Stoker 1st Class Richard White

Stoker 1st Class Richard Richardson White, Royal Navy. He was lost aboard H.M.S. “Neptune” on 19th December 1941, aged 29 and is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial. The ship was part of “Force K” which was  based in the Mediterranean Sea. On 18th December the force was sent to intercept an Italian convoy bound for Tripoli. Next day the ships ran into a minefield. Neptune struck two mines and was trying to reverse out when she struck another which took off her propellors leaving her dead in the water. Two destroyers” Kandahar” and ” Lively” went to assist but the former struck a mine and” Neptune ” signalled  “Lively” to stay clear. Neptune then struck a fourth mine and capsized. 737 crew were killed and of the 30 who had survived the disaster only 1 was still alive to be picked up 5 days later by an Italian torpedo boat. The ” Neptune ” was a Leander Class light cruiser of 9,700 tons and had been launched in 1933 at Portsmouth Dockyard.

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