HMS Eagle
Message Board

May 31, 2018

I'm trying to obtain some additional information on the sinking of HMS Eagle in 1942; my daughter-in-Law's grandfather was a PO on board. He survived, but I was wondering if a survivors list was ever published and is it still available?

John Dent

Feb. 8, 2017

My father, Derek H. E. Smith, served on HMS Eagle and was one of those who survived the sinking in 1940. He is 94 years old and served as a gunner. He has only talked about the sinking during the last year or two as he still gets upset about losing so many close friends. If there is anyone still alive who might remember him, he would be really pleased. He later served on HMS Lauderdale. Are there any survivors still alive?

Margaret Edwards

Feb. 1, 2017

My father was on HMS Eagle when she sank in 1942. He is now 96 years old and he served before the war and for a short time after it. After the ship started to list before sinking, he was trapped for a short while but when the ship sank a little more the obstruction in his way moved and he was able to scramble up to the deck and then eventually he slithered down the side and into the water.

He was picked up by the tug Jaunty and was very ill due to ingesting oil and having been in the water for several hours. It took him months to recover. He was in the Fleet Air Arm as an Air Mechanic and his service number had only three digits. His name is Alfred Ransome.

He has written down his experiences of that day and we treasure it. In fact, he drew a diagram of the area in which he was trapped and we have kept that picture too. Are there any other survivors sill alive? 

Best Wishes,
Nell Hobson

Oct. 28, 2016

I wonder if you could post on the HMS Eagle message board that my father - Derek George Walling, Engine Room Artificer 4th Class at the time of the 1942 sinking - is still alive, aged 95. His brave story is chronicled in an article in The Times of Malta August 15th 2013. I will shortly add his record to Crew Lists e.g. on Please advise any other websites you think might be interested. I tried the HMS Eagle website which was linked from your page but, it failed.

Kevin Walling

Nov. 8, 2015

Remembering my father, EDWARD RONALD WILSON "TUG WILSON", who sadly lost his life when HMS Eagle went down in 1942. Any contact from friends of his will be most welcome.

Love always his daughter,
Maureen Adams

July 21, 2015

My uncle, Herbert Creese, was serving as a Royal Marine and was lost when HMS Eagle was sunk in August 1942. I would like to get in touch with anyone with an interest in this ship or whose relatives served in this ship. I would especially like to make contact with any survivors of the sinking if they are still with us. Your website looks most impressive and you are to be congratulated on your efforts.

Best wishes,
Graham Grist

Dec. 14, 2014

I have come across your website after meeting a survivor of HMS Eagle which was sunk in 1942, I understand he may be the last crew member alive from the sinking of the Aircraft Carrier. I have read many of the posts in relation to this ship. Please could you post on my contact details to that particular page as I meet with this veteran on a regular basis and could certainly pose any questions your members have in relation to their relatives.

Many thanks,
Paul Vinall

Nov. 8, 2014

I have come across your website in relation to some research I am doing about my Grandfather Alexander Walker who I'm led to believe served on HMS Eagle as an Air Fitter and possibly also held the rank of Petty Officer. As part of my research I have come across the reference number FX88381 and wondered if this means anything to anyone? I would be most grateful if you are able to put me in touch with Mr. Brian Williamson in post numbers 6 & 12 as I believe he may be able to assist me further with my research and would dearly love to talk to him or anyone else who may have known my Grandfather. My particular goal is to see what medals he was awarded and the reasons why as there is talk in the family of him receiving the George Cross for bravery although all current searches are proving unworthy.  I hope to hear from you soon. 

Kindest regards, 
David Walker

Aug. 17, 2014

I am trying to find out about my Grandad, he served on board the Eagle and also went down when she was hit. His name is Reginald Wolfe. I know he survived and went on to serve on 3 other.....and went down with them!! I would be grateful if anybody could advise any information or point me in the right direction as to where I could find anything out. I have looked at crew lists and keep drawing a blank. Thank you in advance anything is better than nothing.

Yours sincerely,
Lisa Dawber

May 3, 2014

I saw Terry Waite's message (Message #11) about his father Jack Waite who was a Chief Ordnance Artificer on the Eagle and who was killed when she was sunk in August 1942. My father, Albert Tribe, was also a COA on the ship and survived the sinking. I'm sure he and Jack would have known each other. Unfortunately he passed away in 1984 aged 86. He never talked a lot about the sinking although he did tell me where he was at the time the torpedo's struck and his route up to the deck and over the side. I don't even know which ship picked him up. I have a thousand questions for him now but was never astute enough years ago to press him on the subject. I did find an detailed article from another survivor that must have been very similar to my Dad's experience. It can be found here,

John Tribe

Oct. 25, 2013

Looking to find a lapel pin badge of the big E anyone out there know where I could get one or maybe one of you might want to sell. I was a member of the marine detachment during the Suez War.

