14th June 2007, 16:34
I am researching the service history of my late father-in-law, William Doig. He was a gunner in the Royal Artillery during WW2 and was seconded to the Maritime Royal Artillery as a gunner on merchant ships to provide protection to convoys against air and other attack. He survived being torpedoed in 1943 while serving on a Norwegian ship (M/S Tabor) off the coast of South Africa. The details of other ships he served on are fairly sketchy but I have a document which lists the SS Arletta. From other web searches I have found a listing of such a ship as a member of the Ellerman Line which was sunk by U-boat attack in August 1942.
Would it be possible to locate records of this ship and whether it was ever fitted out with anti-aircraft guns during WW2. Also are there any archives of crew listings where his name could be confirmed as being on board and the dates he served on her?
It is a bit of a long shot I know, but I would appreciate any help from other forum members
14th June 2007, 16:45
Greeings Arlowood and welcome to the site. I am sure some of our members will be able to point you in the right direction. The MRA and DEMS were certainly operating in 1942 and I am quite sure that the 'Arletta' will have carried a contingent.
14th June 2007, 18:39
Welcome Arlowood I thin if you contact the Imperial War Museum you will find them most helpful, they have amazing records. I've found them very generous with info in the past. Charley
14th June 2007, 20:18
Hi there Galtra. Many thanks for the welcome and also the pointer to the Imperial War Museum. Will follow this up as one option. Regards Arlowood
15th June 2007, 12:18
Greetings Arlowood and welcome to Sn. Enjoy the site and all it has to offer. Bon voyage.
15th June 2007, 18:09
Hello Arlowood, welcome to SN.
All MRA and RN DEMS gunners would have signed on ships Articles as members of the crew. They would normally be shown as Deck Hands on the crew list.
The last crew list for ARLETTA should be held at the TNA Kew under the ship's official number 148856 The file should be held in piece details BT381/1974. If you require this file then go to this link http://urlx.org/gov.uk/b8ab0 then hit "Request this" and ask for the last crew list of ARLETTA official number 148856. If he served on the ship in a another year then please let me know, I will direct you to the correct file if it is there.
Detals of the sinking of ARLETTA here: http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/2004.html
Maybe this site would be of interest: http://www.ra39-45.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/maritime/index.html
ARLETTA owners: Sir James German & Co. Ltd - CARDIFF (Arlon SS Co. Ltd) I can't find any mention of this ship being managed by Ellerman.
3rd September 2007, 17:14
Hi Arlowood, My late father served as AB on the Arletta during the WW2. At that time running Avgas from the Thames up the East Coast. The dates are in his discharge book but I've put that somewhere safe in the house ! He had many tales of the ship including getting lost in fog and being attacked by E boats. Another was arriving in the Tyne during an air raid at night, then awoken rudely in the morning and told to evacuate the ship, just a UXB wedged in the deck ! Rgds