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A Raid Sometime but When?

Heroes Remember

A Raid Sometime but When?

Now I was a torpedoman at that time and a torpedoman is also an electrician. Well, you got the daily work and when it comes to action stations well then you got the torpedoes and the depth charges and other stuff. Looks after all the lights and different things, whatever you need. And loading torpedoes aboard aircraft, it was just an aircraft carrier I’m talking about now and that was mostly what the job was. So you almost do what you’re told. We knew there was going to be a raid sometime but we weren’t sure. We were in the Greenock and they took on a load of guns and tanks because the aircraft carrier could carry a lot of that stuff, you could just roll right into it and the airplane was on the top deck. There was an elevator on the top deck you go out from the hangar up to the deck. That was it, the tanks had soldiers that were driving the tanks and they come with us. Some of the gunners, well most of them, the gun layer and the trainers. The rest I suppose were fixed up with the army, whoever they can get a hold of was put on the beach so, that was all. So when we landed and the radio came on and everything went out. We get this big speech. You probably heard it on the radio about the biggest landing that has ever taken place in the world and that’s the first we heard about it. So the next morning, daylight, yeah there was daylight I suppose when the plane started revving up and they took off. I was on watch, I had to go up and tie down a couple torpedoes and a couple other stuff. Anyway, they went off. They never came back no more, the planes didn’t. Now whether they got shot down or what happened to them I don’t know. Or they might have went ashore in the landing, help with the landing over in England somehow because there’s no distance over to England from France, very little. And then about 11 o’clock, 11 or 12, I was asleep and someone said they heard the news that the landing was pretty good. There was progression over the beach. They were off the beach then, they were gone up shore. Then the tanks went ashore, the barges come about and took the beach. So, I wasn’t involved in that. Then we were fooling around. We never stopped going because we had to keep going because there were shells coming from the beach outside. And we were a long ways out now, we were a couple of miles but them shells could go that far. That’s all, a few near misses. It never hit us.

Carrying on with daily routine, Mr. Starkes shares his experience on board the aircraft carrier as the approach of the D-Day invasion begins.

Charles Starkes

Mr. Charles Starkes was born in Greenspond, Newfoundland May 24, 1922. Mr. Starkes joined the Royal Navy under the British Forces from his home province of Newfoundland. He trained as Torpedoman on board a British aircraft carrier and took on the roles and responsibilities of an electrician. Mr. Starkes was part of the D-Day invasion and holds great pride for the service he provided during this time 75 years ago. After the war, Mr. Starkes returned to Newfoundland and obtained a Master Electrician license and worked in that field until retirement. Mr. Starkes now resides in Saint John’s, NL with his family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 4, 2019
Person Interviewed:
Charles Starkes
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Torpedo Man

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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