HMMT William Hallet

Joe Rooney
8th March 2006, 22:35
My late uncle, Andrew Theodorakis was the first of my family's losses in WWII. He served on the minesweeping trawler William Hallet operating from North Shields fish quay. The Hallet swept for mines from about Sunderland to Blyth, until late December 1939 when she detonated a mine while about halfway between the North Tyne pier and Bates Island lighthouse (Off Whitley Bay.)

Andrew was seen struggling in the water by another crewmember, but apparently drowned, and his body was never recovered.

I have occasionally wondered who else was lost from this trawler, and how many survived. Memory (Vague as it is!) tells me that as a seven year old boy I listened to two survivors describing the incident to my family in late 1939, or early 1940.

There were several other local trawlers who functioned as minesweepers and (being equipped with depth charges) as anti submarine patrols.

Another one of my early memories of this time is about meeting another uncle (John Theodorakis) as he was on his way down to the fish quay. A few hours later he dropped by my aunts house to reassure her that he was fine!
It seems that they had just commenced sweeping when their oropesa sweep became entangled with, and detonated, another mine. Fortunately, although damaged, and badly shaken up, they managed to get their trawler back into the Tyne.

Are the casualties of these minesweeping trawlers listed as RN or MN. And is it possible to discover the names of the crew of the William Hallet, and a list of casualties?

Regards, Joe

8th March 2006, 23:22
Billy McGee is your man for info like this. You will find him here:
www.merchant-navy (http://www.merchant-navy). He is also a member of this site but I can't remember what his user name is. He is absolutely brilliant & a fountain of knowledge, especially when it comes to the MN & WW2.
Kind regards,
John F.

8th March 2006, 23:31

Billy's SN username is "Billy1963" (Thumb)

8th March 2006, 23:32
Hi Jo,

There is a reference to the William Hallett on this site: - it includes the likely location of the wreck.

Also a brief mention here:

This site includes the ship number and a few more details:

Hopefully some other members can provide additional information.



8th March 2006, 23:46

Billy's SN username is "Billy1963" (Thumb)Gulpers,
Thanks for that. There are a few Billys on this site & I didn't know which one to pick.
Kind regards,

8th March 2006, 23:52

No problem!

I don't know what your feelings are but I have a notion that the casualties will be listed as RN and not MN. She was, after all HMMT William Hallet! As you said earlier, if anyone knows the answer, it will be Billy. (Thumb)