ALEXANDER FREDERICK HERD

Alexander is not remember on the war memorial at Christchurch Park.

 

Born: 18th October 1919, Ipswich.

Died: 1st January 1943; age: 23.

 

Rank: Marine; Service Number: Ex/3189.

Regiment: Royal Marines, H.M.S. ‘Fidelity.’

 

Memorial Reference:

Panel 83 Column 3.

Plymouth Naval Memorial,

Devon.

 

Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Alexander & Rose Herd, of 7, Dickens Road, Ipswich; husband of Queenie Gwendoline Herd, of Ipswich.

 

Father: Alexander Herd, born 1899, Panbride, Forfarshire, Scotland – died 1937, Ipswich.

 

Mother: Rose Jane Herd (nee Everett), born November 1899, Ipswich.

 

In 1940, Ipswich, Alexander married Queenie Gwendoline Burrows, born December 1920, Ipswich.

They had 1 daughter.

A second Ipswich man on board  IVAN FRANK GARNHAM

HMS Fidelity was converted as a British Special Service Vessel for the Special Operations Executive (SOE).  The ship flew a neutral Portuguese and Spanish flags. The under-cover ship had sailed around the Mediterranean picking up escaped downed airmen who made their way to Spain. She also delivering supplies and SOE agents to work behind enemy lines.

Upgraded in 1942 she was rearmed with torpedoes and artillery, two OS2U Kingfisher floating planes, two small landing craft and a MTB 105 (small motor torpedo boat) The ship now a Commando carrier, carried 40 Royal marine commandos.

18th November 1942 HMS Fidelity joined a 45 strong Liverpool to New York convoy, the Fidelity bound for the Panama Canal and the Pacific, to take part in the Japanese campaign.

HMS Fidelity was powered by steam and started to have engine problems, falling behind from the convoy only capable of 2 or 3 nots. She changed course and decided to head for the Azores. Picking up survivors from SS Empire Shackleton who had been torpedoed earlier.

Alone she became a target for a U-Boat pack, U 225, U Boat 615 and U-435 who fired a number of torpedo’s, she did her best to defend herself launching her planes and craft being finally hit and sunk following a large explosion at 16:30hrs 0n the 30th. The U-boat commander had noted a number of survivors on rafts, but later the weather deteriorated with the loss of 51 Royal Marines RM of 40 Commando T troop (the name T troop was never used again in memory of their loss.) Also on board were 274+ French troops 4 RM Artillery gunners and 44 rescued survivors from SS Empire Shackleton. The two pilots and the 8 man crew of MTB 105 were later picked up and survived the attack.

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