Derek A. Lee - HMS Sardonyx

November 12, 2011

Good afternoon, Mac,

I happened on your blog when I was googling to see if my late husband and father-in-law were still listed as "living" on a U.S. site. (They were!!)

I was most interested in your information about the WWII data. Derek, my father-in-law was indeed the person who signed that photo.  I'd recognize that signature anywhere. (see "Harold Leslie Papworth, was Chief Officer on the Yorktown, and the only officer to survive, along with a few other crew members, 26/09/1942")

His military history is a most interesting tale, and if you are curious about it, I'd be delighted to help. To comment on the "fine and imprisonment" section, I would tend to take exception to that, since he was accepted into the RNVR by special exception letter from Winston Churchill.

At one point he held equal ranks of Lt. Commander in RNVR, USN, and U.S. Army (I'm not sure what that rank is.)
He spent the early part of the war in the North Atlantic during the excursion to which your piece refers, but later was
recruited by the USN and USA to become part of the OSS with "Wild Bill" Donovan and Lord Louis Mountbatten, and spent time in Burma.

He died in 1985, and all his *best* stories started with, "When I was a
commander in the Royal Navy….."

I'd be happy to share with you any information I have, though much of the documentation has gone to a Marine in Carolina who was producing a documentary on the Burma era of his career.

I presently live in Richmond, VA, and work as an RN here. 

Let me know if you have any interest.

Margot Lee

Hello Margaret,

My thanks for your E-mail.

I would be pleased to receive anything you care to share about Derek with me and with your approval would add it to our piece on Ahoy.

I am always pleased to be able to add snippets to my articles that expand on the subject or person involved..

Do you have the letter from Winston Churchill?

With my very best wishes,

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