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Hugh Martyr

ww2dbaseEver since his school days in the United Kingdom, Hugh Martyr had been interested in history, particularly naval history. His interest in history later expanded to cover the American Civil War and the German V-weapons campaign against London. He is also an re-enactor and organizer of major re-enactment events, including the 200th anniversary of Waterloo event where over 8,000 were on the field. He joined the WW2DB team in 2018.

Photographs/Maps Contributions

HMS Rajputaana (F 35) sinking in the North Atlantic Ocean, 13 Apr 1941British motor merchant vessel Beacon Grange sinking after being struck by German submarine U-552, south of Iceland, 27 Apr 1941

Timeline Contributions

Hugh Martyr has also contributed 854 entries in the WW2 Timeline. A small sample of his timeline contributions is shown below.

» 28 Feb 1942: At 0844 hours, the unescorted 1,582-ton Norwegian motor merchant Leif was hit by two torpedoes from German submarine U-653 east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States. The foreship broke away and sank immediately, followed by the rest of the ship eleven minutes later. The crew abandoned ship in heavy seas with wind and rain, one lifeboat containing six survivors and the other 18. As soon as the weather permitted four men (including the master) moved to the lifeboat boat with less men in it. In the afternoon the boats were separated. The boat containing the master and nine survivors would be picked up later, but the other boat, with 14 survivors on board, would never be seen again.

» 2 Feb 1940: British minesweepers Sphinx (J69; Commander John Robert Newton Taylor), Speedwell, and Skipjack were sweeping an area about 15 nautical miles north of Kinnaird's Head near Fraserburgh north-east Scotland, United Kingdom when attacked by German aircraft. A bomb pierced the fo'c'sle deck of 889-ton HMS Sphinx (John Robert Newton Taylor, RN) and exploding destroying the fore part of the ship. The commanding officer and forty of the men were killed in the explosion; survivors were taken to HMS Speedwell. Sphinx remained afloat and was taken in tow by minesweeper HMS Halcyon (J42) but steadily flooded.

» 12 Dec 1939: The 8,485-ton British registered motor tanker British Liberty was on route from Haifa, Palestine for Dunkerque, France with a cargo of crude oil. As she was nearing Dunkerque she struck a British laid mine 4 miles north-east of the Dyck Light Vessel. Twenty-four of her crew were killed in the explosion.

» 22 Jul 1940: HMT Campina, a newly converted anti-submarine armed trawler, sank after hitting a mine off Holyhead, Anglesey, Wales, United Kingdom whilst on British Admiralty service. Eleven of the 22 crew wre killed in the explosion.

» 12 Mar 1945: The 1,743-ton steam passenger ship Paris, seized by the Germans and used as troop transport for the Kriegsmarine since 21 Aug 1940 and then a minesweeper mother ship since 3 Jun 1941, was hit by two torpedoes from the Shetland-based motor torpedo boat MTB-711 (with Norwegian crew) and sank in seconds off Kvaløytå light, Haugesund, Norway. 86 were killed, some of whom were Norwegian, 70 were rescued.

» 30 Mar 1941: British-registered steam fishing trawler Niscus (A 318) was presumed lost by enemy aircraft action in Faroese waters. None of her ten crew members were found.

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"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal