HMS Thornborough K-574
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Feb. 5, 2018

My father, Frederick Henry Thomas from Reading, Berkshire was I think a radio operator on HMS Thornborough. My father died in 2003 aged 78. Dad told my brother and me shortly before his death that he went to New York to pick up HMS Thornborough. I seem to remember that it was involved in rescuing crew from a ship that had been hit by enemy action. Can you advise me as to how I can get more information on the service of this frigate?

Sue Attrill (née Thomas)

Oct. 4, 2017

My father in law, David Watts, served on Thornborough after his ship HMS Scylla hit a mine during the Normandy invasion. Is it possible to find any crew lists of photos for mid 1944 to mid 1945?

Best regards,
Dr. Chris Lloyd-Staples

Aug. 23, 2017

I found your web page on the HMS Thornborough and thought you might want to take a look at the below pictures. I live less than a mile from where the Thornborough was launched and have had the item for years. I have no clue what it is, but someone told me it might be a launch pin (whatever that is). Anyways, seems to me it is a piece of history. Thought you might be interested.

Weymouth, MA

Aug. 31, 2015

My father, Robert Millar, was Temporary Lieutenant (E), RNR on HMS Thornborough. He died some 15 years ago and during his lifetime was not very forthcoming about his war time experiences. Below are two photographs which may be of interest to others who served on Thornborough as they are of the Commissioning ceremony on board at Bethlehem Hingham Shipyard dated 31 st December 1943 complete with very icy waters in the background. The only other mementos I have are his napkin ring and his Mentioned in Despatch notification published in The London Gazette, 24th October 1944, whilst on Thornborough.

Ian Millar
Hampshire, U.K.

July 20, 2014

I have just discovered that my late father in law served on HMS Thornborough as his first posting. His name was Silas Joseph Mullard, known as Joe to us. He was an engineer. We discovered this when asking why they. Amex their first home 'Thornborough'. Unfortunately he is no longer with us and his wife Pat has dementia so cannot help but we would love to hear more of his time on Thornborough.

Gary Davis,
(husband of Joes daughter Janice)
Poole, Dorset, UK

June 6, 2014

Just doing a bit of internet searching as it's the 70th anniversary of D-Day and noticed this photo of HMS Thornborough crew on this website. My father was on this frigate and it looks like him in the centre, obscured by the circular thing on the end of the gun. His name is Stanley Howe and would have been about 18 yrs and from Norfolk. He told me he was a morse code operator. I know little else. Has anyone heard of him?

Bob Howe

Jan. 23, 2013

With reference to the postings from Graham Brown (Nov 11 2009),  Charlie Chivers' reply (Nov 13 2009), and the posting from Rodney Carter (5 Aug 2011), here is some information regarding my Uncle, Able Seaman Bernie (or Barnie) Chambers SA/562256, who also served on HMS Thornborough and left a photograph of Christmas Day - no date unfortunately, but is must have been Christmas 1944.  He was born on 23 July 1925, so was a very young man.  He grew up in Durban in South Africa, was a Naval Cadet, and tried to enlist before he was 18.  Below is the photograph and the reverse with his inscription. 

Perhaps it may be possible to identify the other seamen.  Bernie is wearing his helmet and standing to the left of the gunner, also wearing a helmet.  I would dearly love to trace the other ships that he served on, as he reportedly survived several sinkings!  Before his departure for active service his mother scoured the back streets of Durban to find a caul, as she had been told by old salts (she grew up on the Isle of Wight) that a sailor wearing a caul as a lucky charm would never drown!

Mary Blair

Reply 1
Feb. 11, 2013

At the end of February 1945 H.M.S. Thornborough reverted to her roll as an A/S Frigate, and was based at Plymouth. 30 H/O Seamen who were  surplus to requirement's were transferred to the Army.

Charlie Chivers
H.M.S. Amethyst Association

Aug. 5, 2011

My father was an Able Seaman Kenneth Carter on the Thornborough, a gunner on the 2lb. Pom Pom? I do not have anything from the ship but had seen the Thornborough cap band and a badly folded photograph of Thornborough, a certificate of wounds and hurts. I have often looked on the web for information but as he described Thornborough as a "light cruiser" I have been barking up the wrong tree. He became top management working for Cadbury/Fry and is still alive having survived two wives, his family consists of three sons and three daughters (the youngest of whom died aged two), unfortunately he has osteoporosis although his mind is  fine (the last time I saw him). I am quite happy to accept any queries from former shipmates and have this information passed on.

Rodney Carter

Nov. 11, 2009

My father Herbert Neville Brown - known as Neville - served on the Thornborough as Sub Lt. during the war and I would love to hear from anyone who has any anecdotal information, old photos or anything that relates to him. He is still alive and well at 86 years old and I would love to pass on any contact information to those may wish to get in touch.

Many thanks,
Graham Brown

Reply 1
Nov. 13, 2009

As it is nearing Christmas, he may remember Christmas 1944? Thornborough left Harwich, about 1500hrs. 24th December. Once outside the harbour the ships company went to action stations and and tested Guns; this was a normal procedure. The ship worked a two watch system thus ensuring the guns were manned at all times. The night was rather cold and the gun crews sang Christmas Carols, when the watch changed at 2400hrs shouts of Merry Christmas echoed around the ship. Early Christmas morning Thornborough left her patrol area and steamed down the Coast to find a safe anchorage for their Christmas Dinner. After a few hours of Festivity; everything was cleared away and the ship steamed back to her patrol area.

Charlie Chivers, R.N.
HMS Amethyst Association

Jan. 28, 2009

Thank you for all your work and research to make such an interesting and excellent site. I served in HMS Braithwaite, which was a sister ship to the Thornborough and was leased to the Royal Navy from the United States during world war 2, and was a member of the crew when we returned her to Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York in December 1945. I was then aged 18 and so thrilled to be in New York for a while - a marvelously different world to wartime Britain!

Joe Roberts,  
former Able Seaman

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