Robert Victor Berner

Leading Writer Robert Victor Berner served in the Royal Navy during World War Two and was onboard HMS when it was sunk by the Bismarck in the Denmark Strait in May 1941.

Leading Writer

Robert Victor Berner

P/MX 60040

Leading Writer Robert Victor Berner (P/MX 60040) served with the Royal Navy during World War Two. Born on 23rd May 1919, he was the son of Robert Berner and Catherine Berner of Tullyveery, Killyleagh, Co. Down.

He served on HMS Hood, one of the Royal Navy’s older battleships, a veteran of World War One. Berner died on board the Hood on 24th May 1941 aged 22 years old. The infamous Bismarck sank the British ship.

HMS Hood

Imperial War Museum Photo: HU 76078 (Part of the Ministry of Information Second World War Press Agency Print Collection). The Royal Navy battleship HMS Hood in the middle distance viewed benath the silhouetted 15″ gun of HMS Renown. Photo taken by Topical press photographer.

Battle of Denmark Strait

HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales intercepted German battleships, Bismarck and Prince Eugen. A battle ensued in the Denmark Strait between Greenland and Iceland beginning at 0535hrs. HMS Hood opened fire at 0553hrs and within minutes, the battle was over.

The Bismarck returned fire on HMS Hood and the Royal Navy ship exploded. Only three men from a crew of 1,418 survived. Shells also hit HMS Prince of Wales killing everyone on the bridge apart from the captain. The Bismarck escaped unscathed.

Remembering Robert Victor Berner

Robert Victor Berner’s name is on Panel 55 of the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Plymouth, Devon. A commemoration exists of the town war memorial of his hometown of Killyleagh, Co. Down. memorial to all those lost on HMS Hood stands in the Hood Chapel, Church of St John the Baptist, Boldre, Hampshire.

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