Ulsterman in Mediterranean and North West Europe, 1943-1945: joining ship, Algiers, 3/1943; role of ship off Italy including dropping commandos behind Axis lines; Salerno and Anzio landings; role as quartermaster; ship's communication role during D- Day landings, Normandy, 6/6/1944; work of ship during liberation of Channel Islands, 5/1945.
REEL 3 Continues: Friendship with Ferdinand family in St Helier, Jersey who had been under German occupation. Attitude to having served in Royal Navy during Second World War. Attitude to order to scatter Convoy PQ 17, 6/1942. Reasons why he refused promotion in Royal Navy.
Over two million American servicemen passed through Britain during the Second World War. In 1944, at the height of activity, up to half a million were based there with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Their job was to man and maintain the vast fleets of aircraft needed to attack German cities and industry.