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mikecsteer

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About mikecsteer

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  1. With regard to your thoughts above - if you look here https://www.naval-history.net/xDKWD-HF1940AA.htm under Sunday 9th June 1940, you'll find a transcription of the Admiralty War Diaries (Rear Admiral, Anti-Aircraft Ships) pertaining to the Vandyck. It states that two destroyers, HMS Firedrake and HMS Delight were despatched at 03.10 to search for the Vandyke after she missed the rendezvous. At 04.31 an air search was ordered. A message was received from the Vandyck at 08.10 stating 'am at rendezvous X', at which point, HMS Delight is instructed to 'order Vandyck to steer 270 degrees' (the same bearing the troop ship convoy steers later that day) and subsequently to 'bring Vandyck on' and to inform the C in C Rosyth of her expected time of arrival in position.
  2. Amazingly, I've just found a picture of the pilot who sank the Vandyck! I suspected the plane in the paintings above, in http://hmvf.co.uk/profile/12052-almossah/ post was a Focke-Wulf Condor, and here's what I found: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=T7OhDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq=hms+vandyck&source=bl&ots=4GiIwDMW-Z&sig=ACfU3U2y-3Qxd9BDf2dtuPsFohxKsNTuFw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwij4875z4bmAhXJSsAKHSBOCfk4ChDoATAEegQIChAB#v=onepage&q=hms vandyck&f=false
  3. This is absolutely fascinating - my father was also a Sick Berth Attendant on the Vandyck, so he must have worked very closely with your grandfather. The dates you give from your grandfather's note are very interesting, as my father's naval service record (image attached) shows that he wasn't repatriated until May 1945 - eight months later than your grandfather. However, I have a postcard that was sent to his mother by the the Red Cross, showing a group photograph which includes my father (second row from bottom, fourth from the right), presumably with the other inmates of his camp hut. It is dated, June 1944, and it is possible that the photograph was taken after their liberation to show their next-of-kin that they were alive and well. I also have two letters to my father, written in 1947, from one of the POW camp guards, with whom my father had formed a connection. His address is in Radebeul, near Dresden in the Russian occupied zone. This is intriguing, since your grandfather's note mentions a transfer to Annaborg (sic), and there are two towns named Annaburg and Annaberg both reasonably close to Dresden. I had assumed my father spent the rest of the war at Westertimke, but for some reason I have had the name 'Annaberg' in the back of my mind for a long time. Does anybody know if that was the location of a camp? Anyway, thanks for your fascinating post.
  4. This is fantastic! My father was on the Vandyck. He joined the Royal Navy in 1938 and served until 1960 when I was born. He was a Sick Berth Attendant on the Vandyck, and spent the majority of the rest of the war in Marlag und Milag Nord at Westertimke. As far as I know, the Vandyck missed her rendezvous and sailed too far North, ending up on the other side of the peninsula to Narvik, where she was supposed to be taking part in the evacuation of troops withdrawing from Norway. In fact, two destroyers were dispatched to look for her when she failed to turn up. I believe she was dive-bombed and caught fire on the 9th June 1940, was abandoned on the 10th and sank either later that day or the following day. The evacuations from Narvik had pretty much completed by the 8th June. The crew were taken prisoner and most, I believe, ended up initially at Stalag X-B at Sandbostel, which later acquired a much darker reputation as a concentration camp in all but name. During 1941-1942, some of the prisoners there were transferred to (and indeed, helped to build) Marlag und Milag Nord at Westertimke, about 15-20 miles away. In late 1942, all the ratings from M&MN were transferred to Stalag VIII-B at Lamsdorf, with the NCOs and officers remaining. I believe my father by this time had been made a temporary Leading Sick Berth Attendant, and stayed at M&MN, and so was probably one of the lucky ones, as life at Lamsdorf seems to have been much harder.
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