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Thread: Athel tankers on Arctic Convoys

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    Default Athel tankers on Arctic Convoys

    I am trying to find evidence of my late father's service during the WW11, with a view to obtaining the Arctic Medal. We know he was on Russian convoys on an Athel Line ship.
    The medals office have most details of his service, but say it is not sufficient!
    Can you advise me?
    Many thanks, Pamela V White. nee Moxon.

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    Default Re: Athel tankers on Arctic Convoys

    Keep looking in Pamela, some of our experts will find details for you,
    Brian

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    Default Re: Athel tankers on Arctic Convoys

    Hello Pamela and welcome,

    I need to know what you have given to the medal office by way of proof of service. I can advise when I know that detail.

    Regards
    Hugh
    "If Blood was the price
    We had to pay for our freedom
    Then the Merchant Ship Sailors
    Paid it in full”


    www.sscityofcairo.co.uk

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    Default Re: Athel tankers on Arctic Convoys

    Hello Pamela,

    I have looked at the copy of my Application form and this is what you need;-
    Name ( your father)
    MN Discharge Book number
    Rank
    date of birth & death
    State role of MN seaman ( this looks the same as 'Rank' to me.)
    Received Arctic emblem Y/N
    received Soviet 40th Anniversary medal Y/N
    Details of service in Arctic regions - so, as much as you know. Ship's name;Convoy number; dates.
    Send the form to MINISTRY OF DEFENCE MEDAL OFFICE, Imjimn Barracks, Innsworth, Gloucester GL3 1HW.

    They then send it to Cardiff which is where the MN medals are dealt with.
    Mr. Neil Staples
    Maritime & Coastguard Agency
    Anchor Court
    Keen Road
    CARDIFF CF24 5JW. Tel;- 020 2044 8800

    It would be worth phoning Cardiff and asking to speak to Mr. Staples - who is a very helpful man ! He told me to include a copy of Dad's Death cert( which was not asked for on the original form.)

    Do you think that your Dad was on ATHLETEMPLAR' PQ18, September 1942? If so, then MY Dad rescued him ! ( Capt W. J. Hartley Rescue Ship,'Copeland')

    Another thing. The whole process takes AGES. So if you can cut a few corners by going directly to Cardiff then that will be a great help.
    Also, if your mother is still alive then fill in the form on her behalf b/c Widows come b4 children.
    regards
    Brenda
    Last edited by Brenda Shackleton; 7th July 2016 at 08:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Athel tankers on Arctic Convoys

    Hello Brenda,

    I presume that Pamela doesn't have the proof of Arctic service so will need to provide that proof of Time and Area evidence. The onus is on the applicant to provide that evidence either in the form of copies of discharge book/CRS 10 or other acceptable primary records.

    Regards
    Hugh
    Last edited by Hugh; 7th July 2016 at 08:13 PM.
    "If Blood was the price
    We had to pay for our freedom
    Then the Merchant Ship Sailors
    Paid it in full”


    www.sscityofcairo.co.uk

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    Default Re: Athel tankers on Arctic Convoys

    Hello Pamela,
    I'm pretty sure that the Atheltemplar was the only Athel tanker to go to the Arctic. If that was so, wouldn't you have heard that your Dad's ship had sunk and that he was rescued?
    Regards
    Brenda

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    Default Re: Athel tankers on Arctic Convoys

    Hi Hugh - Sorry to be so long in replying - I am not familiar with 'the system'!
    The details given to the Medals office were those required on their Arctic star application form - Date and place of birth, date of death,full names, discharge number most recent appointments prior to retirement.
    Decorations awarded - to date- are 39-45 Star,Atlantic Star, Africa Star, Pacific Star,Italy Star, and 39-45 War Medal.
    We are not aware that his ship was sunk, and unfortunately my Mother is also deceased.
    We are unable to find any other record of his service, what ship, etc. so I guess we have reached a 'dead end'.
    However, I will give Cardiff one more go
    many thanks for all the responses, which I have only just found! Pam V White nee Moxon

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    Default Re: Athel tankers on Arctic Convoys

    Hello Pamela,

    Can you give me his name, date and place of birth and his discharge number if you have it?
    Do you have any discharge books and if so what dates do the book or books cover?

