Bismarck, HMS Ganges, HMS Truculent
They Were Just Skulls
The Naval Career of Fred Henley, Last Survivor of HM Submarine Truculent
By John Johnson-Allen
HMS Truculent was a British submarine of the third group of the T class. She was built as P315 by Vickers Armstrong, Barrow, and launched on 12 September 1942. Truculent was lost following a post-war accident with a Swedish oil tanker in the Thames Estuary in January 1950. Few people are even aware of this dreadful incident, but here, drawing on Fred Henley’s personal accounts, the story is told. It’s a compelling account. Aged just 14, Fred worked on a Thames sailing barge, then after his training at HMS Ganges, he joined his first ship which took him from the icy Arctic Ocean to the heat of West Africa where the Bismarck and her support ships were hunted. The story concludes with happier times with Fred visiting ports in the Mediterranean during peacetime as a married man. Sometime humorous and often poignant, this is an amazing story of a life served in the Royal Navy. Highly recommended. 124 pages, illustrated with black and white photographs.
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