- Contributed by
- Stockport Libraries
- People in story:
- Philip Burgess
- Background to story:
- Royal Navy
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 03 March 2004
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Elizabeth Perez of Stockport Libraries on behalf of Philip Burgess and has been added to the site with his permission. Mr Burgess fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.
I was in the Royal Navy - "HMS Phoebe" on the Malta convoy in August 1942. "HMS Eagle", an aircraft carrier sunk, "HMS Manchester" sunk, "The Indomitable" an aircraft carrier was bombed. Everything was in flames and being bombed around us. We escorted "The Indomitable" back to Gibralter and then our ship carried on down to Cape Town, South Africa and then we were looking for German ships.
We were on our way up to North Africa. I was a radar officer and I looked over the side and saw a periscope. One minute later, two torpedoes hit us and we had 70 dead.
Then we went to The Shetland Islands. On the Isle of Uist, a German plane used to come over looking for our convoys. One day I saw on the radar a plane that was identified as German. I passed this information by telephone to the R.A.F. and they got in touch with Polish Mosquito pilots and they shot it down. The pilots sent a message back to me thanking me for radar plotting.
I volunteered to go on a ship carrying six landing craft. We went to Normandy and we were a lead ship. We went backwards and forwards. I saw a minesweeper exploding.
"SS Stockport" was a merchant ship that was used by the Royal Navy to pick up survivors of torpedoed ships. They did this for all of 1942 and part of 1943 and then it went missing. It was found to have been torpedoed by the Germans and all hands lost their lives.
The White Ensign Club has a large number of sailors who took part in Russian convoys and other actions during the war. We meet once a month at The Armoury Pub, Greek Street, Stockport.
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.