Thursday, November 11, 2010


Able Seaman Ronald Keenan C/JX 155544

who died age 20
on 13 March, 1943.
Son of James and May Keenan,
husband of Doris Keenan
of Wallsend, Northumberland.

"The Admiralty regrets to announce that HM Submarine Thunderbolt must now be considered lost."

HMS Thunderbolt was depth charged off Sicily by Italian CVT Cicogna
At 2210 on Friday 12th March, 1943 the Italian merchant ship Esterel was torpedoed two miles north of Capo San Vito. Following the attack the torpedo boat Libra was ordered to seek out the submarine responsible - HMS Thunderbolt.
The Libra made contact with the Thunderbolt that night and carried out seven depth charge attacks with no result.
On Sunday 14th March the Italian corvette Cicogna obtained a contact and shortly after 0734 a periscope was sighted 2000 yards off the corvette’s bow. At 0845 the periscope was again sighted, this time less than 10 feet away.
Depth charges were launched at once and the corvette increased its speed and turned for another attack when an explosion lifted the submarine’s stern out of the sea at an angle of 90 degrees. The submarine sank through a discharge of air and oil.
A further two depth charges were dropped resulting in air bubbles, oil and smoke appearing on the surface where the submarine had sunk. The Cicogna remained on station for an hour but no further contact was made.

ref. used:

In memory of my Uncle, Ronny.
We never met.
You died too young; before I was born.
You are not forgotten.

With grateful thanks for your sacrifice. 
Your loving niece,

(In Memoriam)

I never knew you save as all men know
Twitter of mating birds, flutter of wings
In April coverts, and the streams that flow --
One of the happy voices of our Springs.

A voice for ever stilled, a memory,
Since you went eastward with the fighting ships,
A hero of the great new Odyssey,
And God has laid His finger on your lips.
By: Moray Dalton


Gill - That British Woman said...

no words can express how grateful we are for the sacrifice of what these men did for our country and our safety..............


Mark said...

Not a lot more to say, certainly nothing flippant.

So glad I have not had to face war, and I pray my children do not either

Clippy Mat said...

Thanks Gill and Mark. :-)

Pam said...

Thanks Clippy for a wonderful story and a reminder of what today is all about. HOWEVER, I had a day off from work and did a big lazy day - no parades or anything.
I hope they know I love them - I just needed
some R&R. X

C said...

god bless our service people... my heart always goes out to them in prayer. when i was still working L&D, we had alot of service people come have their babies with us... and i always made it a point to thank the one who was in the service and it would make me tear up.. we need to do what we can when we can, even if its just a simple thank you...

thank you for sharing this, it must be painful,, but i am sure as i'm sitting here you a special angel watching over you...

Clippy Mat said...

Thanks Pam and C. :-)

karen gerstenberger said...

Never forget is right.

wor vron said...

God bless Uncle Ronny and all those who have lost their lives in war -they will never be forgotton.