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WALLSEND

Burns, J.H.P., A/Smn.,1942
On Plymouth Naval Memorial is the name of D/JX 167231 Able Seaman John Hugh Paul Burns, serving with the Royal Navy who died 23/02/1942.

Son of Peter Paul Burns, and of Liza M. Burns, of Wallsend, Northumberland.

On the 13th February 1942 HMS Tempest (Lt.Cdr. William Alexander Keith Napier Cavaye, RN) was blown to the surface by depth charges by the Italian torpedo boat Circe. Tempest was on patrol in the Gulf of Taranto/Ionian Sea some 30 nautical miles north-east of Crotone, Italy in position 39º15'N, 17º45'E. The Italians tried to take Tempest in tow but this failed since she suddenly started to sink.
At around 0300 hours Tempest was detected by an Italian destroyer/torpedo boat that started dropping depth charges. This destroyer never lost contact and dropped depth charges throughout the morning. All depth charges were very close. In each attack minor damage was caused, resulting in it being very difficult to maintain depth control.

Around 0900 hours a double pattern of depth charges was dropped causing major damage. The boat was filling with chlorine gas from the cracked battery. Lt.Cdr. Cavaye ordered to surface and abandon ship. The Italian destroyer picked up 3 officers and 20 ratings from the water. Tempest did not sink despite attempts to scuttle her. She was eventually sunk by the Italians as she was beyond salvage.

John Hugh Paul Burns is remembered on our List of Ships’ crews


H.M. Submarine Tempest
The CWGC entry for Able Seaman Burns

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk