Index for Personal Stories on AHOY

Work in progress

Into The Maelstrom - The Wreck of the Rohilla by Colin Brittain

Into The Maelstrom - The Wreck of the Rohilla = - click to read moreThe angle at which the Rohilla was jammed on the Scar presented her broadside to the waves. Her bow had risen over the edge of the rock forcing the stern lower into the water, the sea constantly washed over the well decks and spray was thrown high above the height of the bridge. Captain Neilson ordered all hands to lifeboat stations but five unfortunate seamen were known to have been washed overboard and drowned as they made their way to posts. With twenty lifeboats there were more than enough places for those on board, provided that the boats could be launched. Read the article.

An interview with Captain F.A.J. Downer, CO of the Northern Spray with Convoy ONS 5

Captain F.A.J. Downer - click to read moreSeptember 1939 brought the outbreak of the Second World War and Capt. Downer laid aside his British India uniform for that of the Royal Navy. His service was mainly in corvettes and frigates, first taking part in anti-submarine patrols off Norway in the Narvik area, and then in the Western Approaches, based at Liverpool and Birkenhead. Read the article.

Mary Muhr's WW 2 experience in New Zealand and sailing to England from New Zealand in 1945 to marry

Mary and Douglas Muhr wedding on 22nd February 1945. Click to read moreMy mother (of Scottish parentage) has also written about her experience in sailing to England from New Zealand in 1945 to marry my father, who she met during the war while he was a gunnery instructer out there.

A reader's story.

 Read the article.

Saved by Walter Schmietenknop

Walter Schmietenknop "Saved" click to read to story about surviving the sinking of U-737U-767 was detected by the British Support Group 14. Fame attacked. She reported 2-3 hits at 95 feet, and U-767 was doomed, sinking in 240 feet of water.

Only one crew member from her complement of 50 escaped, and this was Walter Schmietenknop. He was picked up by HMS Fame and now tells his remarkable story, "Saved."


 Read the article.

Reg Young of Liverpool England was killed during The Battle of Malta 1942 aboard Melbourne Star. Handwritten account of The Battle

My uncle Reg Young of Liverpool England was killed during The Battle of Malta 1942 aboard Melbourne Star. My father-Reg's brother was a sergeant in the 6th Airborne-Parachute Regiment and was involved in the action at Pegasus Bridge. He died a couple of years ago in his 91st year.

The reason I write to you is that in my fathers papers I came across the attached hand written account of "The Battle" and I thought it may contribute to your other accounts of that period of the war.

 Read the article.

Athenia Manuscript authored by Judith Evelyn

Judith's Manuscript ( tied up with ribbon ) covered her sailing, being sunk, and rescued from the liner Athenia, in the first casualty of the WW2 U-Boat war in the Atlantic. The ship was sunk by U-30 on Sunday the 3rd.of September 1939 the very first day that WW2 had been declared.

93 passengers and 19 crew members died.

 Read the article.

Family of seven, only three survive sinking of Athenia

Family of seven, only three survive sinking of AtheniaWork in progress


 Read the article.

Remembering Roy. O Lucke, a Patriotic American, in Honour of the Anniversary of his 100th. Birthday

Roy Lucke landed on Omaha Beach in the Normandy Invasion and subsequently earned six battle stars, two valorous decorations (Bronze Stars) and two wound medals (Purple Hearts), and a Combat Infantryman’s Badge. The low point of his service was being among those cut off during the Battle of the Bulge and celebrating (if that word can be used) Christmas huddling with a few comrades on the edge of the Heurtgen Forest near the Belgian town of St. Vith. Read the article.

The Athenia Remembered: September 3, 1939-September 3, 2004 by Michael Poirier

Interviews with Athenia survivors - click to read more.Thanks to Michael Poirier who graciously allowed Ahoy to publish interview excerpts from his article, "The Athenia Remembered: September 3, 1939-September 3, 2004 in Voyage magazine, Titanic International Society, Read the article.

First newspaper report about Bernice Jansen being aboard Athenia when it was sunk by German U-Boat U-30, on the 3rd. of September 1939

Bernice Jansen - click to read moreAt this stage it was unknown if Bernice had survived. Its quite wonderful to get these reports from newspapers of that time. I acknowledge with thanks the generosity of Christy Velasco of California in sharing her records with AHOY. Read the article.

Meet Mac news paper article

Click to read moreThis interview featured in the Melbourne morning paper The Herald Sun dated today, Tuesday the 11th. of April 2006, Anzac Day is on the 25th, and the paper is wanting to involve schools in a competition to promote that day. Read the article.

