HMS Black Swan L-57 / U-57 / F-57
Message Board

Oct. 17, 2022

I came across your website and thought the below items may be of interest. My father, Norman John Pipe (Ordinary Seaman) served on HMS Black Swan in the Far East in 1945 -46 before being transferred to HMS Belfast for the return journey back to the UK. The Christmas greeting card was very welcomed by those at home to know their loved ones were safe.

Kind regards,
David Pipe
Ordinary Seaman Norman John Pipe.
May 18, 2022

My uncle, Bernard John Purnell (aka John/Johnny) served in the engine room on the Black Swan and was on board during the Yangtze incident. He passed away today (May 18) aged 96 in Australia. He never returned to the U.K. after signing up as soon as he was allowed. He met a girl in Sydney when docked (where he bumped into his brother, my late father Gerald Purnell whose ship also happened to be there for repairs at that time). He married said girl and never returned to the U.K. having transferred to the Australia Navy.

Following the death of his wife in 2007 he re-connected with my father and came back to the U.K. each year until 2016. He always stayed with my husband and I, and we visited him twice. He was so proud to visit the Black Swan memorial at The National Memorial Arboretum, which is very close to us, and always reminisced with us of his experience of that incident.

I was wondering if a record of ex-servicemen of the Black Swan existed and, if so, could his name be added?

Yours sincerely,
Christina Lunn
Tamworth, U.K.
Apr. 23, 2022

i am writing to you to ask if u could help me. I am looking for information on my grandad Leslie Albert Warden who served on HMS Black Swan during the Yangtze Incident, he was a petty officer. I would be so grateful for any information you may have thank you so much.

Shilo Frost
Aug. 22, 2019

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of John Frederick Thomas Dunstan, veteran of the Yangtze Incident. John served on HMS BLACK SWAN and was a most efficient Secretary of the BLACK SWAN Association. John was also the Secretary of the Four Ships Association and was largely responsible for the success of these events. He also set up the Four Ships Unit that has continued to March at the Cenotaph since its inauguration in 1999. His funeral takes place at 12:00 on Friday 30th August 2019 at Torbay cemetery and crematorium, Hele Rd, TQ2 7QG. The undertaker is S J Blackwell.

Best wishes,
Gilly O'Reilly
on behalf of Lt. Cdr. Stewart Hett (Retired)

Jan. 21, 2019

I served on HMS Black Swan during the Korean War, at first I was still a Boy Seaman, but found that Richard Dellenty, from my home town, was the PO (bunting tosser) or telegraphist. Can anyone confirm this, I joined her 1950?. Any information about him would be very gratefully received.

Peter Curtis

July 29, 2018

My father was on board HMS Black Swan during the Yangtze incident for which he has a medal. Sadly he passed away just over two years ago, but I would love to discover more about his time in the Royal Navy. His full name was Claude Edgar William Cook.

Janet Roach

Mar. 26, 2014

I was wondering if you would kindly check the crew list for HMS Amethyst for the Yangtze Incident in 1949
for a crew member - 127701 A. E. WALL, A.B. R.N. Thank you in advance for any help you might be able to provide.

John Jarratt

Nov. 25, 2012

My Uncle was on board the Black Swan during the Yangtze incident and I would like to try find out more about his time while he was on board. His name was Charles ( Charlie ) Warren. I have only just found out he was in the Navy and have not been able to find out more as most of the family have passed away.

Thank you,
M. Green

Dec. 5, 2011

My father, William Alun Jones, was born in 1901 and joined the Royal Navy at the beginning of World War II, after serving in the Merchant Navy. He worked on steam engines/boilers on the railway prior to joining the Merchant Navy. I believe he served in the engine room. He told us that he was on HMS Black Swan on Arctic convoys which I believe was called the Kola Run. Later in the War he was eventually blown through a metal skylight of a hospital ship and ended up in hospital in South Africa. He was also talented boxer and I believe was the Royal Navy Light Heavyweight Champion and was well known for beating the Police Champion, thus proving the Royal Navy superior to the landlubbers. That's about as much information I can give you unfortunately, but i'm hopeful it might be enough to be able to point me in the right direction.

Kind Regards,
Megan Myfanwy Irwing (Nee Jones)

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Page published Dec. 14, 2011