Many thanks,
John Fleet

Sept. 18, 2013

My father survived the sinking of the Eagle in 1942 - he was a Fleet Air Arm pilot, and had got up early for his shift ... if he had still been in his bunk he would have been a direct hit with one of the torpedoes - he always used that experience to encourage us to be on time! I always remember him being early for everything. He would rarely speak about it, and would not talk about those who died. We went once to a war memorial building - I was quite young and don't remember where - but I clearly remember it was the first and only time I saw my father cry - he was looking through a book of remembrance at the names of those who died. He passed away in 1989. I would love to hear of any pictures of the pilots, or from anyone / their family who remember him. His name was David WATT. He was picked up and taken to Gibraltar, then back to flying in the war.

Conny Jewitt (nee Watt)

Sept. 12, 2013

I am the son of Ted Edward Williamson (Bungy) who passed away some 17 years ago. My father served on and survived the sinking of HMS Eagle in 1942. He was an aircraft fitter and never really spoke about his service history, especially the sinking but the sea was the great love of his life. He served for a total of 22 years and we have a pretty good photo collection from his time on board the many ships he sailed on. If you know of any person wishing to contact my family for information or just a natter please don't hesitate to do so.

Like many families I think it is essential to remember these guys and gals and keep bringing their exploits out of mothballs. My dad was and still is my hero so I will sign off and look forward to maybe hearing from someone.

Brian Williamson

Aug. 5, 2013

My father, John H Waite (Jack), COA, was killed on HMS Eagle 11/8/42. Are there any living survivors, would love to contact them.

Terry Waite
Portsmouth, UK

July 12, 2013

Came across your web page very interesting with some great photos I haven't seen so many. My grandad Leo James Nolan was a Marine on board the eagle when she was sunk off Malta. He used to talk about it a lot, but never went into detail about the friends he lost. He also was on board HMS Mauritius and Rodney. I have his medals still to this day, he gave them to me before he passed away. The Italy Star, Burma Star, Atlantic Star, Africa Star, France and Germany 1939-45 Star. I have never been able to find his name on any details of the ships named is this because he was not a crew member or maybe he was been transported elsewhere it would be great to find out.

Michael McSorley

May 6, 2013

I am not sure who to approach on this subject so I will start here and maybe you can forward any interested parties. I was chatting to a client of mine about a boat that he had acquired a few years back currently stored under a canvas cover out doors. When it was sold my client and the pervious owner had no idea what or where the the boat had come from, my client was going to refurbish the vessel and use it, but after further research (backed up with serial numbers etc it turns out that its a Fast Motor Boat (timber 35) twin engine what is believed to have been part of the H.M.S. Eagle aircraft carrier which was sunk in 1942 and believed to be the only know piece of history to have served the sinking.

The boat is original and in good condition, its had a white coat of paint, but peeling to reveal the original silver. If this is authentically confirmed this boat has huge significance and value and should be in a museum. Its existence is probably not know until now, my client wants to move it on as storage is an issue and should be indoors, i'm only a third party so my knowledge is restricted, my client has spent the last 3 years researching this boat. I can provide further information as your request.

Research history:
This FMB was built for the Admiralty in Southampton, and was attached to the Aircraft Carrier HMS Eagle as a seaplane tender, from 1937 until shortly before Eagle was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean, in August 1942. The FMB was put up for sale by the Admiralty in Portsmouth circa 1947.

My research to date shows her next, (uncorroborated), in the Coal Harbour, Dunlaoghaire, as being owned by a Mr. Parker in 1953/4. She was then known as Searaker and may have been in her original livery of battleship grey, or her present light cream colour. Any info on ownership or photos of this boat, post it's arrival in Dunlaoghaire soon after the end of WWII, up to its reappearance on the Grand Canal in Tullamore harbour in 1977, would be much appreciated.

David Dutka
Republic of Ireland


Dec. 14, 2012

I am very proud to say my great Uncle Mathew McGrevy was on the HMS Eagle when she sank in 1942, he survived to tell the story and recorded it all on disc before he passed away in 2001. I'm not sure what rank he held as I have just started looking to see how I can get his medals replaced after they were stolen from his home many years ago which he never had replaced.

Jay Todd-Wickenden

Jan. 3, 2012

I am desperately trying to find out information regarding my dad, his name was George Frederick Hall, born 1919 from Birmingham, and joined the Navy around 1935, he served on submarines, and then became a survivor of the sinking of the HMS Eagle in 1942.  Unfortunately I don't have much more information as my dad did not talk about his service very often, and after having me very late in life (aged 54) it became a distant memory for him.  I am know 39 with a son of my own and we are keen to find out as much as we can about the HMS Eagle and my fathers career Thank you so much.