I write a chapter in a new book At War In The Pacific

At War in the Pacific by Bruce M. Petty - click to learn more Read the article.

Murray Waldren's column, "That's Language," researches the origin of "Kit and Kaboodle" for me

Kit and KaboodleIn the National Newspaper The Australian, each weekend is a section called Review, their columnist Murray Waldren, on occasion runs a segment called That's Language. Back in last July, I sent Murray an E-Mail asking if he could throw any light on the expression Kit and Kaboodle. Read the article.

I make the news today

Click to read more Read the article.

We Remember. Bob Quinn, a Scottish friend, a contributor to AHOY, who died suddenly on the 24th. of February 2005

Bob Quinn, 1945 - click to read moreAt my first contact with Bob, he was 80, legally blind, but had recently discovered the computer, and was willing to share his time in Australia etc with the Welfreigher Project. Over the ensuing period we quickly developed a close relationship, our mutual wartime Naval Service providing a strong bond, we talked via E-Mails almost daily. I felt I had known this strong character for a long long time, and he became a dear friend. Read the article.

Amended interview with Australians at War Film Archive

I've edited and corrected the orginal interview Read the article.

Stuart Robottom interviewed me and another ex Navy type. Bob Appleton, whom I happen to know for his History Essay at the Royal Australian Naval College HMAS Creswell.

Stuart Robottom interviewed Bob Appleton and me for his History Essay at the Royal Australian Naval College HMAS Creswell. His entry won the prize for History in 2003, it was printed in the College Magazine. Read the article.

Interview with Willy Schruefer, sailor in Ramses, captured by HMAS Adelaide

Willi Schruefer on right - Click to read the articleIn 1942 whilst serving as a Sub Lieutenant RAN in the Australian Light Cruiser HMAS Adelaide protecting a convoy in company with the Dutch Cruiser Heemskerck, we came across a Merchant Ship which proved to be the German Blockade Runner Ramses. A combination of our shells and scuttling charges sank this ship. We picked up all her survivors. In 2003, I was contacted by an American freelance journalist working in Germany Ward Carr, who had interviewed in the Spring of 2002, Willy Schruefer, who was a sailor ex the Ramses. This means that back in November 1942, both Willy, now a Prisoner of War, and myself were both in HMAS Adelaide at the same time. Read the article.

A brief biography

 Read the article.

Introduction to stories of Commander Warwick Bracegirdle DSC ** RAN. "Gentlemen Cordite"

A main reason for her success was the wonderful gunnery department, lead by that legendery Naval and Specialist Gunnery Officer, Lieutenant Commander Warwick Bracegirdle, RAN. In his WW2 service  Braces as he was affectionately known, won not one, not two, but three Distinguished Service Crosses. A most unusual feat. Read the article.

Radio Interview on 10 November, 2002

This morning I was interviewed on Melbourne Community FM radio station 3RRR. Read the article.

World's luckiest sailor article in the Herald Sun 5 May 2002

I'm in the newspaper! Read the article.

H.M.A.S. Canberra and the Battle of Savo Island

HMAS Canberra - Click to Read moreI hurried to my action station in the fore control - there was an explosion amidships, we were hit on the 4" gundeck, the Walrus aircraft was blazing fiercely on the catapult. A shell exploded on the port side just below the compass platform and another just aft of the fore control. The plotting office received a direct hit. The shell that demolished the port side of the compass platform mortally wounded the Captain, killed Lieutenant Commander Hole, the Gunnery Officer, wounded Lieutenant Commander Plunkett-Cole, the Torpedo Officer and severely wounded Midshipmen Bruce Loxton and Noel Sanderson. Read the article.

Letters and other correspondence

Walter Schmietenknop U 767

Frederick (Fred) Brindley (90 yrs old on 7th June '08) was onboard The HMS Duke of York

Margaret Ray Hodge and Jocelyn M. Hodge survivied the sinking of Athenia

Leslie John Holder, Radio Operator on duty who received the SOS from the ATHENIA after being torpedoed

My father is a survivor from the SS Athenia Sep. 3, 1939

Len Hiller served on the Voltaire and became a POW

Survivor finds plaque memorializing Helen Burrows who died in the sinking of Athenia

Mary Muhr's WW 2 experience in New Zealand and sailing to England from New Zealand in 1945 to marry

The story of Valter Nylander, a Finnish sailor who served in Ramses, a POW in Australia during the WW II

Able seaman Herbert Alfred Quennell survived the sinking of HMS Alcantara in 1916

Able Seaman William ( Bill ) Patten

John Easton and mother, Lily Easton, aboard Athenia when sunk.

