PATRICK THOMAS

SUBMARINER

In His Own Words

The 24th June we picked up survivors from the destroyer HMS Swift ,at this time the MV Derrycunihy was damaged by acoustic mine off our port quarter. I witnessed this tragedy when the stern was completely blown away.

 

Seven DEMS ratings died and I believe nearly 200 hundred soldiers perished. LCH 185 was on her way to pick up survivors from the destroyer so we could not help the survivors.

 

On Sunday 25th June at about 1300 LCH 185 passing over an Acoustic was sunk. At the time we were working watch and watch about very tiring .Off watch I chose to take my shirt off and lie on a camp bed in the focsle. I was first aware of my predicament when the explosion drove the bows under water. When I managed to get to the port rail the sea was up to my knees and she was beginning to turn turtle. I was wearing lace up boots and no life belt. I had no choice but to get into the water that was when I witnessed Jack Barringer, badly injured, drown .

 

I was eventually picked up by an LCG. There must have been 49/50 who perished .

 

The first photo is of me taken in Ranville cemetery by Jack's grave and the others at the Redoubt fortress Eastbourne when on 28th June I was present with the insignia of the Chevalier de L'Orde National de la Honneur by the Consul Honoraire de France Captain Francois JEAN