Navy in Malta during the war

Verwaltung

Clanker
Hi folks. I'm trying to discover if there is any way I can find out anything about my grandfather and what he did during the war.

I deeply regret not having been more inquisitive when there were still family members alive that I could have asked, but have just come across a photo that might help to narrow things down a bit.

So far Googling his name hasn't helped at all.

He served in Malta during the war, and was something to do with minesweepers. I've also found material relating to HMS Victory but that may be a red herring.

I get a strong boat driver vibe off the uniform but believe he might have been shore based, perhaps doing something strategic. In either case he was presumably a moderately big cheese, hence being surprised about the lack of help from Google.

I'd be very grateful if anyone could suggest anything that might help me investigate further.

Many thanks!
IMG_20200314_211550__01.jpg
 
A name would help..... Other than Captain Verwaltung.
 

soleil

War Hero
Hi folks. I'm trying to discover if there is any way I can find out anything about my grandfather and what he did during the war.

I deeply regret not having been more inquisitive when there were still family members alive that I could have asked, but have just come across a photo that might help to narrow things down a bit.

So far Googling his name hasn't helped at all.

He served in Malta during the war, and was something to do with minesweepers. I've also found material relating to HMS Victory but that may be a red herring.

I get a strong boat driver vibe off the uniform but believe he might have been shore based, perhaps doing something strategic. In either case he was presumably a moderately big cheese, hence being surprised about the lack of help from Google.

I'd be very grateful if anyone could suggest anything that might help me investigate further.

Many thanks! View attachment 456868
Verwaltung

The best thing for you to do will be to apply for his Service Record.

All the information which you need to do that is here:


You will need the Next of Kin form and the one for the Royal Navy/Royal Marines.

You can also consult the 'Navy List' for simple information.

May I ask the gentleman's name, please?

PS HMS Victory will have been a shore establishment at this point, probably one dealing with pay and administration in Portsmouth.
 
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Malta was an important submarine base at Marsamxett, Manoel Island. Would have been a submarine supply depot/ship. My uncle went down with his sub off the coast and there is a memorial to all those lost at sea at Portsmouth (includes names and ships).

There are also files at the Archives, Kew such as
WO 169/22110
Description:Malta Command: Headquarters: HQ 0 2 E
Date:1945 Jan.- Dec.

If you type the above number into 'Discovery' on the Archives web site you can then select to view by 'hierarchy' and see what other files are available.
 
Given that the old boy is wearing a Captain RN uniform -and with what looks suspiciously like a Fleet Air Arm Observer brevet-you could do no better than Google his full name with 'Captain' as the first word.
 

Verwaltung

Clanker
Thanks!
William Henry Mills.
He was based in Portsmouth before the war. The material I referred to was a photograph of the ship HMS Victory (In Valetta harbour I believe) and a Christmas card also with a photo of the ship.
Both had been scribbled on the back of by my mum. They were obviously important to her or they wouldn't have been kept, but I'm still absolutely certain that her dad had to do with minesweepers.
The whole family were posted there to Malta for a long time, mum went to school there.

Grandad Mills may have commanded a minesweeper at some point, but I do also recall something about his being in charge of them generally, rather than commanding a specific one.

Thanks again!
 
Malta was an important submarine base at Marsamxett, Manoel Island. Would have been a submarine supply depot/ship. My uncle went down with his sub off the coast and there is a memorial to all those lost at sea at Portsmouth (includes names and ships).

There are also files at the Archives, Kew such as
WO 169/22110
Description:Malta Command: Headquarters: HQ 0 2 E
Date:1945 Jan.- Dec.

If you type the above number into 'Discovery' on the Archives web site you can then select to view by 'hierarchy' and see what other files are available.
The great 10th Flotilla, where the likes of Cmdr Tubby Linton VC operated. Sadly he was lost at sea with his crew believed hit a mine.
 
Thanks!
William Henry Mills.
He was based in Portsmouth before the war. The material I referred to was a photograph of the ship HMS Victory (In Valetta harbour I believe) and a Christmas card also with a photo of the ship.
Both had been scribbled on the back of by my mum. They were obviously important to her or they wouldn't have been kept, but I'm still absolutely certain that her dad had to do with minesweepers.
The whole family were posted there to Malta for a long time, mum went to school there.

Grandad Mills may have commanded a minesweeper at some point, but I do also recall something about his being in charge of them generally, rather than commanding a specific one.

