Father was killed on the HMS Mourne when it was sunk by a German Uboat on 15th June 1944

See "U-767 Lost and found"


My father was killed on the HMS Mourne  when it was sunk by a german Uboat on 15th June 1944 and I have been searching the web for any information about the sinking when i came across your site with the story about U-767 which sank the mourne only to be sunk  itself 3 days later .It was a strange feeling to see the copies of the photos of the sub that killed my father and to hear about the lone survivor.I am a novice in doing web searches and I was wondering if you have any tips on how to best go about it

Nice to hear from you.

I can imagine your feelings just a little, when you suddenly came across the story of the sinking of U-767, who accounted for your Father's Frigate Mourne.
I could not find a picture of HMS Mourne for you but she was a River Class Frigate commissioned on the 24th. of September 1942, attached is a picture of a sister ship HMS Meon, and Mourne would have looked just the same.

HMS Meon, sister ship to HMS Mourne

HMS Meon, sister ship to HMS Mourne

The ship was unlucky to be the one and only victim of U-767, as you know was later sunk with but one survivor who is still going, and I was able to trace him to Vancouver in Canada when his son-in-law E-Mailed me with that information.

Your Father's ship was sunk using a homing torpedo known as a GNAT, it homed onto the propellor noise made by its target, and probably hit Mourne in her bows, when this type of torpedo was fired from ahead, the quickest way it thought it could reach the propellor noise was by making for the noise via the bows of the target.

I have searched for detail about the ship, but there seems to be a paucity of info around, I usually what I am looking for into the Google search engine, in all my experience, and view, it is by far the best search engine on the internet.

Sometimes one needs to phrase your search request in a different or lateral thinking way to tease out what might be around, but above all, in any search, sheer persistence is needed, I have taken a year on one occasion to reach the material I was after.

I will E-Mail you with a little on the U-Boat and Mourne.

Best wishes, and if you think I can help further please come back to me.


A friend in Queensland has sent me these details about HMS Mourne, which include the full casualty list published in the London Times,
they should be helpful for you.
Best wishes,

Hi Mac.
Hope you are well. I read the letter on Ahoy from the unidentified person whose father was killed on HMS Mourne. I did a search of The Times Digital Archive and, though I didn't find a report of the sinking, I did find a full casualty list for the Mourne published 16 Aug 1944 (also includes lists for HM destroyer Swift and HM trawler Birdlip, as well as Canadian Army casualties). I've attached a copy in PNG image file format - perhaps the person who wrote the letter would be interested in a copy.
As you indicated in your reply, there doesn't seem to be a great deal on this particular Royal Navy frigate on the Internet (I couldn't locate a photo either). I did find the following brief details in the "Dictionary of Disasters at Sea":
British Navy, frigate; 1943; A.&J.Inglis; 1,300 tons; 300 x 35 X - r-5,500 h.p.; 20 knots; turbine engines; three 3 in. guns, two 40 mm., four 20 mm.
The frigate Mourne, Lt. Cdr. R.S. Holland, R.D., R.N.R., took part in the landing of the British and American armies in France on "D" Day, June 6th, 1944. Mourne was torpedoed by a German submarine off the Lizard on the 15th, going down with the loss of eight officers, including Lt. Cdr. Holland, and 102 ratings.
The author of the letter may be able to get further info from the River Class Association, a collective association for the various WWII warships that were named after rivers in the UK. I found two contacts for this association, perhaps different chapters (unfortunately only snail-mail):
River Class Association
Membership Secretary
Heath Road, Sandown, Isle of Wight, P036 8PG
River Class Association
Contact: Peter Horrell
16 Venn Court, Brixton, Plymouth, Devon. PL8 2AX
Kind regards,
Martin Elliget
p.s. Thomson Gale (
http://www.gale.com) own the copyright of The Times Digital Archive.


Hello again,

Here is a little U-767, and HMS Mourne.

She was sunk in 1944, not 1945, and it was U-767, and not U-757 ( probably a typo )

Best wishes,





Laid down 5 Apr, 1941 Kriegsmarinewerft, Wilhelmshaven
Commissioned 11 Sep, 1943 Oblt. Walter Dankleff
11 Sep, 1943 - 18 Jun, 1944   Oblt. Walter Dankleff
Career 1 patrol 11 Sep, 1943 - 30 Apr, 1944  8. Flottille (training)
1 May, 1944 - 18 Jun, 1944  1. Flottille (front boat)
Successes 1 warship sunk for a total of 1.370 tons
Fate Sunk 18 June, 1944 in the English Channel south-west of Guernsey, in position 49.03N, 03.13W, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Fame, HMS Inconstant and HMS Havelock. 49 dead and 1 survivor

HMS Mourne (K 261)

We don't have a picture of this vessel at this time.

Name: HMS Mourne (K 261)
Type: Frigate (River)
Tonnage: 1.370 tons
Completed: 1943 - Smiths Dock, South Bank-on-Tees 
Owner: The Admiralty 
Date of attack: 15 Jun, 1944 Nationality:      British
Fate: Sunk by U-767 (Walter Dankleff)
Position: 49.35N, 05.30W - Grid BF 2469
- See location on a map -
Complement: ? men (110 dead and ? survivors).
Notes on loss: On 15 Jun, 1944, the HMS Mourne (K 261) (LtCdr R.S. Holland RNR) from the 5th Escort Group was hit and sunk by a Gnat from U-767 in the English Channel. 


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