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HMS Prince Leopold

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  • #16
    HMS Armadillo

    Some good news for a change. With the help of friends in Scotland we have finally located the Base, HMS Armadillo.

    HMS Armadillo was the RN Commando Training Base where my Late Father and his mates were trained.

    Using in part Google maps I was able to see the area from my home in Port Macquarie, Australia. Ain't technology great!



    • #17
      The 'missing' stern

      As a possible answer as to why some say the HMS Prince Leopold had her stern blown off:


      "HMS Prince Leopold. This former Belgian ship, built in 1930, was mined and damaged on 22 September 1940 - so badly, in fact, that she was designated as an air target.

      However, after repairs she became an infantry landing ship under Royal Navy command. She was fitted with two 12-pounder guns and six 20mm machine-guns.

      On 29 July 1944, she was torpedoed by U-261, commanded by Oberleutnant Hermann Struckmann, while on passage from the Isle of Wight to Normandy. The 2938 ton ship capsized and sank."

      The latest report from a diving buddy:




      • #18
        My Grandfather was also aboard HMS Prince Leopold when she went down, and my Mother has just asked me to look into it again (I did many years ago but didn't get very far, genealogy has grown online somewhat since I first looked!). Now, we're confused.

        The information we have was that he was an ABS aboard HMS Prince Leopold when she went down and that he was picked up by the Maltese and spent some time in hospital in Malta.

        Obviously from that, we presumed that the ship had been sunk somewhere close to Malta, but discovering that the ship was actually sunk in the English Channel makes things a little more interesting!

        My Grandad is no longer with us, so we can't ask him, and as with my other relatives who were active in WWII, they didn't talk about it. The only reason we knew he was in hospital in Malta was that he told my Mum, when she was going to Malta on her honeymoon, that he had been in hospital there and that the Maltese had picked him up after Leopold went down.

        Any info you might be able to point me to would be much appreciated, meanwhile I'll carry on searching! Ta x


        • #19
          HMS Prince Leopold

          Originally posted by rickles23 View Post
          Photos and information was 'restricted' on the HMS Prince Leopold and 'may be put on the restricted list for another 150 years'...
          I recently heard that there were 800 US GI's on board in the hold of the HMS Prince Leopold heading to France when it was sank by the U-boat. Can anyone confirm this or have any idea if the ship had any cargo or troops on board?

          This may be why it may be put on restricted for another 150 years. From what I am reading here there seems to be a lot of conflicting stories and evidence surrounding this ship.

          Anyone with information on this, feel free to message me.

          Thank you,
          Last edited by IDesire; 25 Feb 09, 18:41. Reason: title


          • #20
            HMS Prince Leopold

            Sorry to bring up an old topic but my grandfather had been researching this subject as his father (my great-grandfather), a Royal Engineer, was a survivor from this ship. There's some info on this site though I don't think it includes anything that hasn't been said here already.

            The subject is interesting because up until this point my family and I had always thought that my great-grandfather had landed in France right after D-day. As it turns out, both my paternal and maternal great-grandfathers were survivors of U-boat attacks my maternal great-grandfather being the Captain of an Atlantic convoy vessel that was torepedoed and sunk.

            If there's any more info that could be gleaned can someone please post it here? Thank-you for any assistance.


            • #21
              HMS Prince Leopold continued

              Hi all,

              I know that it is some time since I last wrote but I can only do this on the few times I am not in the hospital. Hopefully this time I should be ok but the medication does play havoc with my memory.

              1/ I will double check but she was carrying troops and vehicles and although at this point I cannot remember the total crew and troop numbers there were 17 dead

              2/ "ABS aboard HMS Prince Leopold when she went down and that he was picked up by the Maltese and spent some time in hospital in Malta".

              I know for sure that the HMS Prince Leopold was in Malta but long before she sank. I shall supply dates etc later



              • #22
                Continued from last entry

                Hi all,

                Back with some more and checked information.

                1/ Re Malta.

                May 1940: From Ostende with refugees. Afterwards to St. Malo, Cherbourg and Brest for
                evacuation of British troops for the Ministry of War Transport.
                Sept. 22, 1940: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted into an LSI(S). Pennant number LSI(S)-4251.
                Converted at Devonport Dockyard.
                Dec. 28, 1941: Raids on Lofoten and Vaagsø, Norway.
                Aug. 19, 1942: Raid on Dieppe.
                June 1943: To Gibraltar and Algiers.
                July 1943: Landings on Sicily. Troop transport to Algiers, Malta and Sicily.
                June 6, 1944: Landings in Normandy (Sword beach).
                July 29, 1944: Sunk by U-621.

                So she would have been in the area in 1943.

                2/ Number of troops.

                Attached a photograph depicting the second landing on June 17, 1944. The 300 troops transferred from HMS Prince Leopold can be seen disembarking in the rough water.

                3/ Casualties.

                54 men killed, unknown number of survivors.

                The ship finally sank in position
                50.19N, 00.53W - Grid BF 3533.

                English Channel, 18 miles southeast of St. Catherine's Point, Isle of Wight. (50.27N - 00.56W.

                171 degrees NAB TOWER 5.8 miles at 1618.

                Attached Files


                • #23
                  Originally posted by rickles23 View Post
                  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...

                  I have just found out that my great uncle was on the leopold when it was torpedoed.He survived and my family was told he was thought missing at sea.6 months later he arrived at his home in Grimsby after telling us he waspicked up by a Canadian ship. I cannot find any record of him in Naval records. His name was Edward Shone Born approx 1923-25. It was the 3rd time he had been torpedoed. If any one has any information please let me know.
                  Many Thanks


                  • #24

                    Several such ships carried a rudimentary D/C outfit, such as Warwick Castle

                    "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


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