I was a Leading Aircraftman radar mechanic on 372 AMES going to North Africa on the Strathallan’s final voyage. Like your RAF Regiment contributor we were on G deck.

As many have said we were almost all seasick but some of us decided to stay out on deck after the first day and we overcame the sickness and began to eat normally. When the torpedo struck we started making our way to our boat station.

At the top of the stairway there was an army officer shouting “throw your boots over the side and jump in after them” One of our unit said “F*** that for a game of soldiers!” and we went to the boat station to find that the boat had gone.

We spent the night watching the movement of the ship’s rail against the horizon until it seemed to stabilise. At first light we saw a Sunderland Flying boat circle the ship and I thought at least someone knows where we are. Later the destroyers arrived and started taking people off.

We were on the last but one, but I never found out its name. We were taken to Oran first and then by train to Algiers, where trying to replace lost kit the RAF storekeepers told us they were sick of Strathallan survivors emptying their stores. We ended up near Jemmapes where we set up our radar.

Les
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