23rd November 2007, 20:01
I'm sorry to keep coming back to your lovely site with my problems, but you seem like the best place to be!!!
My next query on my quest to discover all about my step sister's roots, concerns a RN warship in WW2 which was involved in the "Russian Run" when Russia joined the War.
The man I am after was called Donald Sheppard, and he was a Gynaecologist but of course there was little call for these skills on a warship! He was the ship's surgeon, and my 92 year old father remembers him telling gory tales of such unimaginably low temperatures on board ship that men lost their fingers after touching the metalwork, (and worse).
I cannot think that there were too many ships on this supply run, so please, does anybody know of any names??
23rd November 2007, 21:50
Best source for convoy information is on convoyweb.
I cannot see a Donald Sheppard on the ADM section of the NA.
I suspect his CV stated Deliveries, so who else to send on a convoy?
All the ships are named, Merchant and RN.
Best Wishes, Raymond ...
ps .. keep em coming.
23rd November 2007, 21:55
Another thought ...
Write to the Royal College of Gynaecologists
All Best, Raymond
23rd November 2007, 22:09
Just to appreciate the hardships that those crews encountered, this is a photo of the fore end of HMS Leamington, taken in 1943. I wonder if they would have been able to get the gun on the focsle to work in such arduous conditions?
24th November 2007, 19:36
Thanks to both of you for your help and interest - once again you have prov ided me with somewhere to look.
That picture of the iced up ship is exactly how my father remembers Donald describing the conditions. It's almost impossible to imagine isn't it.
24th November 2007, 20:34
London Gazette may be of help.
Search page at
Ther eis a list of pdf files on
BUT this one is not linked and is about the Russian Convoys 1942
Best Wishes, Raymond
27th November 2007, 16:57
GREAT PHOTO JBRYCE, she looks more like a floating iceberge than a man of war, must have been a hell of a job for the crew to clear that lot and being on artic convoy she would be more or less at action stations for most of the trip, I`ve heard tales from ex shipmates who were on these convoys of frost bite, fingers being amputated, those trips were no fun in those days, brave men in both the RN and MN who sailed in these convoys -we salute them.
27th November 2007, 20:30
It is indeed a wonderful photo jbryce, and would you mind awfully if I pinched it? It will fit in beautifully with the tales that Donald used to tell my father of his dreadful work which did indeed include amputations due to frostbite etc.
4th December 2007, 22:48
Feel free to use them, here are some others of the same ship
4th December 2007, 22:51
And more, the first one may be duplicated
4th December 2007, 23:09
I could be wrong over this but I believe that these destroyers were not noted for the sea-keeping qualities. Many of the 'lads' that manned them were Hostilities Only ratings - so it was certainly no picnic for them but what a magnificent job they did and what would the RN have done without them.
5th December 2007, 00:37
Does not bear thinking about ... like taking an iceberg on a convoy.
Were the ships unstable due the ice atop?
5th December 2007, 01:48
This is the former DD-127 USS Twiggs, transferred to the RN at Halifax on the 23 October 1940.
She was a Wickes class of the Tatnall group built by NY ship building in 1918
L 314' 5" B 31' 8" and Max draft 9' 10" disp 1200 tons
machinery : twin screw direct drive main turbines with geared cruising turbines, 25,000 SHP 35 knots
Armament four 4" two 3" AA and a whopping 12 21" torpedoes in four triple banks of tubes
In 1944 she was sold to Russia becoming the Zhyachi scrapped in 1951.