UK: Atlantic Heroes Share Stories with Liverpool Reservists
Battle of the Atlantic veterans shared their wartime experiences with reservists when they called in at HMS Eaglet in Liverpool. Four survivors of the Royal Navy’s longest 20th-Century struggle at sea were being interviewed for a documentary on the battle, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the U-boat which will be commemorated on the Mersey next month.
Battle of the Atlantic veteran George Broomhead shares a joke with LS Lisa Warbis from HMS Eaglet as he explains the weapons of war used by friend and foe 70 years as the struggle reached its climax.
The 90-year-old ex-Royal Navy man was one of four veterans of Atlantic campaign who visited the Senior Service’s headquarters on Merseyside.
The quartet were being interviewed for a forthcoming documentary on the battle, which is being produced to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over the U-boat this May.
In between filming, the veterans met some of today’s generation of sailors and shared their experiences.
In Mr Broomhead’s case, he served in P-class destroyer HMS Partridge – launched in June 1941, commissioned in February 1942 and sunk in December of that same year; 37 of the 210 men aboard were killed when she was sunk west of Oran in the Mediterranean by U565.
Mr Broomhead subsequently served in Hunt-class destroyer HMS Meynell, which was assigned to protect the Normandy landings.
The models in front of Mr Broomhead and LS Warbis are the legendary sloop HMS Starling and Type IXc U-boat U534.
U534 was among the very last German submarines lost during World War 2, sunk by a Liberator of 86 Squadron RAF Coastal Command in the North Sea on May 5 1945.
Three of her 52 crew were killed.
The boat was raised in the 1990s – there was talk of Nazi gold being stored aboard, but it wasn’t – and, sliced into five sections, is now on public display in Birkenhead.
Liverpool will be the host city for the climax of events commemorating the triumph over the U-boat from May 24-28, when up to 25 Royal Navy and international warships will gather.
The main commemorations will be Sunday May 26, with a Cathedral service, a march through the city by current Naval and Merchant naval personnel as well as veterans, and a flypast from a Royal Navy Historic Flight Fairey Swordfish – one of the aircraft which was the mainstays in the struggle against the U-boat.
Other events will be held in London (May 8-13) and Derry-Londonderry (May 10-12), both of which will be attended by Royal Navy warships.
Naval Today Staff, April 26, 2013; Image: Royal Navy