HMS Fleetwood Association
The above association published the following information in a recent news letter, following both information provided by the chairman ( J. T Greenway ) on behalf of the Merchant Navy Association,Wales ( Barry Branch ) and also a request for further information regarding the sinking of the SS. Tregenna and the involvement of HMS. Fleetwood in the rescue of survivors and any information regarding the loss of both ship and crew.
The 1936 HMS. Fleetwood association 1959 are cordially thanked for both the interest shown and the information provided. The Barry Branch hope to keep in touch with her members and possibly have a delegation of it’s own members visit a meeting of the Fleetwood Association at some stage and pay their respects etc. for now they re-iterate the thanks of all concerned.
The report is as follows : ‘The only information I have to hand is taken from a fact sheet for HMS. Fleetwood “ summary of service 1935 – 1959” obtained from Naval Historical Branch dated February 1976 which states, “ On 17 September 1940 she picked up survivors from the SS.Tregenna which had been torpedoed and sunk”. Our association member Gunner Stan Taylor (1939-42) cannot remember picking up the survivors in fact he thinks the convoy’s normal practice was for the last ship in the convoy to do so whilst the Escorts were usually trying to find the U Boat involved. It is possible that the survivors were transferred to Fleetwood later on for more medical attention. If anyone has more information on this particular subject will you please let me know and I will be pleased to pass it on to the Tregenna crew relatives association. In the meantime may they continue to keep alive the memories of their friends and crewmen who perished.The German Submarine U65 was later sunk on 28th April 1941 by depth charges by the British Destroyer HMS Douglas All 50 hands were lost.
The Her name was SS.Tregenna, tribute web site acknowledge the parts played by both the SS. Filleigh and HMS. Fleetwood. It is reported that the catastrophe was observed by the men of the SS. Filleigh who were in station less than two minutes travelling time directly astern of the Tregenna. According to the Filleigh’s 2nd mate, she sank in less than forty seconds. At the time of her sinking 33 of her crew of 37 were lost. Her only four survivors were reported to be picked up by both the SS. Filleigh and HMS. Fleetwood, we are certain that both vessel’s played a part in the rescue. ***
The German U.boat U-65 fired a torpedo or torpedo’s that struck the Tregenna just as the ship pitched forward. She did not recover and stood vertically, briefly before sinking.
*** SS. Filleigh rescued four survivors, 33 killed. The four survivors were landed at Avonmouth on 22nd September where Filleigh discharged her cargo, then put to sea for Swansea.
*** HMS Fleetwood arrived at Rosyth on 2 June to resume her former duties of escorting East Coast convoy's. On 17th Sept, 10.40 she picked up survivors from the S.S Tregenna which had been torpedoed and sunk. On 5 November she had a refit in Leith and was completed on 8th December. The Fleetwood resumed her duties until 31 Jan 1941 when sheleft for Londonderry to join the Western Approaches Command.
We again thank the 1936 HMS Fleetwood Association 1959 for this information.