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ROYAL NAVY SOUTH ATLANTIC COMMAND - ROYAL NAVY N P Q R SHIPS

12)QUEEN OF BERMUDA (A M C)




Photo. www.photoship.co.uk


Commissioned: 1939


Displacement: 22,575 tons


Length: 579,6 ft


Beam: 76,8 ft


Draught: 27,1 ft


Armament: 7x 152mm, 2x 76mm


Speed: 20 kts


Queen of Bermuda,  a passenger ship which was requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1939. She served at the south Atlantic Station  from November 39 to March 42, and from July 1942 till August that same year. In April 1943 she was converted as a troopship and used by MoWT.


The sleeping arrangements on board were the familiar three-tied bunks crammed together, and as the ship was "darkened"  from 7pm to 7am and no-one allowed on deck it got pretty stuffy below decks. We each had a card for meals ( I think there were two sittings per meal) food was served on trays and we stood at tables to eat. 


One day while on deck  I met one of the ship's company who had been at school  with me. After several days of Practice Boat Drill a voice of the PA system advised us that " there will be no further Practice Boats Drills" and our cheers faded when the voice continued,  "Next time the alarm sounds, it will be the real thing.....we are now in dangerous waters!. 


There was a Church Service on board and I've never heard the hymn  "For those in peril on the sea"  sung with such sincerity!!!  In Sierra Leone I was stationed at RAF Waterloo  servicing Wellington aircraft on the way to the Middle East. (The Mediterannean was closed to shipping). At that time late 1942... French Senegal was pro-Nazi and a flight of three Wellingtons was formed to step up anti-Uboat patrols and convoy escorts. 


When the French in Senegal joined the Allies we then serviced new Hudson aircraft  from the USA via Brazil, while the   aircrews came out by ship and took the aircraft to the Midddle East. I was given the job of "flying  fitter"  ( I  was an aero engine technician), on the aircraft used by the Air Officer Commmanding RAF  West Africa, which meant travelling around from Dakar in the North down to Lagos in Nigeria.”



Queen of Bermuda seen moored at Sierra Leone. Kindly sent by Sandy.


 

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