September 9 – Belfast lawyer was outstanding MTB Flotilla Commander

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George Lennox Cotton began his Solicitor’s Apprenticeship in Belfast before the Second World War. During the War he served with distinction in the Royal Navy and was awarded the DSC in 1942. He commanded the 50th MTB Flotilla. He was wounded during battle with E boats.

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August 12 – Interned in Algeria after HMS Manchester sank in Operation Pedestal

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Interned in Algeria – Following the scuttling of HMS Manchester men from Belfast, Newtownards and Portadown were emprisoned by the Vichy government which collaborated with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. HMS Manchester (above) was taking part in Operation Pedestal whose aim was to force a convoy through to beleaguered Malta. Continue reading

July 31 – Submariner Magennis wins NI’s only Victoria Cross in WW2

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On this day James Magennis won the Victoria Cross through his actions in a midget submarine against the Japanese in Singapore. 

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Leading Seaman James Magennis VC being presented with a cheque for £3,600 in 1946 by the Rt Hon Sir Crawford McCullagh Bt, Rt Hon Lord Mayor of Belfast.
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