Thanks again!
Which years was your Mother (and obviously the family) in Malta.
If she was of Infants/primary school age, she would have gone to RN School Verdala: secondary school age it would have been RN School Tal Handaq.
FB has good active sites for both schools.
I was at Verdala 1958-1964.
 
The reference you've found to HMS Victory, to stretch it could it have been HMS Victorious. If so then he could have been the Commander Air as a Captain for the resupply of Malta run as part of Pedestal. Or as part of the refit for the North African landings.
Just a few random ideas from someone working from home!!!!!

Pedestal
Main article: Operation Pedestal
The suspension of the Arctic convoys released Victorious to take part in a "last chance" attempt to resupply Malta – Operation Pedestal. Malta-bound Convoy WS 21S departed Britain on 3 August 1942 escorted by Victorious with HMS Nelson and cruisers Nigeria, Kenya and Manchester. Exercises (Operation Berserk) were performed with aircraft carriers HMS Indomitable, Furious, Eagle and Argus to improve operational techniques.[2]

Pedestal began on 10 August 1942 and involved a great array of ships in several coordinated groups; two battleships, four aircraft carriers, seven cruisers and thirty two destroyers. Some of the carriers were transporting aircraft for Malta's defence and fourteen merchant ships carried supplies. On 12 August 1942 Victorious was slightly damaged by an attack from Italian bombers.[2] Eagle was less fortunate, being torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat on her return journey to Gibraltar. Ultimately Pedestal was a success for the allies: supplies, including oil and reinforcing Supermarine Spitfires allowed Malta to hold out, albeit at the cost of the loss of nine merchant ships, one aircraft carrier, two cruisers, and a destroyer.

In September 1942, Victorious was taken in hand for a refit that included the installation of an aircraft direction room. After trials, she was ready to participate in the North African landings.[2]
 
The great 10th Flotilla, where the likes of Cmdr Tubby Linton VC operated. Sadly he was lost at sea with his crew believed hit a mine.


You have had some very informative responses. It would be polite of you to post your discoveries of your grandfathers past on here when you find it, which I am sure you will!!
 
Found the Naval officers list, this chap is the only Captain and he did set foot in Malta. Although most naval officers did at some stage. Have a look.
If this is your man he is indeed a very brave submariner.
Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-1945 - M

Mills,
Ronald George
"Ronnie"
R.G. Mills (© Imperial War Museum (A 28189)) R.G. Mills (© Imperial War Museum A 32326)
Son of Charles Mills Jr. (1872?-1959), and Kate Mills (1874?-1959), of Croylands, Wimbledon Common, later of Folkestone.
Married 1st ((03?).1928, Weymouth district, Dorset) Sylvia Gurney ((03?).1901 - 19.01.1960), younger daughter of the late Dr. H. Gurney, of Dovercourt, Essex, and Mrs Gurney, of Brentry, Weymouth; ... children (one son, one daughter?).
Married 2nd ((12?).1960, Westminster district, London) Mary Frances Gerardine "Pooch" Campbell (née Howell) (25.10.1908 - 21.01.1975), widow of Lt.Cdr. Andrew Neil Gillespie Campbell, RN (1909-1944), of Seymour Place, London W1.
He was a talented cartoonist and did a rather fine joint portrait of submarine commanders on the china station entitled ‘Such Men as These’. When in Malta he decorated his flat with a frieze on the theme of ‘Careless Lives Cost Talk’.

