William James Joseph Fitzpatrick

Able Seaman William James Joseph Fitzpatrick of Whiteabbey, Co. Antrim died on 8th November 1942 when US-built HMS Walney went down during Operation Torch.

Able Seaman

William James Joseph Fitzpatrick

C/JX 192062

Able Seaman William James Joseph Fitzpatrick of Whiteabbey, Co. Antrim served on board the former US Coast Guard ship HMS Walney during Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa.

Able Seaman William James Joseph Fitzpatrick (C/JX 192062) served in the Royal Navy during World War Two. He was the eldest son of William Fitzpatrick and Elizabeth Fitzpatrick of 2 Hillview Street, Whiteabbey, Co. Antrim.

He died on 8th November 1942 aged 22 years old. At the time, he served on HMS Walney. The former American Coast Guard Cutter took part in Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa. During the bombardment of Oran, it crashed through the harbour boom. It then came under heavy fire from coastal defence batteries.

Wreck of HMS Walney

Imperial War Museum Photo: A 13694 (Part of the Admiralty Official Collection). The wreck of HMS Walney. The former US Coastguard Cutter sank off the coast or Oran, North Africa during Operation Torch on 8th November 1942. Photo taken by Lieutenant CH Parnall.

The American-built ship sustained heavy damage. It exploded 6 hours later after Captain Frederick Peters gave the order to abandon.

William James Joseph Fitzpatrick has no known grave. His name is on Column 54, Panel 1 of the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent, United Kingdom.

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