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HMS Prince Leopold

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  • HMS Prince Leopold

    I am researching my late father's World War Two ship the HMS Prins Albert and I have just started to research the 'sisterships'. These ships were L.S.I's, or Infantry Landing Ship (Small).

    The HMS PRINCE LEOPOLD is causing a problem as she was carrying depth charges when she was torpedoed just after D-Day. I have video of the wreck and it clearly shows depth charges and Mark 3 racks on the stern. The Royal Navy's sonar scan also states that she was carrying the depth charges. Getting the sonar scans of the 'Prince Leopold' took six months and the Freedom of Information Act. But the classic one was the Submarine Museum that stated that depth charges were nothing to do with them. I thought the major enemy of the submarine was the depth charge. But no one can tell me WHY she was carrying depth charges.

    Anyone with any theories?

    Regards rickles23

  • #2
    Since an LSI would not be equippped with the sonar gear needed to track and attack a submarine, it makes little sense to outfit one with racks and charges, unless they were intended as a crude means to clear underwater obstacles and Teller mines blocking the beaches.

    Mayube you a should contact those two divers/the producers of Deep Sea Detectives?
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?


    • #3
      Depth charges

      I shall look into that.

      The Royal Navy didn't believe me about the depth charges until I sent them a video of the wreck and the Royal Navy Submarine Museum stated that depth charges were nothing to do with them.

      I also sent the Royal Navy a copy of their own survey sonar scan of the wreck and in the information part it states that depth charges were aboard!



      • #4
        hi there my grandfather served on that boat i will ask him for u about the depth charges also where did u get the footage of the prince leopold


        • #5
          Information from a crew member

          Hi. My father in law was a stoker aboard the Leopold when she was torpedoed and was one of the crew injured. He was asleep at the time of impact and was thrown out of his bunk sustaining a head injury.
          He says that the Leopold was not carrying any depth charges, and the only thing on the stern was a pile of Carley floats. The sides of the ship being taken up by the eight landing craft. There are inconsistencies in the reports, in that for instance the ship was holed rear of the engine room say about 3/4 along the ship not amidships. The ship did not sink at the site but was towed for some time before they gave up and abandoned ship. This may lead to the other anomaly, that of the location. Different records show different locations - maybe that the ship with depth charges is not the Leopold!
          First in the list of merchant ships sunk by U-Boats.
          Second Ship 84 in the list.
          Of course the two locations could be “torpedoed” and “final resting place”.
          The best record of course is the commanders report which states that the rear end was “blown off”, so how is anything still attached? The torpedo appears possibly to have been travelling towards the rear and the explosion was directed in that direction. We have a photocopy of a typed copy of the report which I have transcribed and attach here.
          He was told that it was a mine and held this belief until 2 years ago when he got hold of the commanders report etc.
          His other gripe is that there is no official record of the civilian ships crew, only the army and navy.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            I've dived the wreck of the Leopold several times and can confirm the presence of depth charges still in the their racks on the stern. In addition, the bell was recovered a few years ago confirming the identity of this wreck. Thanks for posting the pictures.


            • #7
              Prince Leopold

              Sorry for the late reply but I have just finished another spell in hospital.

              Royal Navy Report on the wreck:

              2938-ton, Belgian steamer, built 1930, converted to infantry landing ship 1941

              347ft x 46ft. Armed. Isle of Wight to Normandy.

              Sunk: 29 July, 1944, by torpedo from German U-boat, striking portside, midships.

              Attached are two photos. One showing the location of the wreck and this was confirmed by a diving buddy who took a video of the wreck for me.

              The other photo shows one of the depth charge rails (a Mark 3) with depth charges and the same person confirmed that it was still bolted to the stern.

              After serving the Navy with a request under the Freedom of Information Act, they are sending me a fuller report on why she had depth charges as part of her armament kit.

              Next installment soon!

              Attached Files


              • #8

                I'm confused why you need to use the Freedom of Information Act.

                I would have thought that the files as such are Open Documents?

                "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Andy H View Post

                  I'm confused why you need to use the Freedom of Information Act.

                  I would have thought that the files as such are Open Documents?

                  some documents are like that within the uk and commonwealth .. for to prevent the public from being panicked etc i know the right choice of words but along those lines.

                  there is some uk documents from ww2 that have been sealed for another 50 years to prevent panic etc ..
                  owner of the yahoo group for WW1 ,WW2 and Modern TO&Es
                  (Tables of organisation & equipment or Unit of action )



                  • #10
                    Freedom of Information

                    Why did I use the Freedom of Information Act on the Royal Navy?

                    When I first started my research the Royal Nvy informed me that the ship, HMS Prins Albert, never existed...

                    Also the same excuse was used about the Royal Navy Commandos.

                    The Submarine Museum stated that depth charges were 'nothing to do with them' and I thought the depth charge was the natural enemy of the submarine.

                    Photos and information was 'restricted' on the HMS Prince Leopold and 'may be put on the restricted list for another 150 years'...

                    So when I first applied under the Freedom of Information Act, I stated that the 'Leopold' was a sunken wreck (some 60 odd years) and a popular dive site.

                    The Royal Navy Commandos were not only the 'best kept secret of WW2 but they still are and nany of the original crew are now in their 80s (approx) and deserve the recognition of the other branches of the Armed Forces of WW2

                    Only last week one of the very few Royal Navy Beach Commandos left died. He was a good friend of my late Father and gave me access to photos and information.

                    Finally, in the martial art that I follow one of the 'rules' is To make use of that which is available. The Navy were not going to help so I went to the next step, the Freedom of Information Act.

                    I have just finished writing about a 'Prins Albert' crew member and the Invasion of Sicily where he said that the voyage went via the Suez Canal. My research proved him correct in every detail. The Navy Historian stated that 'he is confused about the route as it never happened. I am still waiting for a reply to the letter I sent showing the evidence.

                    There will be more...



                    • #11
                      keep us posted rickles23 thanks .

                      owner of the yahoo group for WW1 ,WW2 and Modern TO&Es
                      (Tables of organisation & equipment or Unit of action )



                      • #12
                        The sory continues

                        I have just watched both DVDs of Seapower which shows the history of the warship since man first went to war upon the oceans.

                        The 'Senior Lecturers' were from the Military Acadamy at Sandhurst and they spoke with great knowledge of the subject.

                        So what the h**l I sent an email explaining the problems with the 'Leopold' and the Royal Navy and could they suggest the next step.

                        Then a few days later I received a reply:

                        "Very sorry Mr. Smallman but this is an army establishment and we are therefore not able to help you."




                        • #13
                          Crew Listing

                          Hi Guys ,would Anyone Know The Whereabouts Of A Crew Listing Of This Vessel,my Grandfather Served On This Vessel And Has Recently Passed Away,and I Thought It Would Be A Nice Gesture To Get A Listing Framed Up For My Mum,my Grandfathers Name And Rank Was Able Seaman Thomas Highet Morrison.

                          Thx Calum Smith


                          • #14
                            You could try emailing but the chances are pretty slim as all I have found is Kennedy Blair Sylvester Brown who was the Captain in 1941. But if you need photos etc. let me know on [email protected]. Regards


                            • #15
                              Casualty List

                              I have just found a partial Casualty List from the HMS Prince Leopold's sinking. I will send it to you if you contact me. In respect of the Dead it will not be posted.


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