Ross Charles Cole

Royal Australian Navy
 Able Seaman
(1926 - 1940)

The fact that Ross Cole was carried on the books of President 111 ( which was a shore base near London that kept the pay records etc of all DEMS gunners, means he had trained as a Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships Gunner ). The Anti Aircraft guns and the stern gun in Merchant Ships in WW2 were manned either by Royal Artillery Gunners from the Army, or DEMS trained gunners from the Navy, be it Royal Navy, the Royal Australian Navy or I believe the Royal Canadian Navy.

They could wind up on any British Merchant ship, and be far far from home, but he was serving in SS Tregenna when she was sunk.

His Official Number was B1592, the prefix B means he joined the Royal Australian Naval Reserve in Brisbane Australia, for the duration of WW2, and was not in the Permanent Navy.

He is listed as R C Cole ( not COLES ) on Panel 43 Column on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.
Here is his Memorial from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Site.

Casualty Details
     Initials: R C
     Nationality: Australian
     Rank: Able Seaman
     Regiment/Service: Royal Australian Naval Reserve
     Age: 24
     Date of Death: 17/09/1940
     Service No: B1597
     Additional information: Son of Cyril Charles and Constance Jane Cole, of Kalinga, Queensland, Australia.
     Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
     Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 43, Column 3.


The Americans had a similar scheme but called their gunners Armed Guard.


 HMS Fleetwood picked up the 4 survivors from SS Tregenna




Details of U-65, sunk with all hands lost on April 28, 1941.

Type IXB
Laid down 6 Dec, 1938 AG Weser, Bremen
Commissioned 15 Feb, 1940 Kptlt. Hans-Gerrit von Stockhausen (Knights Cross)
Commanders 15 Feb, 1940 - 24 Mar, 1941   KrvKpt. Hans-Gerrit von Stockhausen (Knights Cross)
25 Mar, 1941 - 28 Apr, 1941   Kptlt. Joachim Hoppe

Career 6 patrols 15 Feb, 1940 - 1 Apr, 1940  2. Flottille (training)
1 Apr, 1940 - 28 Apr, 1941  2. Flottille (front boat)

Successes 12 ships sunk for a total of 66.174 GRT
3 ships damaged for a total of 22.490 GRT
Fate Sunk 28 April, 1941 in the North Atlantic south-east of Iceland in position 59.51N, 15.30W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Douglas. 50 dead (all hands lost).



Memorial Plaque - Queenscliff


Best regards.
Ahoy Mac's Web Log.

[With grateful thanks to Mackenzie Gregory for the pictures and information provided above.]