WW II, a British focus  



Memories of Eric Secker

Left UK I think sometime in August in company with HMS Juliette, another trawler, and escorting a seagoing tug towing a floating crane. Went 1500 miles west, turned South to Gibraltar, took 3 weeks, at 4 knots. Later we all proceeded to Freetown Sierra Leone, without incident. Spent a few hairy days with a Post office cable laying yacht the Lady Dennison Pender cutting telephone cables off Dakar, dodging a French destroyer in and out of fog banks, then to Gib, and invasion at Oran.

Oran Nov ? 1942 aboard HMS Coriolanus. Swept the bay for mines prior to invasion, then proceeded to patrol entrance to the bay for subs.. SS Monarch of Bermuda and HMS Brilliant anchored in bay. At first light a Vichy French Destroyer appeared around the Western point and opened fire on us, HMS Brilliant slipped her anchor opened fire on the enemy crippling her steering and then proceeded to sink her. Great grandstand view. Later the fort above Oran opened fire on all ships with heavy guns. This continued for some hours with no hits until a British battle ship appeared on the horizon and with one salvo [over our heads] took out the fort.