JOSEPH LEWIS

Born: Malta.

Died: 1st June 1941; MPK – Ship Loss.

Rank: Petty Officer Steward; Service Number: E/LX 20857.

Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M.S. ‘Calcutta’ – Cruiser.

 

Memorial Reference:

Panel 55, Column 3.

Plymouth Naval Memorial,

Devon.

 

 

H.M.S ‘CALCUTTA’ 1st June 1941

 

H.M.S. ‘Calcutta’ was a cruiser powered by steam, she was built in 1918 by Vickers – Armstrong Ltd., Barrow In Furness. In 1938 she was taken in hand for reconstruction as an Anti Aircraft Cruiser with eight 4 in A.A. guns, and many smaller, at Chatham Dockyard. Work was completed in July 1939. On the 27th May 1941, the evacuation of Allied troops from Crete was ordered, 6000 troops were evacuated.  On the night of 31st May/1st June 1941, a final effort was made to evacuate the remaining troops from Sfakia. H.M.S. ‘Calcutta’ and H.M.S. ‘Coventry’ set out from Alexandria to provide extra anti-aircraft protection. The two ships were attacked by two Junkers 88 bombers of Lehrgeschwader 1 about 100 nautical miles (190 km) northwest of Alexandria, H.M.S. ‘Calcutta’ was hit by two bombs and sank within a few minutes, with 255 men being rescued by H.M.S. ‘Coventry’ and 107 men killed or missing.

Posted in Second World War

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