Crew list of Ships hit by U-boats

William Herbert Judd

RN. British

Born  13 Mar 1920Cardiff

Roster information listed for William Herbert Judd

ShipTypeRank / roleAttacked onBoat
Clan MacarthurSteam merchantDEMS gunner12 Aug 1943U-181 (1)

Personal information

William Herbert Judd was one of seven naval DEMS gunners aboard Clan Macarthur who were led by a Royal Marines Sergeant. He remembers that they were torpedoed at 01.00 hours, the hit in the stern immobilized the ship which was then struck by another torpedo amidships and finally one in the empty forward hold that caused her to sink by the bows very quickly, followed by an underwater explosion. The crew abandoned ship in three lifeboats, the others being damaged by the second hit. The U-boat later surfaced alongside the boat he was in and asked for the Captain but was told he had gone down with his ship, which was untrue. The German commander offered any medical help he could give but could not take anyone on board. He then told them to push off as he was going to submerge. It was decided to stay in that position so the boats were roped together in a circle. Later in the night a whale came up in the middle so the boats were hurriedly cut free. The survivors settled down as best as they could. The radio operator was in the same boat as William and said that he got away a distress call and it was picked up in Delhi. When daylight came his boat was on its own as the other lifeboats had drifted away. The following day they were found by a Catalina flying boat who signaled he couldn't land due to the swell but dropped a wireless set that was operated by flying a kite which they had to operate frequently to pinpoint their position. One day later they were picked up by the Savorgnan de Brazza which took them to Port Louis on Mauritius and William was clothed in pyjamas and an oilskin coat. The Europeans that met the survivors on the quayside gave them what clothing they could. They remained on Mauritius for four and a half months before being taken to Mombasa and put in a camp at English Point.


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Crew list for Ships hit by U-boats