Category: RN WW2

September 9 – Belfast lawyer was outstanding MTB Flotilla Commander

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…

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

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…

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

On this day James Magennis won the Victoria Cross through his actions in a midget submarine against the Japanese in Singapore.  Leading Seaman James Magennis VC being presented with a cheque for £3,600 in 1946 by the Rt Hon Sir Crawford McCullagh Bt, Rt…

July 14 – Portrush naval doctor who sailed Atlantic both ways single handed

Portrush born, Joseph Irwin Cunningham, RNVR. Surgeon Lt. Cmdr. MBE (Military), graduated MB BCh from QUB in 1938.

July 9 – Green Beret RBL stalwart was five years a German POW

Despite his wartime experience, Bill Balmer served in the Royal Marines until July 11, 1953

July 7 – NI WRNS who plotted D-Day landings

After the war, Joan Mary Cattanach trained as a dress designer at the Paris Academy of Fashion in London. Today is the anniversary of her death in 2017

July 4 – HMS Foylebank bombed defending Portland Harbour

Belfast built HMS Foylebank was converted to be an anti-aircraft ship. Merchant Navy men from Northern Ireland serving as Naval Auxiliary Personnel were amongst the casualties. Here is a short account of the ship and a Roll of Honour