Long Time Passing- Gone to Fighting- Part 5
There comes now a period of great confusion as far as time lines go. I do know that my father was transferred to a hospital as the injury suffered on the HMS Speedwell caused some major issues. Since he was off loaded to a hospital in Algiers and going by the HMS Speedwell’s timeline it was probably 1943. This ties in with the timeline of my father’s next ship the American built HMS Goodson-
My mum had been bombed in London and so was no longer at the Ministry of Information where she had been transferred early on in her job as a telephonist:
“I was to go to the “Ministry of Information, which was temporarily housed at Senate House , University of London, near Goodge Street. We had triple forms to fill out, swearing us to secrecy , never to divulge or talk about anything we might hear there.
Three of us would be required to man the emergency switchboard, which was housed in the basement of the building, this was called the War Room ……..
We used to be able to tell by the sound of the aircraft engine whether it was one of ours or one of the Germans. The whistle of the descending bombs and the explosions was terrifying. This night I did not hear the whistle , nothing, suddenly complete and utter silence. The bricks seemed to be crumbling and falling all around. I tried to hold onto to something, I only grabbed empty space. The air was filled with dust. I realized the house must have received a direct hit and the three people who were near me had disappeared. I tried calling – the silence eerie and shocking. I had bricks, wood and plaster all around me “was I going to be buried alive.”
This was the story of many of those young lovers, the men torpedoed , shot down , blown out of the sky knowing their loved ones at home were also facing the same .
My grandmother , my mum’s mother was living on the east coast.
“My mother was outside her little house on the lawn chopping up the kindling for the fire. Hearing the sounds of an aircraft overhead, thinking it was one of ours lifted her little axe and waved to the pilot only to find it was a bloody German who proceeded to strafe her. She came running in the house scared witless and it took precious brandy in the tea to restore her.
My fathers next ship after the was the HMS Goodson- and American built destroyer escort ship.
The ship was laid down as George on 20 May 1943 at the Boston Navy Yard, and named after Eugene Frank George, posthumously awarded the Navy Cross at Guadalcanal.
She was assigned to the United Kingdom under the lend-lease on 22 June 1943; launched on 8 July 1943; transferred to the United Kingdom on 9 October 1943; and commissioned in the British Royal Navy as HMS Goodson.
During the remainder of World War II, she served on escort and patrol duty in the Atlantic and along the English coast. She supported the Allied Invasion of Europe at Normandy on 6 June 1944.
Damaged late in August by U-984 commanded by Heinz Sieder,
she was returned to the United States on 21 October. On 9 January 1947 she was sold to John Lee of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
My father also ended up in Belfast, but in 1945.
To be continued………..