June 8 – Northern Ireland at D Day

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3 – The third in a series about NI people on D Day. Andrew Adams from Killyleagh was in HMS Pink (below) anchored off Normandy to provide aerial cover for the soldiers storming the beaches but had to contend with German bombers flying overhead.

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Andrew Adams was in Pink anchored off Normandy to provide aerial cover for the soldiers storming the beaches but had to contend with German bombers flying overhead.

Speaking to a local newspaper, the Down Recorder, on the 70th annniversary of D Day he said, “What I witnessed will never leave me. I was one of the lucky ones. I lived to tell the tale, but what I witnessed is not something you talk about often. The sights, sounds and smells of what I witnessed 70 years ago have never left me. They never will. I witnessed things no man should ever see. It was the true horror of war.”

It was during the D-Day landings when HMS Pink, a Flower-class corvette, took the full force of a German torpedo. Andrew recalled, “I was in my hammock when there was a massive explosion that rocked the ship to its core. I went up on deck and looked towards the back of the ship but all I could see was water. The ship had literally split in two, but she never sunk. However, it was clear the vessel was in trouble and I and many others jumped into the sea where we were rescued by an American torpedo boat before we were eventually taken back to England.”

He was transferred to the HMS Duke of York, ending up in Tokyo at the end of the war.
He enlisted April 1942 and took part in HMS Pink in the Battle of the Atlantic, widely regarded as the longest continuous military campaign of World War Two, running from 1939 to the defeat of Germany in 1945.

HMS Pink was on convoys between Londonderry and St. John’s Newfoundland. Her crew depth charged and fired torpedoes at German U-boats, many of which were sunk.

Andrew was a former President of Killyleagh and Killinchy RBL. He lived at New Line, Killinchy.

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