HMS Dasher secrecy

December 28, 2008

See "Archer Class Auxiliary Carier, HMS Dasher Destroyed by Explosion on the 27nd. of March 1943. 379 Dead"

Dear Sir, if of interest : - sent this home as a recent email -  

 "When I was home 1 year x mother in law was pretty upset
She had been to ballochmyle hospital for check up,whilst waiting for bus
Went into canteen,as ballochmyle was in throes of closing,1 of the porters
Had found & displayed some of WW 2 entries into canteen display. The mother in law
Suddenly saw her now dead mans name there, admitted because of burns to arms
& legs. She lived in cumnock then,up until the day he died her man never
Told her he was as close as ballochmyle hospital, [10 kms].
He was in the navy as a radio operator in 'V' class destroyers,he must have been
In the clyde @ that time - based in troon.
By coincidence @ the time I was home I noticed some body had published a
Book on an aircraft carrier that had blown up in the clyde.I could not
Believe the length the govt. Went to cover it up, they said then - in case
The Germans heard of the loss of a carrier so early in the war. Can you
Believe that,the whole of the ayrshire/bute coast saw it happen,plus all the
Harbours saw the frenzy of boats. [after the war it was found out the
Germans knew of it]?
Any how getting the book, scratching about, I found out his boat was sent to
The rescue,the sea was on fire,fuel oil,aviation fuel ect,so rescue was thru
Fire,ballochmyle just opened for war wounded & every one involved put under
The official secrets act until death.  [first came to light in late 90s]?
Now more has come out though still secret, remember the movie the man who
Never was".


PS>    in Google Internet site enter ahoy Macs web log hms dasher     
Then read story on all, in the CLYDE & movie


The length that the government went to hush up the Dasher debacle was amazing.

I certainly recall the Man Who Never Was Movie.

Best regards,

December 28, 2008

Apology Hms Dasher British Aircraft Carrier that blew up in the Clyde Estuary in 1942. Then ALL censured!

Sir as a history buff?? I should have been more subjective. [Sorry about rubbishy copy of email]

If you note the map of west Ayrshire Scotland, the places in question hardly cover 40 miles, [60 kms] don't know your age??

You will note to the left of the map [w] is the Firth of Clyde where the exercise was taking place. The sea side towns of Largs to the [n] {home of Gov Brisbane}, Ardrossan,Troon, Ayr, all fairly large with their then naval contingent. Then the Island of Cumbrae & otlying light house ect. So in all not a very 'private area'?

The hospital of Ballochmyle was between the villages of Catrine & Mauchline, Cumnock on the bottom right hand side is 45 miles south of Glasgow.

My now deceased x father in law who was a radio operator in 1 of the 'V' named destroyers, Valiant,Vampire & so on]. He served in the Atlantic group after joining in London. From what 'odds' I picked up from him, his flotilla was used for dashes across the channel, as each of the Low Countries began to fall. They evacuated the Dutch royal family, Bank Diamond Reserves, also similar in Belgium, then France/Dunkirk.

I assume after that,he arrived in Troon where he met his future wife. 

On being married she moved to relatives @ Cumnock, his ship then began to accompany Atlantic convoys made up /arriving in the Clyde.

Unknown to all the family he was stationed in Troon/Clyde Estuary between convoys. Also too as the Glasgow shipyards were in full swing it was not the 1st time the crew had to go & pick up a new ship on/off the slip way.

It must have been during 'a home port period' that the Dasher incident occurred, then like many other injured [especially burned] he landed in the newly opened Ballochmyle Hospital, [the grounds in the estate given to the Gov., by the local Laird].

Troon is only 17 miles from Cumnock,Ballochmyle 7. The man in question was married to his wife for over 40 years,yet he never ever mentioned his time in Hospital, Troon, The Clyde or the Dasher incident. He died in the early 90s.

It took until 1997 when his widowed wife went to Ballocmyle hospital for a check up, then over a cup of tea & perusing thru the past admission records in the small historical display, saw part of her husbands war records. He had burns to arms & upper body,those must have been caused [if he wasn't  on the Dasher], by reaching thru the burning sea to rescue survivors, as all the fuel & aviation fuel was on fire after the ship, an aircraft carrier exploded then sank in a few minutes into 130 metres of water.

** The Censorship & Official Secrets Act, must have been extreme,the public in all the towns were warned as well,[Government said they did not want the Germans to find out about the loss of a carrier so early in the war], {it was found after the war they did}. As far as I know the Gov., have never released the papers.

The only consolation for my x mother in law was, by coincidence someone had just released a book on the incident, on the purchase of this, plus other bits & pieces I found, gave her some insight into her deceased husbands war activities, in some cases so near to their home in Cumnock.

Regards john


I am now 86, and in WW2 worked out of the Clyde on Atlantic convoying over 1940-1941, and remember the area around Troon etc.

Valient was a battleship, the V class destroyers were:

a.. Valentine - built by Cammell Laird & Company, Birkenhead, laid down 8 August 1916, launched 24 March 1917, completed 27 June 1917, damaged by German aircraft, beached and abandoned off Terneuzen 15 May 1940, salvaged 1953 and broken up.

a.. Valhalla — built by Cammell Laird, laid down 8 August 1916, launched 22 May 1917, completed 31 July 1917, sold for breaking up 17 December 1931.

a.. Valkyrie — built by William Denny & Brothers Limited, Dumbarton, laid down 25 May 1916, launched 12 March 1917, completed 16 June 1917, sold for breaking up 24 August 1936.

a.. Valorous — built by Denny, laid down May 25 1916, launched August 5 1917, completed August 21 1917, sold for breaking up 4 March 1947.

a.. Vampire — built by J. Samuel White & Company, Cowes, laid down 10 October 1916, launched 21 May 1917, completed 22 September 1917, transferred to Royal Australian Navy in Oct

Best wishes,


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