HMS Implacable - Crew Entitlement to Arctic Star?

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Tullybrone, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Can anyone help me with the movements of the aircraft carrier HMS Implacable during 1945/46?

    My late uncle Joseph Devlin (1925-1998) was a stoker in Mess 352.

  2. JackW

    JackW Member

  3. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Thanks very much. Very interesting reading.

    Below item re Canadian Victoria Cross winner gives me a feel for what Pacific aircraft carriers were doing in latter stages of WW2 off Japan.

    Lt. Robert Hampton Gray
    Onagawa Wan, Japan
    August 9th, 1945
    Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve
    'For great bravery in leading an attack to within fifty feet of a Japanese destroyer in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire, thereby sinking the destroyer although he was hit and his own aircraft on fire and finally himself killed. He was one of the gallant company of Naval Airmen who, from December 1944, fought and beat the Japanese from Palembang to Tokyo. The actual incident took place in the Onagawa Wan on the 9th of August 1945. Gray was leader of the attack which he pressed home in the face of fire from shore batteries and at least eight warships. With his aircraft in flames he nevertheless obtained at least one direct hit which sank its objective.
    Lieut. R.H. Gray, D.S.C., R.C.N.V.R., of Nelson, B.C., flew off the Aircraft Carrier, H.M.S. "Formidable" on August 9th 1945, to lead an attack on Japanese shipping in Onagawa Wan (Bay) in the Island of Honshu, Mainland of Japan. At Onagawa Bay the fliers found below a number of Japanese ships and dived in to attack. Furious fire was opened on the aircraft from army batteries on the ground and from warships in the Bay. Lieut. Gray selected for his target an enemy destroyer. He swept in oblivious of the concentrated fire and made straight for his target. His aircraft was hit and hit again, but he kept on. As he came close to the destroyer his plane caught fire but he pressed to within fifty feet of the Japanese ship and let go his bombs. He scored at least one direct hit, possibly more. The destroyer sank almost immediately. Lieutenant Gray did not return. He had given his life at the very end of his fearless bombing run.'

    Steve Y.
  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Does anyone know whether the crew of HMS Implacable would be entitled to the Arctic Star if they were serving aboard during the ship's service at sea off northern Norway in 1944?


    Steve Y
  5. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member


    The medal was awarded for any length of operational service north of the Arctic Circle by members of the Armed Forces and the Merchant Navy. The qualifying area is defined as 66° 32’ North.
    So if he met that criteria then you should pursue it.

  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Name: Robert Hampton Gray
    Birth Date: 2 Nov 1917
    Birth Place: Trail, British Columbia, Canada
    Death Date: 9 Aug 1945
    Death Place: Onagawa Bay, Honshu, Japan

    Robert Hampton Gray in the UK, Victoria Cross Medals, 1857-2007


  7. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Thanks for the info Hugh & TD.

    HMS Implacable link above describes actions "off" Bodo which is slightly above 67 degrees North so the ships company aboard there may qualify. I'll advise my cousins accordingly.


    Steve Y
  8. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    You might want to pull her logs at Kew to confirm this through records?

    All the best

  9. luketallentire

    luketallentire New Member

    Did you get anywhere?
    My Grandfathers brother served on her and I'm curious.
  10. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Sorry but my cousins didn't pursue the matter.

  11. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member

    Write to mod medal office

    They will confirm if entitled to or not

    It’s a free service
  12. luketallentire

    luketallentire New Member

    I've emailed them and just got the generic - apply and see response, nothing exact. I'm applying for his naval records at the minute and I've ordered a copy of the ship's log from the National Archives. I'm quite confident as the ship was involved with some raids which were in the qualifying area. I just need to research the ship's coordinates during the raids.
  13. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member

    If you send off the medal claim form they will check on your behalf and issue if entitled to it
  14. luketallentire

    luketallentire New Member

    It arrived today, should anyone wanting to apply for one.
    Incredibledisc likes this.
  15. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Well Done!
  16. Qu1ckn1ck

    Qu1ckn1ck Member

    Took me a lot of research to obtain my father's WW2 medals including his Arctic Star.
  17. luketallentire

    luketallentire New Member

    I enjoyed the research, from hearing stories to then applying for his records and then finding our where the ship was actually at.
    Qu1ckn1ck likes this.

Share This Page