Troop ship , LCT. sinkings

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by angusaberdeen, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. angusaberdeen

    angusaberdeen New Member

    Hello everyone,
    Does any one know of any sinkings of troop ships or LCTs en route from North Africa in the invasion of Sicily/ Italy. I am trying to trace the war record of my cousin Leslie John Reader ( Jack), I know from what he told me before he died in 1960 that he was torpedoed while crossing, he was eventually picked up after hours in the water clinging to wreckage . Not sure where he later landed or if he was hospitalised.
    I have photos taken and sent from Caroto between Bari and Brindisi, I guess he travelled up the Adriatic coast
    because I also remember mention of Rimini . His regiment was R.A.O.C. I Have picture of him with tanks being transported by rail
    It would be great to know if there were other survivors, also the name of the ship ,nothing comes up in RAOC records.
    Thanks all, Fred.
    amberdog45 likes this.
  2. Shiny 9th

    Shiny 9th Member Patron

    Fred, I am sure there are people in the War at Sea section who could help you. Have you had a browse round the sections covering the invasions of Sicily
  3. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Hi Fred and welcome to the forum. This link details Royal Navy losses at sea for each year:

    Do you have anything written on the back of your cousin's photos - such as workshop names, or abbreviations? These might give us an idea which RAOC unit he was with. Do you have a copy of his service history already?



    P.S. If you don't have his service records already, this is a link with info and relevant forms:
  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Hello and welcome to the Forum.

    Good luck with your Research.

  5. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  6. Harry Stopforth

    Harry Stopforth New Member

    Fred, I am a new member trying to find out about my fathers war record. All I know is that he was in the KRRC on a ship going to Italy which was torpedoed. Like your father he was in the water for some hours covered in oil which he ingested. He eventually died four years after the war ended as a result of this. Nothing in KRRC records so far. I would be grateful for any help you may be able to provide. I have only just started my research which I think will be difficult. Thanks. Harry
  7. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Hello Fred
    I have a book which gives the ships which carried troops from North Africa to Sicily. As there were 172 of them it will take me a few hours to check which ones were sunk, once I do I will list them here.

    Harry Stopforth, I will check later.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  8. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    There were five ships that were torpedoed while en route to Sicily, but four had sailed from the Clyde in KMS convoys; the remaining one doesn't look to likely either:
    SHAHJEHAN MT Ship loaded at Alexandria 4-9 June: left there 3 July in assault convoy MWS36 for Bark East beachhead: ..carried 230 personnel..: at 1110 6 July she was attacked by U453: the torpedo struck on the starboard side and possibly exited on the port side of No2 hold: the ship sank at 0220 on 7 July, 70 miles north east of Benghazi, after fire engulfed the ship from her funnel forward, whilst she was being towed by the tug ST MONANCE: survivors were rescued by the corvette SAKHTOURIS.
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  9. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Sorry, can't find any merchant ships that fit the bill.
  10. Harry Stopforth

    Harry Stopforth New Member


    Thank you for trying. Harry
  11. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member

    There are various avenue's of research you can explore, but first of all apply to the M.O.D. for your father's service records, as it will take a lot of guess work out of searching for details about him.
    Once you have them you might be able to identify the ship, or a date (or time frame) when the ship he was aboard sunk.

    If you get those details, you could then start looking at the relevant War Diaries for details.

    You could also then search the WO 361 series of files (usually referred to as the 'Missing Personnel' files kept at the National Archives), with a slim chance he might appear on embarkation list and as a survivor may have given a written statement (if there were any casualties on the ship, or personnel who weren't rescued or couldn't be located afterwards).

    The WO 361 files are split into theatres (i.e. North West Europe, Italy, N. Africa etc) but also has a section regarding 'Casualties at Sea'.

    So if you search the National Archives Discovery database (link) using the keywords 'Casualties at sea Mediterranean' it pulls up about 50+ files which could be relevant.
    If you ignore any that are pre 1943, you can probably narrow it down to 10-20 files in which one may contain info about your father or the sinking.

    But, and i can't emphasize this enough, firstly get your father's service records as i mentioned above, and it will likely stop you going off a wild goose chase looking for info.
    Roy Martin and Tricky Dicky like this.

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