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WILLINGTON QUAY

Hepburn, T.J., ERA 4th Cl., 1940
On Chatham Naval Memorial is the name of C/TD/X 1525 Engine Room Artificer 4th Class Thomas Joseph Hepburn, serving with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, who died 24/08/1940.

At 20.38 hours on the 24th August 1940, HMS Penzance (L 28) (Cdr A.J. Wavish, RN), escorting convoy SC-1, was hit by one torpedo from U-37, commanded by Fregattenkapitän Victor Oehrn, broke in two and sank in a few minutes southwest of Iceland. When the stern section sank the unsecured depth charges detonated, killing some of the survivors swimming in the water and slightly damaging the U-boat. Nevertheless two ships from convoy stopped to pick up survivors. Twelve men were picked up by the British steam merchant Fylingdale, but one of them later died of injuries and was buried at sea. Seven men were picked up by the Blairmore, which was torpedoed and sunk by the same U-boat later that night. All men from the sloop survived the second sinking, were rescued after about 17 hours by the Swedish motor merchant Eknaren (Master Erik Kallstrom) and landed at Baltimore.

Thomas Joseph Hepburn is remembered in Gateshead on G39.103, on Willington Quay on W56.12 and on our List of Ships’ crews


The sinking of H.M.S. Penzance
The CWGC entry for Engine Room Artificer 4th Class Hepburn

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