April Scott-Simmers
Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England

Sept. 14, 2011

I am the proud son of Ted Edward Williamson known as Bungy to his shipmates. Unfortunately my dad passed away 1996, but we did not discuss his navy life much, which is a regret, but I understand that all memories were not happy ones. If any one could let me know if they knew my father I would be very grateful. He was an aircraft fitter and served 22 years leaving the Navy as a Petty Officer. He served on HMS Eagle up to and including her sinking in 1942. After many other ships he served a very long stint on HMS Victorious. It would be nice to find people who knew him and especially about the fact that my mother tells us the tale of him giving up his life jacket to a young Canadian airman when the Eagle was sinking. I would be interested in any comments.

Brian Williamson

Mar. 2, 2011

I was searching for info on HMS Eagle when I found your website, I never knew the details behind the sinking of the Eagle, that it was sunk by a German U-Boat. My cousin Henry Donnelly was an able seaman on the Eagle and he was killed during the action. I read the article on your web site by a survivor and on reading it I realised just how traumatic it must have been to have the ship sunk from under you. I also did not know that there were so many survivors. I have no recollection of meeting Henry but my parents assured me that I did meet him when he was on leave, could that have been when the Eagle was back in Britain for re-fitting before going to Malta? Henry was apparently the life and soul of the party always up to some mischief, he was a great loss to the family. I find your web excellent and I will certainly visit again, keep up the good work.

King Regards,
John Dobbin

Nov. 23, 2010

Is there a list of the survivors of the sinking of HMS Eagle? I know my father was an air gunner on the Eagle and that he survived being sunk on a couple of occasions during WW2. His name was Thomas Brown Christie, unfortunately he died when I was 7 yrs, so all is a bit sketchy.

Jim Christie

May 5, 2008

I am looking for precise information that maybe you can help me with. I have been searching the web, your site included, but yet to have my question answered.

There was an advertising promotion in 19?? where you would receive a full size deck of "British Consols" playing cards in exchange for sets of pictures of which I know that one of the pictures was of the HMS Eagle. This advertising I know stemmed from the British Consols, Montreal, Canada and the offer was good until 31 Dec., 1942. The collector card itself is very small, measuring approx. 2-3/4 inch by 1-3/4 inch. The front hosts a picture and the back indicates the promotion. The reverse also shows a small playing card as well as a number for the "game" itself. As well, it includes a number in red that I assume is a company verification number of sorts.

Are you able to inform me as to what company distributed these collector cards - eg. Kellog's in a cereal box or McDonald's in a cigarette pack???? I have absolutely no idea and am hoping you may be able to help or in the least to point me in the right direction.

I appreciate and thank you for your time.

Joanne - Ontario, Canada

Sept. 28, 2007

I have to tell you that your site is wonderful. It is the first time that I have seen a list of the men who died on the HMS Eagle in 1942.

My Dad was on that boat and of course survived the war. His name was William Robert Harvey and he was a Gunner on the Eagle. He had just gotten off duty, sat in his bunk, started taking off his uniform to go to bed. Then they were hit. He found his way to the deck and slide down into the way in his underwear. I do not have a lot of information because he died at the age of 49 in 1970 and I was just 18. So I did not have a lot of adult contact with him because I would have asked so much.

I get bits and pieces told to my Mother by him over the years. Is there a list of the entire crew of the Eagle? After the ship was bombed he went to Scotland for r&r. On his return to duty he was assigned to an LST 367
and headed to Normandy.

From what I have gotten from my Mother it sounds like a lot of the Harvey's were in the Navy. During WWI, my Father's Grandfather was a Captain, his name was Robert Harvey. Also, my Father's Father, James Harvey, went to the navy during WWI, lied about his age, he was really 14, and ended up on a ship tied next to his Father's, Captain Robert Harvey, and said "Hey Dad!" As the story goes, the Captain replied "what the hell are you doing here?"

I wish I know how far back this line of Harvey's went in the navy. So much is lost. If you can give me any information to help me further my research I would greatly appreciate it.

All the Best,
Kathy (Harvey) Lovett

William R. Harvey RN on his wedding day.

Sept. 12, 2007

My Dad flew two Spitfires off the HMS Eagle into Malta on 5/9/42 and 6/3/42 with 611 Squadron. He was an American citizen who got his wings with the RCAF and was posted to the RAF. I am working on a project to memorialize the brave pilots and also the crew of the Eagle who completed these missions. Can you assist me in finding detailed records of these flights and also, pictures that might depict these operations? In addition, I'd like to know what the Eagle crew responsibilities and dress was on such occasions? It is important to get the details right. If you can't assist, can you direct me to someone who can?

Anyone who provides material assistance in this project will receive a free print from the painting that is being commissioned.

Thank You,
Fred Morsheimer
Amherst, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

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Page published Aug. 12, 2007