Ian Mantle was 2IC and officer of the watch on the LORD AUSTIN when it sank on June 24 1944
July 17, 2009
I have just by chance seen your posting on the internet. (See "HMS Lord Austin sunk by a mine in Seine Bay, Normandy on the 24th. of June in 1944")
My father Ian Mantle was 2IC and officer of the watch on the LORD AUSTIN when it sank on June 24 1944. He was one of the very few survivors because his crew of Scottish fishermen did not believe in learnng to swim. He was picked up by an American ship the same day which then sank and he had to swim for the shore.
Before that he had served on the Russian convoys and he and his 'death' were described in detail in PQ17 by Godfrey Winn. After D Day he served in the Far East in the frigate LOCH LOMOND and saw extensive further combat.
I took my father back to Normandy in 1984 where among other things we met a man from the US ship that had picked him up, and HM The Queen.
My father has since been decorated by the Mayor of Caen. He is now 85 and alive and well and living in Gloucestershire, UK. If you would like to contact him, let me know. He would be happy to help you.
Very best wishes.
Jonathan Mantle (London)
Thank you for your mail, I would be pleased to hear from your Dad any detail of the sinking of Lord Austin that we might add to AHOY.
I am 87, and hopefully still going strongly.
Best wishes to both your Dad and yourself.
I hope you are well. I have spoken to my father Ian Mantle and he can give you chapter and verse on what happened to the LORD AUSTIN as he was 2 i/c when it sank. It is a very dramatic story.
We would be interested to know what your interest in the story is.
Look forward to hearing from you - as I say my father does not do email but I do and he can give me the info which I can send to you.
In any story we have on AHOY, I am always interested in adding any stories from anyone who was actually there at the time. The first hand reports of participants are getting less and less as time passes by, and will soon be lost forever.
I see it as a duty to record for posterity these stories, that is why I am interested in your Dad's first hand report.
I look forward to adding it to Ahoy when convenient.
My thanks for your help and interest.