Tony Slevin : Convoy RB 1 and Southland

Tony Parsons a pilot who ditched in the North Sea to finally wind up in the same POW camp as the Voltaire survivors

Gordon Hamilton was also connected with HMS Boadicea and there is a suggestion that he was a survivor of the sinking

Ian Collins was being 'ferried' to Tobruk from Alexandria aboard Ladybird

Account of a prisoner from the Hitachi Maru, F. G. Trayes. First published in 1919, re-published on the web 

Ron Smith AKA Smoudge, survivor in HMAS Canberra at the Battle of Savo Island

Letter to the Cumberlander, the Newsletter of the HMS Cumberland

Cyril Hill in British ship Harperly sunk from Convoy ONS 5

Story of Reg Gill, aboard Leinster

HMS Edinburgh - Was there ASDIC contact?

More memories from the past about the Welfreighter from Bob Quinn

U.S. Navy Armed Guard Service - Fran Kent

From Radio Officer on the B.P. Tanker British Councillor

Memoir of R. Nanthan Lawrence, survivor of ill-fated Convoy PQ 17

Information about Welfreighter, Bob Quinn's recollections

David Medley, shipmate on Canberra

Father, Armon Durnford Dart, served in HMAS Platypus

Eugene's impressions of the Battle of Suriago Straits

Served aboard the US Destroyer Heywood L Edwards, DD 663 - Gene Edwards

Hero of the Dunedin Star epic, Signalman Dennis Scully of the Nerine, who swam to the shore with a lifeline enabling the first of the stranded passengers to be pulled to safety

Jim Griffiths, crew member of the Sqdn 204

Leigh Bishop and the "Deep Image" projects, U-767   

RANC '93

Tony Ward, fellow RANC

Family Sailed in liberty ship named Marine Phoenix

From: Rush Webb Sandusky, Ohio: U-482, Empire Heritage, Pinto, La Perle

USS HUGHES DD-410, Peter Karetka

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Confederate Armed Raiders of the American Civil
Under Water Warfare
Enemy Submarine Activity off the Australian Coast in WW2
H.M.A.S. Canberra and the Battle of Savo Island
Interview with Australians at War Film Archives
Index to Naval Battles on AHOY
Battle of the Atlantic. September 1939 - May 1945. Index to Ahoy Articles
Naval Battles in the Solomon Islands over August / November 1942 turn the tide of the Pacific War
Count Felix von Luckner: Index of Ahoy's articles and correspondence
HMS Voltaire Pages
The Athenia Pages
The Battle For Convoy ONS 5. 26th.April - 6th. May 1943
Adolf Hitler and his WW2 Field Marshals
Jervis Year. The Class of 1936. Royal Australian Naval College
Passport to the World over 64 years. Pages from my Travel Diary
Early Explorations of Australia
Index to Submarine articles
Index to Naval Operations articles
Gentlemen Cordite: Lieutenant Commander Warwick Bracegirdle, RAN

Best way to reach me is via e-mail. I answer all queries.

Latest updates

* 23 July 2016 - Last Post:

* 13 November 2015 - MAC GREGORY’S VISION TO BE UNVEILED Ceremony will commence at 10.00am on Friday 27 November 2015:

* 08 November 2015 - Letters: Marine Phoenix I too sailed on her in C May 1947 from Sydney to San Francisco

* 11 July 2015 - Letters: My great-uncle, John Cotton, was an able seaman on ss Demeterton which was intercepted and sunk by SMS Moewe in March 1917

* 08 July 2015 - I am honoured to have known you a little Mac:

* 04 July 2015 - PLUTO. (Pipe line under the ocean.):

* 15 June 2015 - Condolences from a baby Bracegirdle:

* 01 June 2015 - Condolences - Pattie Wright:

* 24 April 2015 - Letters: Harry Irwin Rouse served in HMAS Canberra

* 20 April 2015 - Letters: von please I am writing a monograph

* 20 April 2015 - Letters: Gerald Hutchinson, oldest living survivor of SS Athenia?

* 20 April 2015 - The Athenia Remembered: September 3, 1939-September 3, 2004 by Michael Poirier:

* 27 January 2015 - Mac Was My Inspiration - Bruce M. Petty New Zealand:

* 25 January 2015 - Index to Tributes and Remembrances in memory of Mackenzie J Gregory
(9 February 1922 - 27 August 2014):

* 25 January 2015 - Tributes and Remembrances  - Mac Gregory Mackenzie J. Gregory
(9 February 1922 - 27 August 2014):



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