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Bombing of HMS Gloucester

Updated: Jan 14

On 11 January 1941, while supporting Operation Excess (several coordinated convoys), Gloucester and sister ship Southampton came under attack from Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bombers from StG 2 while leaving Malta.

Gloucester was hit by a 250-kilogram (550 lb) bomb which failed to explode after penetrating through five decks. Southampton was hit by at least two bombs and caught fire; heavily damaged and without power, the ship was scuttled by torpedoes from the light cruiser Orion.

HMS Gloucester January 1941 (Navy History net)

Of the 9 killed 7 were Royal Marines:

BASFORD, Ronald H, Sub Lieutenant, RNVR (SA), killed

BASSETT-BURR, Robert, Marine, PLY/X 3447, killed

GREEN, Edmond H, Marine, PLY/X 2303, DOW

JESSON, Alec A, Marine, PLY/3487, killed

LEWIS, Arthur R, Marine, PLY/X 2393, killed

O'LEARY, Morris M, Marine, PLY/X 2413, killed

PHELAN, John J, Leading Seaman, D/J 106536, DOW

WALKER, Harry, Corporal, RM, PLY/X 1433, killed

WHITELEY, Roy, Marine, PLY/X 1623, DOW


HMS Gloucester was later sunk by German dive bombers on 22 May 1941 during the Battle of Crete with the loss of 722 men out of a crew of 807, including 90 Royal Marines.

Related RM 'Dits'

References/ Further Reading:

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