Leonard Thomas, an LTO on HMAS SHROPSHIRE

January 25, 2012

G'day Mac,

A few years ago you provided me with invaluable assistance in the book I wrote about my Grandfather Percy Lynch, "Stoking the Fires". I am currently helping a friend of mine research his grandfather, Leonard Thomas, who was
an LTO on HMAS SHROPSHIRE. (see "Percy Lynch, shipmate on HMAS Australia and HMAS Adelaide")
Once again, I noticed he was a shipmate of yours and was hoping that you may be able to clarify something for me. In Stan Nicholls excellent site, he states that prior to the battle in Lingayen Gulf, Commodore Farncomb ordered the removal of torpedoes and depth charges as there was little likelihood of them being used. Could you please advise what likely role Leonard would have played in this case.

Thanks for your help.
Stephen Lynch


Nice to hear from you. 

The removal of both the torpedo tubes and the depth charges would mean a saving in top weight, This was always a problem in Shropshire, as all the radar installed needed aerials which were mounted High up on the masts, and added to the top weight problem.

A ship needs a metacentic height that gives it a good righting moment when she rolls, and stops the ship turning over.

The greater the top weight, the less will be the righting moment.

I would guess as an LTO, Leonard would likely have worked on the removal process for these two items.

In the book Porthole ( Souvenir of HMAS Shropshire, ) Leonard is named amongst the Able Seamen on page 89.

Here is his Certificate of Service in the RAN in WW2, see this URL:


With kindest regards,


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