Norway 1940 D.S.M. group of four awarded for gallantry in attempting to save a life during an air-raid on Harstad
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SKU: A85617 Category: Awards For Gallantry And Distinguished Service
Distinguished Service Medal, (GVI) ( A.B. H.M.S. Delight.), 1939/45 Star, Atlantic Star, War Medal.
D.S.M. London Gazette 26/9/1940:
‘For services in Norway, April-June 1940 – Able Seaman James Mc Culloch Smith, H.M.S. Delight.’
The recommendation states:
‘A.B. J. M. Smith, P/JX.138633, H.M.S. Delight.
John A. Smith, 2nd Class Steward, “Balteako”.
On the evening of Monday, May 20th, during an air-raid on Harstad, a splinter of a bomb killed the bowman of the Delight’s motor boat which was alongside the “Balteako” drawing provisions. Owing to being holed, the “Balteako” proceeded to beach herself and the motor boat went adrift. Able Seaman Smith one of the Delight’s provision party lowered himself by a rope into a skiff and followed by J. A. Smith, 2nd Class Steward of the “Balteako”, managed to reach the motor boat before the skiff – also damaged – sank. The raid was still in progress and the attempt at rescue made against the advice of “Balteako”’s Officers. The man they were attempting to assist was found to be dead.’
H.M.S. Delight (Destroyer)
On 1 May, she ferried troops to the light cruisers HMS Manchester and HMS Birmingham of the 18th Cruiser Squadron during the evacuation from Andalsnes. Delight supported the Allied troops on 27–28 May as they recaptured Narvik before she was sent to Bodo the next day to investigate reports of a German amphibious landing. Over the next two nights, the ship and seven other destroyers evacuated British troops from Bodo. Delight was tasked with evacuating the Scot's Guards. On 7–8 June, Delight escorted a troop convoy evacuating Allied troops from Narvik (Operation Alphabet).
On 29 July, contrary to orders, the ship was detected by a Freya radar at Cherbourg and the Luftwaffe was alerted. At 19:25 12 Ju 87s belonging to III./Sturzkampfgeschwader attacked Delight, some 20 miles off Portland Bill. She was hit by a bomb on her fo'c'sle, which caused a major fire and a subsequent explosion. The ship sank later that evening.