- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Norman Robert Tubbs
- Location of story:
- Plymouth Sound
- Background to story:
- Royal Navy
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 19 April 2005
I lived in my parents’ house near St Judes Church in Plymouth and have many memories of the war including seeing houses burning just around the corner after an air raid, also attending Salisbury Road School the morning after and air raid to find the annexe building destroyed and much of the main school damaged.
However, it is an incident I do remember vividly that made me want to tell the following story.
Like many lads I was interested in warship identification and had a book called ‘Spot them at sea’ that showed silhouettes of naval vessels.
I was on the Hoe one late autumn afternoon when I saw a ‘Dido’ class cruiser coming around Drake’s Island with two destroyers and four smaller escort vessels. I was pleased to spot her, as this was a new class of light cruiser. She was lit up by the low sun and looked stately.
The next day on the news the Admiralty announced the loss of H.M.S. Charybdis. I was shocked and always remember the incident.
Later (after the war) I found that she had been on a Channel sweep and German Motor Torpedo Boats (E-boats) had come out from the French ports and sank her.
She left Plymouth on the afternoon of 22nd October 1943 and was sunk at 01.35 am on 23rd October 1943.
Many of the crew were lost but 120 men were picked up by the destroyers Grenville and Rocket. It is my understanding that a memorial or Grave Stones are to be found on the island of Guernsey, where bodies were washed ashore.
To think I admired the fine sight of this vessel and she was gone less than twelve hours later.
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