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Lieutenant Frank H T PANTER DSC RN joined 22 Aug 1921 on cruisers & AIRCRAFT CARRIER FURIOUS pre-war & ILLUSTRIOUS 4 VICTORIOUS post-war, retiring 5 Apr 1956; for all ROYAL NAVY SHIPWRIGHTS and SUCCESS of AJAX in the BATTLE of the RIVER PLATE on 13 Dec 1939 (then DSC as Warrant Shipwright “Chippy” & DAMAGE CONTROL duties), with other light CRUISER HMNZS ACHILLES and Cdre Harwood’s badly damaged EXETER, against German Panzerschlff / “pocket Battleship” “Admiral Graf Spee”, which, 30 Sep 1939 – 7 Dec 1939, had sunk nine vessels 4 stopped others; Graf Spee, with three 8″ & 17 6″ hits, sought shelter in Montevideo, later scuttled to avoid being sunk (17 Dec3 199).
11 Aug 1940 -4 Oct 1942, Frank was appointed to HMS GLENGYLE, the FIRST real British COMMANDO ASSAULT SHIP (later also wereGlen Roy 4 Glenearn) Apr41 landing No.7 CDO at BARDIA & SIDI BARRANI, then GRAZIANI, TOBRUK & many other desolate night SPECIAL FORCES OPERATION deliveries 4 pick ups under GLENGYLE1s South African CAPTAIN PETRIE; then diverted to assist GREECE 4 CRETE (many soldiers, pleased to be picked up, were strafed by fighters 4 killed on return) in evacuating SUDA BAY 4 SPHAKIA, Jul 1941 LITANI RIVER in SYRIA, landing Col KEYES 4 No.11 CDO.
Later, after BARHAM’s tragic loss, 25 Nov 1941, GLENGYLE had a dummy superstructure 4 funnel fitted to simulate silhouette of BARHAM (the loss 4 dramatic circumstance were felt so catastrophic that official dissimulation was deemed necessary at this low period for the RN in the Med); remembers, with GLENGYLE full of explosives 18/19Dec 1941 at nearby ALEXANDRIA jetty, the QUEEN ELIZABETH and VALIANT being sunk onto the mud after Italian 2 man torpedo attacks; on to re-supply and unload at MALTA into the caves in incessant raids and another near escape; back to Spithead without real leave, before having to take part in thetragic delivery into slaughter of so many CANADIANS, as they were lowered into their LANDING CRAFT at DIEPPE; then TRAINING APPRENTICES (16-21 yr olds).
Frank was a DUTY OFFICER at the ROYAL NAVAL BASE on 5/6th JUNE, as the INVASION FLEET went; appointed to battleship ANSON on 25 Oct 1944 to sail out to the Far East and PACIFIC, in reserve off OKINAWA Rear Adm HARCOURT took the SURRENDER of JAPANESE FORCES in HONG KONG 16Sep45; officially then he was on a shore party, which had to formally inspect HIROSHIMA but also to pick up PoWs there, then via TOKYO and SYDNEY, HOBART, CAPE, GIBRALTAR and back to PORTSMOUTH in June 1946.
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