Eighty years ago today, just before 11:00 pm, the British escort carrier HMS AUDACITY (D10) sank in the Atlantic Ocean having been hit by several torpedoes fired from the German submarine U-751.
Of HMS AUDACITY's 298 crew, a total of 73 souls were lost. Among those ‘Missing Presumed Killed’ were 17 Fleet Air Arm aircrew and maintainers.
There were only two Fleet Air Arm survivors from the sinking; Sub Lieutenant Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown Royal Navy (later to become one of the most celebrated pilots in the history of Naval Aviation) and Leading Air Mechanic William Churchouse (previously shipwrecked from SS Aguila and HMS ARK ROYAL).
The HMS AUDACITY Fleet Air Arm Roll of Honour can be found at this OneDrive link:
Message from the Commanding Officer, Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton:
'It is with great reluctance that I have directed St Bart’s to be closed for the Christmas period with consequent cancellation of the majority of the planned Christmas Services, although the Chaplain of the Fleet has agreed that he will conduct the Midnight Mass on 24 December 2021.
CV-19 measures (and Omicron in particular) are at the centre of this and I have a duty to protect my people and maintain my directed tasking. I have already re-implemented a stringent policy at Yeovilton to see us through the next few weeks. As many of you will also know, Reverend Allsopp is currently ‘single-handed’ at RNAS Yeovilton as the only CofE Padre able to conduct Services at St. Barts, outwith his principal duties of supporting RNAS Yeovilton personnel and our outputs. You may also be aware that Mark recently became symptomatic with CV-19, and is still recovering and certainly not yet in 100% health. I appreciate the upset this news will cause but please be assured that I will instruct the re-opening as soon as possible.'
Commodore N R GRIFFIN MBE RN | Commanding Officer, Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton l YEOVIL | Somerset | BA22 8HT