Port Chalmers, Malta convoy, August 1942 - Ships Nostalgia
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Port Chalmers, Malta convoy, August 1942

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  #1  
Old 14th June 2012, 19:58
Graham Pepper Graham Pepper is offline  
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Port Chalmers, Malta convoy, August 1942

Can anyone point me in the direction of a list of those in the ship's company of Port Chalmers who were awarded decorations following the Operation Pedestal convoy to Malta in August 1942? I know that Captain Pinkney was awarded a DSO and Chief Engineer Bentley a DSC but don't know of others. I am involved with organising an exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of the convoy and would like to have a full list.
Thanks for any help.
Graham Pepper
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  #2  
Old 14th June 2012, 20:01
doug rowland doug rowland is offline  
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Hi Graham,
Am a member of Vintage Port and can post a request for you if it will help.
Doug
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  #3  
Old 14th June 2012, 20:32
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Hugh Ferguson Hugh Ferguson is offline  
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From Captain A.G. Russell's book, PORT LINE:-

"The bravery of those on board Port Chalmers in face of the enemy of the Malta convoys of 1941 and 1942 resulted in a long list of decorations, including a D.S.O. for Captain Pinkney, who had already been awarded the M.B.E. while serving as chief officer in the earlier convoy, and an O.B.E. for Captain Higgs, a D.S.C. for chief engineer S.G.L. Bentley and for second officer R.Bettess, who subsequently attained command and four Lloyd's Silver medals for meritorious service."
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  #4  
Old 15th June 2012, 07:39
Graham Pepper Graham Pepper is offline  
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Doug & Hugh
Thanks for your replies. I know of Vintage Port and a note to the members might be very helpful, thank you. I have the book you mention, Hugh, as well as several others but the three names are the only ones I can find. Do you know if there is a Port Line WW2 history?
FYI, the exhibition is being organised on board HQS Wellington and I will ensure that details are placed on SN prior to the event.
Graham
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  #5  
Old 15th June 2012, 11:26
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Hugh Ferguson Hugh Ferguson is offline  
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I have many accounts by shipping companies of their fleet's war history but the only one that gives a fully comprehensive list of awards to ALL crew members is Roskill's, 'A Merchant Fleet In War' (Blue Funnel): all are recorded, including the Chinese.
The only Port Line book I have is the one mentioned. Oddly enough I happen to possess a Port Line master's personal record of his entire seagoing career-entirely in Port Line. He was Captain Andy McClounan and he retired in the sixties. He was chief officer, mostly, throughout the war, promoted master in 1952 until retiring 17 years later.
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  #6  
Old 15th June 2012, 16:23
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is online now
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Awards for PORT CHALMERS following Operation Pedestal.

PINKNEY, Henry George Bacon - Captain - DSO
BENTLEY, Stanley George Lewis - Chief Engineer - DSC
BETTESS, Richard - Second Officer - DSC
DADSON, Arthur Harvey - Quartermaster - DSM
HILLS, William Edward - Storekeeper - DSM
McKENZIE, Charles P/X18574A - Leading Seaman RNR - DSM
SMITH, John Hely - Able Seaman - DSM
STEWART, Robert - Carpenter - DSM
SUNDERLAND, Lawrence 1518732 - Bombardier RA - DSM
WHITCHER, Alexander Leonard P/JX 135581 - Leading Signalman RN - DSM
CRAIG, William Barth - Chief Officer - Mention in Despatches
DOUGLAS, William Peacock - Boatswain - Mention in Despatches
SMITH, Charles Henry - Senior Second Engineer - Mention in Despatches.

There were other awards for actions prior to Operation Pedestal and also others in the Birthday Honours lists for 1944 and 1946 which I can give you if you require them.

Regards
Hugh
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Last edited by Hugh MacLean; 15th June 2012 at 18:28..
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  #7  
Old 15th June 2012, 20:36
Graham Pepper Graham Pepper is offline  
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Hugh
Many thanks. This is exactly what I need.
Graham
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  #8  
Old 9th September 2012, 23:09
CarolineD CarolineD is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Pepper View Post
I am involved with organising an exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of the convoy and would like to have a full list.
Thanks for any help.
Graham Pepper
Excellent exhibition Graham (and booklet) - congratulations. I took both my sons during the school holidays as I thought it was about time they learned a bit more about what the merchant navy did during the war. My Taid (grandfather) was with the Blue Funnel line and on several of the convoys to Malta including Operation Vigorous although thankfully not Operation Pedestal.

Both sons were riveted by the exhibition and the film. I took the younger one (he's aged ten) back to his previous school on Friday for a visit. When asked the inevitable 'and what did you do during the holidays?' he practically recited the history of the Operation Pedestal, particularly the details about the Ohio. He'd taken it all in - how she had to be towed with a destroyer on either side and proceeding at 2 knots "that's very very slow" he said and they were being bombed the whole time.