    If you don't have any discharge books then If you can give me his details I can advise you how to proceed and what you need to do next.

    Regards
    Hugh
    Last edited by Hugh; 5th September 2016 at 06:53 PM.
    "If Blood was the price
    We had to pay for our freedom
    Then the Merchant Ship Sailors
    Paid it in full”


    www.sscityofcairo.co.uk

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    Default Re: Athel tankers on Arctic Convoys

    Extracted from my book, SHIPPING LOSSES OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR, published by the History Press in 2013.

    ATHELTEMPLAR *(Captain C. Ray). Sailed from Hvalfjord, Iceland, at 6am on 7 September, 1942, bound for Archangel, and, the next day, joined Convoy PQ.18 which left Loch Ewe on the 2nd. Convoy spotted by a German reconnaissance plane on the 12th. Attacks began on the 13th and Atheltemplar shot down a plane. Torpedoed by U.457 (KrvKpt. Karl Brandenburg) at 4am on the 14th and abandoned. All 61 picked up by HMRS Copeland (Captain W.J. Hartley) and the destroyer HMS Offa (LtCdr. R.A. Ewing), but transferred to the minesweepers HMS Harrier (Cdr. A.D.H. Jay) and HMS Sharpshooter (LtCdr. W.L. O’Mara). Sixteen later died of their injuries. HMS Harrier failed in an attempt to sink the burning ship, but U.408 (Kptlt. Reinhard von Hymmen), found her capsized in the afternoon and sank her by gunfire, in position 76º10´N 18º00´E. U.457 was sunk by the destroyer HMS Impulse (LtCdr. E.G. Roper) on the 16th. All 45 died. *I seem to have got this wrong, as the name on the Tower Hill Memorial is that of Captain A.H.C. Waterson.

    Other ships lost in Convoy PQ.18

    13th September – By torpedo bombers.

    Empire Beaumont. See under Walter Runciman & Co.
    John Penn
    (US Liberty Ship). (Captain A. Johnson).Three died.
    Sukhona (USSR)
    Africander (Pan.). (Captain Bjarne A. Lia). All 35 rescued.
    MacBeth (Pan.). None died.
    Empire Stevenson. All 59 died.
    Oregonian (US). Twenty-eight died.
    Wacosta (US). All forty-nine survived.

    By u-boats

    Stalingrad (USSR) (Captain A. Sakharov). By U.408. Twenty-one died when a lifeboat capsized. Sixty-six survived, including Captain Sakharov who spent 40 minutes in the freezing water.
    Oliver Ellsworth (US) (Captain O.E. Buford). Badly damaged by U.408. One drowned. Sixty-nine picked up by HMRS Copeland and the ASW trawler HMS St. Kenan which sank the ship by gunfire.

    14th September.
    Mary Luckenbach (US). Blown up by an aerial torpedo. All 65 died.
    Kentucky (US). Bombed. All picked up by the escort. Wreck drifted ashore and part of her cargo salvaged.

    All survivors, with the exception of those from the Kentucky and a few others picked up by the escort and HMRS Copeland, transferred to the cruiser HMS Scylla and her attendant destroyers before they departed to escort Convoy QP.14 to the UK. A total of approximately 25 German planes were destroyed and U.88 (Kptlt. Heino Bohmann), U.457 and U.589 (KrvKpt. Hans-Joachim Horrer) sunk.
    Last edited by Ian Malcolm; 6th September 2016 at 06:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Athel tankers on Arctic Convoys

    A correction here, Ian . The Rescue Ships were NOT Royal Navy so not HMRS. They were manned entirely by Merchant Officers and men.
    regards
    Brenda

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