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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 881 entries in the WW2 Timeline. A small sample of his timeline contributions is shown below.

» 12 Mar 1940: The 3,745-ton British steam merchant Gardenia was en route from Casablanca, Morocco to Middlebourgh, England, United Kingdom, when she struck a mine and sank off Cromer, Norfolk, east coast of England.

» 6 Sep 1944: The British government issued a communique after a meeting of the Chiefs of the Imperial Staff saying that the V-1 flying bombs to this date had killed 5,817 people, and with 22,870 slightly wounded another 17,086 hospitalised. It finished by adding that the enemy had been completely driven out of static launch sites and that a small-scale attempt was still being made to launch by aircraft. "Except possibly for a last few shots, the Battle of London is over-we have beaten Hitler's secret weapon, the V-1, which was to have terrorised Britain into making a negotiated peace."

» 1 Oct 1939: The 2,239-ton Belgian merchant steamer Suzon was sailing to Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom loaded with 2,400 tons of pit props for the Welsh mines. The ship had been built in Sunderland, England, United Kingdom by S. P. Austin & Sons, and was owned by a London shipping Company and then named Portwood. In 1930 she was sold to the Belgians and renamed. At 1845 hours German submarine U-35 (Kapit√§nleutnant Werner Lott) attempted to stop the neutral and unarmed steamer with light signals about 42 miles 330 degrees from the French island of Ushant but the Belgians put on steam and tried to escape. Warning shots were fired which actually hit the ship forcing the Belgian Captain, R. Lejeune, to stop and abandon the ship, knowing that the cargo would be classed as contraband. After the crew were clear the submarine fired a torpedo that struck on the port side of the Suzon abreast the funnel which broke the vessel's back, the two halves sinking almost immediately. The Belgian crew were picked up by HMS Acheron (H 45) commanded by Lieutenant Commander R. F. W. Northcott RN which was escorting the nearby convoy MB-10.

» 25 Jun 1940: The 3,828-ton Norwegian cargo ship Crux, built in 1923 and owned at the time of her loss by Bergenske Dampskibsselskab A/B, on voyage from Cardiff in Britain to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UA in the Atlantic Ocean.

» 31 Oct 1944: V-1 flying bombs struck Britain. Fifteen people were killed in the south eastern counties and a further three were killed in West Ham, London. At 0650 hours a V-1 flying bomb struck the Marie Hotel at Coulsdon, London; the hotel was used as an old people's private hotel; seventeen of the residents were killed and ten more seriously injured.

» 8 May 1943: At 1203 hours, ten B-24 bombers of the US 44th Bomber Group took off from their base at Shipdham, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom and rendezvoused with B-24s of US 329th Squadron. Their 18th mission was to target the marshalling yards in Rouen, France. This was the largest railway yard in Northern France and all rail traffic to the Channel ports had to pass through, also there was important dock facilities in the town next to the yards. The bombers with Spitfire escorts crossed the British coast at Beachy Head and then reached France at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme at 1353 hours. As they approached the target a strong FW 190 formation attacked head on bringing down two aircraft. These two B-24 bombers were taken by surprise as they thought that the fights were P-47 fighters that were expected over the target. The loss of these two lead aircraft caused the remainder ships to abandon the primary target and to bomb targets of opportunity to the north. Seven B-24s returned to base at 1510 hours after fighting all the way through the more than 40 enemy fighters, claiming several as destroyed. Gunners of the 67th Squadron claiming six.





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