LST 420

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Chris Raymond Antcliffe, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Gary Helyer

    Gary Helyer Member

    Hi Hattie I am working on this now, I don't know if you got hold of the records but through my Navy source he sent me the statement that your relation made .
    In fact it seems he was the only Army survivor but I am working to confirm this as numbers from the Navy don't tally and the numbers of the RAF can be either/or.
    Just an idle search of the cemetery in Ostend started my research into the RAF loss of 1 BSRU and when I found that members of 111 General Hospital had perished I had too find out more, as I am RAMC myself, later I was onboard HM Ships and have witnessed a fire at sea when 3 shipmates died so I can appreciate how those men died, and I would haveliked to have seen some Memorial, but it has been difficult to even get answers from people on FB (Museums etc)
    Another Navy contact has aBelgian Navy contact who thought there was going to be a 75 anniversary but it did not happen, perhaps we can make it happen
  2. Gary Helyer

    Gary Helyer Member

    Hi Majors Batman
    Not that your father in law could speak of such a terrible experience, but do you know if he was in touch with anyone else from that night, and did he at any time document it?
    It is only from the living that the full story and the real number of survivors found.
    You will gather that there a questions on the full number of casualties so any leads would be appreciated.
    I am ex RAMC but have suffered a fire in HM ships losing shipmates ,so I would like this story told.
  3. Gary Helyer

    Gary Helyer Member

    Hi John
    I only came across the loss of LST earlier this year when doing some CWGC on Ostend Cemetery research and finding that there were so many RAF graves and not aircrew I had to investigate,.
    I am ex RAMC but have been in a fire on HM Ships losing shipmates so I wanted to find out all I could.
    Fortunately my Navy source has come up trumps and found the only(?) account written by an Army survivor. and on here I learn of an RAF survivor. Now you speak of your father.
    I know that your father would have found it as difficult to talk if he had lost one shipmate and not 55, but my Navy friend and I are desperate to know how many were on board?/
    My Navy mate, and I have seen it suggested here says due to overcrowding a smaller crew was onboard(BUT this is not confirmed) it seems only around 20/30 sailors were saved but there should have been 117 in a full crew so it is vital all are accounted for,
    Thank you if you are able to give any idea of your fathers thoughts
    Bill Gill likes this.
  4. Bill Gill

    Bill Gill Junior Member

    7th November at 3pm. 76 years ago LST420 was lost off Ostend. My thoughts are with my father William Percy Gill and all the other service people who died that day.
    Buteman and jonheyworth like this.
  5. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    I was just thinking exactly the same as I just drove home from work
  6. pattyallen3

    pattyallen3 New Member

    I've been doing some research on an Arthur John Kendall service no. 1658440 Leading Aircraftsman on board the LST 420 when it hit a mine and his life was lost...... I have found several entries that would corroborate this - but in the list of of lives lost on that ship on that day - his name doesn't appear. Is it possible that his name was just missed out?? His name is listed on the Runnymede memorial.
  7. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    I’ve always had Kendall who was a Risca boy , as losing his life on LST 420
  8. Mike England

    Mike England New Member

    My Grandfather Flight Sergeant John England lost his life on LST420. His name is engraved at Runnymede and I've visited both the Blankenberge and Ostend Cemeteries with my father (who is now 87). If any families plan to attend in the future or are keen to organise something then please do let me know and I'd love to be involved.
    AnneAsh and 4jonboy like this.
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Wreck found off Cornwall thought to be WW2 storm-hit vessel

    An unexpected wreck found by divers could be one of six Royal Navy vessels that sank in a storm during World War Two, experts have said.

    The divers found the wreck off Cornwall in April while searching for another vessel.

    During the storm in 1944, six landing craft tanks got into difficulty off the Cornish coast and more than 50 sailors died.

    Divers have worked with the University of Plymouth to identify the wreck.

    'Ripped convoy to shreds'
    The volunteer diving team - known as Gasperados - found the wreck at a depth of about 330ft (100m) off north Cornwall.

    Dr Harry Bennett, associate professor of history at the University of Plymouth, said the storm "ripped this convoy to shreds".

    He said the wreck was found in an "unusual location and not where you'd expect to find one, such as off Normandy".

    Dr Bennett said the wreck could be one of six craft lost while being towed to Asia in anticipation of the planned invasion of Japan.

    He said the vessels were never meant for such voyages or rough weather.

    Diver Dom Robinson said the wreck was "big and very different"

    Dr Bennett said Royal Navy records showed on 18-19 October 1944, the convoy ran into an Atlantic storm off Land's End with winds estimated at force nine - speeds of up to 55mph (88km/h).

    Six landing craft tanks - 480, 488, 491, 494, 7014 and 7015 - were lost at the height of the storm, along with 55 men.

    But more than 100 sailors were saved.

    'Unrelenting storms'
    Dr Bennett, who used reports from papers and escort vessels and information known about the convoy, said no-one has seen any of the missing vessels since 1944.

    "The tragic story of the lost convoy, which this wreck brings to the fore, is a brutal reminder that in the midst of war our mariners still had to contend with the old foes of unrelenting storms and the cruel sea to sometimes deadly effect," he said.

    "We can't be 100%, but it's very likely this is one of those craft. It's quite significant to see this broken wreck.

    "We'd love to see further evidence to absolutely nail it in memory of those men lost so tragically to an October storm."

    'Final resting place'
    Diver Dom Robinson said: "We were looking for something different and found this vessel."

    He said the wreck was "big and very different" and it was "incredible" to find out it could be one of the vessels lost in 1944.

    "Nobody has heard of it, but what a terrible thing to happen to these people dying during war in bad weather."

    Diver Steve Mortimer said: "As divers, we never take for granted that we might discover the final resting places of sailors who died fighting for our country.

    "We are privileged to suggest that we may have found the remains of 488 or, if not that ship, then a similar craft from World War Two."

    The findings will be presented at the diving conference at the University of Plymouth on 25 November.
  10. Bill Gill

    Bill Gill Junior Member

    7th November at 3pm. 79 years ago LST420 was lost off Ostend. My thoughts, again, are with my father William Percy Gill and all the other service people who died that day.
    SDP likes this.
  11. Alex Gibbons

    Alex Gibbons Tankerman2

    Hello Everyone ,
    I first became aware of the LST 420 wreck back in 1991 when passing the buoy on a weekly run to Niewpoort , Belgium onboard the British aggregate dredger "Arco Severn" . Some 12 years later I met a fine lass ( who I am still with today) and found out that her Grandfather LAC Gregory Ash (BSRU) was lost on the LST420 and is buried at Blankenberge . My late mother in law was only 13 when her father Gregory Ash was killed and she was an evacuee in Devon and her mother got the train down from London to tell her of the very sad news..
    I always knew of a Great Uncle in my family who had been in the RN during WW2 and had been torpedoed 3 times which had left him with severe PTSD and after the war he took his own life . Several years ago another family member researched this and found that my Great Uncle had been serving on LST200 in the same convoy when LST420 was lost .
    I was very lucky to attend several LST & Landing Craft Association Events and meet some veterans before it disbanded several years ago .
    This is an amazing site and thread ,

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