Albert Owing – Film 1Albert was born in Liverpool. In this the first of a 10 part interview he describes the Liverpool Blitz and the reasons for wanting to join the Merchant Navy. Its on the 7th of December 1941 that he becomes a Wireless Operator. The same day the Pearl Harbour is bombed and the Americans join the war.
Albert Owing – Film 2Alberts first ship was the RFA Diligence. In this film he describes her role as a forward repair ship and recalls some of the personnel. Now that America is in the war and fighting on the side of the Allies, Hitler sends his U-boats across the Atlantic to disrupt the convoys.
Albert Owing – Film 3Life as a Merchant man was potentially a short lived affair so downtime was taken seriously. Albert sailed to New York on numerous occasions and in this film recalls Radio City Music Hall and some of the amazing acts that he was able to watch.
Albert Owing – Film 4If you love the sea youll love hearing Albert talk about the magnificence of the Atlantic ocean in the midst of a storm. He also talks his role at the Convoy Conference which would be held before every convoy set sail.
Albert Owing – Film 5After RFA Diligence Alberts next ship was the SS Fairwater. As a young sailor he recalls that youd share your life story in a matter of weeks when you first went onboard. As you got wiser [and older] you learned to hold a little back! His first cargo was coal for South America. Keeping North they hit bad weather. Very bad weather.
Albert Owing – Film 6Albert explains in details just how severe the conditions were in this terrifying storm which forces the convoy to scatter. Struggling to stay afloat they are foxed to send an SOS.
Albert Owing – Film 7Eventually their ship is spotted by HMS Mayflower which is fortunate to be equipped with RADR - something Albert had only recently heard of. Conditions are still so atrocious they are forced to drift for another 5 days before eventually the Fairwater is towed to Newfoundland for 3 months for repairs. Other ships from the convoy were not so lucky.
Albert Owing – Film 8When the war in Europe ends Albert is able to marry before he sets sail to the Far East onboard the troop ship MV Highland Brigade. Onboard was Major General Nicholson of the British 2nd Division who would eventually take the surrender from Captain Tomeichi Okazaki in Malaya. Despite the war being over it was far from safe.
Albert Owing – Film 9After the war was over Albert was still serving on the Highland Brigade when they hit something which caused some serious damage. Albert recalls what happens next and describes it as one of his finest moments at sea.