27.12.1903
Putney, Wandsworth district, London
-
30.10.1987
Henley district, Berkshire
Midsh. 15.01.1922
A/S.Lt. 15.05.1924
S.Lt. 1925?, seniority 30.11.1924
Lt. 30.04.1926
Lt.Cdr. 30.04.1934
Cdr. 31.12.1940
Capt. 31.12.1948 (retd 07.01.1958)
Distinguished Service Order DSO 17.06.1941 successful submarine patrols [investiture 03.02.42]
Distinguished Service Cross DSC 28.06.1940 submarine actions against the enemy [investiture 03.02.42]
Distinguished Service Cross DSC 06.09.1940 successful submarine patrols [investiture 03.02.42]
Distinguished Service Cross DSC 24.07.1945 anti-U-boat operations Plymouth area 26.03.45 [investiture 13.11.45]
Mention in Despatches MID 16.01.1945 probable destruction U-boat Plymouth area 15.08.44
Mention in Despatches MID 03.07.1945 destruction U-boat Plymouth area 24.02.45
02.10.1922 - (08.1923) HMS Diomede (light cruiser)
25.09.1924 - (01.1925) promotion course, RN College, Greenwich [HMS President]
09.04.1926 - (05.)1926 HMS Conquest (cruiser) (1st Submarine Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet) (additional; for submarines)
08.08.1926 - (06.)1928 First Lieutenant, HMS H 44 (submarine) (6th Submarine Flotilla) [tender to HMS Vulcan]
08.08.1928 - (08.1929) HMS Salmon (destroyer) (Anti-Submarine Flotilla, Portland)
14.01.1930 - 27.04.1930 First Lieutenant, HMS Proteus (submarine) (while under construction at Barrow-in-Furness) (for duty with submarines & for duty with Captain Superintendent Contract-Built Ships)
28.04.1930 - (01.)1932 First Lieutenant, HMS Proteus (submarine) (China) [tender to HMS Medway]
(09.1932) no appointment listed
09.01.1933 - (01.)1934 Commanding Officer, HMS H 50 (submarine) [tender to HMS Titania]
03.05.1934 - (08.)1936 HMS Renown (battlecruiser) (Home Fleet)
02.09.1936 - 09.1936 HMS Dolphin (submarine depot, Gosport) (for course)
18.09.1936 - (02.)1939 Commanding Officer, HMS Regent (submarine) (China) [tender to HMS Medway]
(04.1939) no appointment listed
(08.1939) no appointment listed [intended appointment as Commanding Officer of HMS Otway (submarine) was cancelled]
02.08.1939 - (09.)1939 HMS Dolphin (submarine depot, Gosport) (for submarines)
30.11.1939 - 15.11.1940 Commanding Officer, HMS Tetrarch (submarine) (DSO, DSC & Bar)
15.11.1940 - (02.)1941 HMS St Angelo (RN base, Malta)
04.03.1941 - (12.1941) HMS Stag (RN base, Port Said)
01.01.1942 - (08.1942) HMS Forth (submarine depot ship) (and for duty with submarines)
(02.1943) - (08.1943) HMS Stag (RN base, Port Said) *
05.09.1943 - (10.)1943 Commanding Officer, HMS Inconstant (destroyer)
19.11.1943 - 02.1945 Commanding Officer, HMS Duckworth (frigate) & as Senior Officer, 3rd Escort Group (2nd Bar to DSC, despatches twice)
(07.1945) HMS Duckworth (frigate) *
03.1946 - (04.1946) Commanding Officer, HMS Siskin (RN Air Station, Gosport)
(07.1948) Admiralty [HMS President] *
(05.1949) no appointment listed
08.08.1949 - (05.1950) Naval Attaché, Warsaw, Poland [HMS President] (accredited to Bucharest, Sofia & Budapest as well)
29.10.1951 - (05.1953) Senior British Naval Officer, Ceylon & Captain Superintendent Ceylon [HMS Highflyer]
24.11.1953 - ? tactical course
05.04.1954 - (07.1954) Commanding Officer, HMS Agincourt & as Captain (D) 4th Destroyer Squadron
02.12.1954 - ? senior officers' technical course
(04.1955) no appointment listed
19.05.1955 - (01.1957) Captain-in-Charge, Portland & Captain Superintendent, HM Dockyard, Portland [HMS Osprey]
08.07.1957 - 07.01.1958 also: Naval ADC to the Queen
 

Verwaltung

Clanker
Goodness, thanks very much for the help so far!

I'm an idiot, ship photos were HMS Triumph! I'm trying to do three things at the moment plus it looks like I might have difficulty getting back home to Finland tomorrow, I'm a bit inundated with stuff this afternoon!

Mum was born in Malta in 1936, was there for a while, and then they went back again later for another period.

It looks like I'll be quarantined when I get back to Finland so will have time to go into this properly without distractions!
 

Verwaltung

Clanker
Where was your Grandfather born, Verwaltung?
I'm afraid I don't know. I've just asked my sister, she doesn't know for sure either, but would guess Plymouth or Newton Abbot. The only other personal information I can recall is that he also trained as a shipwright, and they were also posted to somewhere near Aberdeen at some point, possibly between their periods in Malta.
 

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