William SheppardIn this extract from his interview, William recalls seeing German maidens leaving a ship. It wasn't like that in the British navy!
William Sheppard – Film 1Unlike many men William Sheppard tried both the army and the air force before he settled on a career with the Royal Navy. His training was at HMS Collingwood. In September 1943 he sets eyes on the Onyx. He stays with her until 1949.
William Sheppard – Film 2William admits that when he joined the Onyx he was fortunate. One of the Officers took a shine to him and he was made the Petty Officers mess man which excused him of a lot of the tedious jobs. In this film he describes the circumstances around his promotion and details some of the work.
William Sheppard – Film 3As a seventeen and half year old he was very keen on his Oerlikon gun! He goes on to describe the three types of sweeps that were commonly used by the Onyx when she was trying to detect mines.
William Sheppard – Film 4If a mine was missed there was a more primitive way of clearing it out the way but an Enfield Rifle wasnt necessarily the easiest method. Keeping warm in the Arctic was always a challenge but William recalls one ambitious young midshipman who reckoned exercise might be the solution. The session doesnt turn out very well.
William Sheppard – Film 5William shares details of the depth charge diamond system that was used to try and sink U-Boats. He also recalls getting very close to a mini-sub that was reckoned to be on its way to pay the Queen Mary a visit!
William Sheppard – Film 6The Onyx heads to the English Channel in preparation for the Normandy landings. The invasion has left an indelible memory which he still struggles with. Were not sure where it occurred but he also recalls seeing a ship full of German Maidens returning to harbour. These ladies were for the enjoyment of the German Navy. Thanks to William and his wife for allowing me in to their home to carry out this interview.
In this extract from his interview, William recalls seeing German maidens leaving a ship. It wasn’t like that in the British navy!