Mervyn Somerset Thomas DSO, RN

Born  30 Aug 1900
Died  21 Aug 1947(46)

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1 May 1917 Mid.
15 Jan 1919 A/S.Lt.
15 Sep 1919 S.Lt.
15 Sep 1921 Lt.
15 Sep 1929 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1936 Cdr.
31 Dec 1941 Capt.


10 Sep 1940 DSO

Warship Commands listed for Mervyn Somerset Thomas, RN

HMS Grafton (H 89)Cdr.Destroyer19 Feb 193818 Jan 1940
HMS Dainty (H 53)Cdr.Destroyer6 Feb 194024 Feb 1941
HMS Auckland (L 61 / U 61)Cdr.Sloop25 May 194124 Jun 1941
HMS Faulknor (H 62)Capt.Destroyer28 Sep 194324 Feb 1944

Career information

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Events related to this officer

Destroyer HMS Grafton (H 89)

29 Oct 1939
HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) picks up 70 survivors from the British merchant Malabar that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-34 about 180 miles west of Lands End in position 49°57'N, 07°37'W.

Destroyer HMS Dainty (H 53)

29 Jun 1940 (position 35.16, 20.20)
On 29 June 1940 around 0615 hours the Italian submarine Uebi Scebeli was sunk in the central Mediterranean in position 35°16'N, 20°20'E by the British destroyers HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN), HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN) and the Australian destroyer HMAS Voyager (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Morrow, RAN). The Italian submarines Capitano Tarantini (offsite link) and Salpa were also hunted but escaped.

It is also possible that the submarine sunk might have been the Italian Argonauta.

Sloop HMS Auckland (L 61 / U 61)

24 Jun 1941
Loss of Auckland. Mr Francesco Mattesini has kindly provided us with a detailed account of the circumstances of Auckland's sinking, based on research of original archival documents as follows:

Sloop HMS Auckland (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) sailed from Alexandria with the Australian sloop HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr J.H. Walker, RAN) escorting the oiler Pass of Balmaha, heading Tobruk with 750 ts of avgas.
At 1736 hrs of 24 June, when about 20 nautical miles east of Tobruk, the convoy was attacked by several single level bombers (Italian S.79s of the 5th Air Fleet) and later, and more heavily, by 2 formations of Italo-German planes: the first consisted of 2 Ju-88 of III/LG.1 and 24 Ju-87 of II/St.G.2, led by the well-known Major Walter Ennecerus; the second group was mixed with 8 Ju.87 of I/St.G.1 and 5 Italian Ju-87 of the 239th Dive-bombing Sqn (Capt. Guseppe Cenni).
The first wave of German planes, diving from the sun, concentrated on Auckland, mistaken for a light cruiser, while the Italian planes attacked the oiler.
Auckland sustained an immediate hit on the stern, lost steering and kept way for a while at 10 kn, until 3 more bombs from the planes of II/St.G.2 hit her, causing her to go dead in the water with a 30? list. Completely wrecked and badly on fire, Auckland capsized and sank after an explosion.

Pass of Balmaha was damaged by near-misses but reached Tobruk escorted by newly arrived DD Waterhen, while Parramatta rescued Auckland's 162 survivors while still under attack and reached Marsa Matruh.

Destroyer HMS Faulknor (H 62)

7 Oct 1943
The British light cruisers HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, RN) and HMS Sirius (Capt. P.B.W. Brooking, DSO, RN) and the British destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, DSO, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, RN), north of Astipalea (Stampalia) in the Dodecanese, attacked a German convoy consisting of the auxiliary submarine chaser UJ 2111 (667 tons, former Italian Tramaglio), cargo Olympus (5216 GRT) and 5 MFPs. All were sunk.
On the return leg of the mission, the British were repeatedly attacked by German planes while transiting Karpathos Strait (Scarpanto).

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