It was great to be able to take them to the exhibition - thank you.

C
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  #9  
Old 10th September 2012, 08:50
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Hugh Ferguson Hugh Ferguson is offline  
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Click HERE to view video.
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  #10  
Old 10th September 2012, 10:33
DURANGO DURANGO is offline  
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I was a boy in the wellington star back in in 1958/59 the master was captain Riley I beleive he was the master of the Brisbane star at the time regards Dave .
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  #11  
Old 10th September 2012, 11:19
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Hugh Ferguson Hugh Ferguson is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DURANGO View Post
I was a boy in the wellington star back in in 1958/59 the master was captain Riley I beleive he was the master of the Brisbane star at the time regards Dave .
Yes, Dave, he was indeed. During my researches into the history of that convoy I happened to contact a relative of his who gave me many details, one of which was a report written by Captain Neville Riley to the owners.
I intend never to divulge any of it to anyone-make of that what you will.
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  #12  
Old 10th September 2012, 12:25
R396040 R396040 is offline  
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Remember seeing the Port Chandlers in the Royal Docks in the Forties/Fifties many times when she was getting on a bit but always a fine real looking ship like most of Port Line ships were. Of course a lot of ships then had wartime service and stories to tell
Stuart
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  #13  
Old 10th September 2012, 12:36
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Hugh Ferguson Hugh Ferguson is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R396040 View Post
Remember seeing the Port Chandlers in the Royal Docks in the Forties/Fifties many times when she was getting on a bit but always a fine real looking ship like most of Port Line ships were. Of course a lot of ships then had wartime service and stories to tell
Stuart
I piloted the Port Chalmers in Aden in 1955 and, would you believe, didn't realise what a famous ship I was aboard!
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  #14  
Old 11th September 2012, 20:14
R396040 R396040 is offline  
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Ferguson View Post
I piloted the Port Chalmers in Aden in 1955 and, would you believe, didn't realise what a famous ship I was aboard!
Hi Hugh,
Sorry got the ships name wrong in my post above. Yes she looked a great old ship
Stuart H
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  #15  
Old 30th November 2012, 15:02
CarolineD CarolineD is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Ferguson View Post
Yes, Dave, he was indeed. During my researches into the history of that convoy I happened to contact a relative of his who gave me many details, one of which was a report written by Captain Neville Riley to the owners.
I intend never to divulge any of it to anyone-make of that what you will.
It might still be covered by the Official Secrets Act? In his book 'The Ohio and Malta' Michael Pearson comments that one of his interviewees, Danny O'Mara was still subject to the provisions of the OSa, sixty years after the event. And then there was the junior engineer who was jailed for ten years for attempting to bring ashore his personal diary of the action.

Did you ever meet Captain Neville Riley, Hugh? He comes across as quite a character.
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  #16  
Old 14th March 2017, 13:05
knighta knighta is offline  
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The bell of the "Port Chalmers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Pepper View Post
Can anyone point me in the direction of a list of those in the ship's company of Port Chalmers who were awarded decorations following the Operation Pedestal convoy to Malta in August 1942? I know that Captain Pinkney was awarded a DSO and Chief Engineer Bentley a DSC but don't know of others. I am involved with organising an exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of the convoy and would like to have a full list.
Thanks for any help.
Graham Pepper
Greetings:
As an Apprentice, I attended Plymouth School of Maritime Studies. The School owned the bell of the "Port Chalmers". The Duty Officer used to ring the hours on the bell. I do not know if the bell is still in the marine training element of Plymouth University, but I would hope that it is still there. If your search uncovered any info about awards made to the crew of the "Port Chalmers" I would be grateful if you would share it with me. Yours aye, Alan Knight.
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  #17  
Old 14th March 2017, 20:47
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knighta View Post
If your search uncovered any info about awards made to the crew of the "Port Chalmers" I would be grateful if you would share it with me. Yours aye, Alan Knight.
Hi Alan,

See post #6 where I have detailed the awards to the ship's crew.

Regards
Hugh
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  #18  
Old 24th June 2018, 04:44
Lodeman Lodeman is offline  
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I sailed on Port Chalmers on two occasions, 1957 uncert 4th Mate - a Brocklebanks charter outbound Aust NZ return. 2nd occasion 1959/60 as 3rd Mate again Outbound Brocklebanks charter then on to the MANZ line service. Over 12months before we arrived back in UK. I later worked in Brisbane with GG (Nick) Carter who was on the Port Chalmers for one of the Malta convoys and had a photo of a torpedo that had been caught in the para-vane.
In my library I have the book "Salute the Red Duster" by Cmdr AB Campbell, one of the chapters is 'A Malta Convoy' - the convoy passed Gibraltar 10th Aug 1942 .
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