O.B.E. (2nd type Military), Distinguished Service Cross (1943) 1939/45 Star, Atlantic Star, Burma Star clasp Pacific, War Medal, Korea (W.R. Holt , O.B.E. D.S.C) U.N. Korea
O.B.E. Military, L.G. 11/6/1946 ‘For distinguished service in the Far East
Chief Officer William Ronald Holt, D.S.C. R.F.A. (R.F.A. Wave King)
D.S.C. L.G. 16/2/1943 ‘For fortitude , seamanship and endurance in taking Merchantmen and Royal Fleet Auxiliaries to North Russia through heavy seas and in the face of many attacks by enemy aircraft and submarines;
Mr William Ronald Holt, Chief Officer (Grey Ranger) (Seedies states as Operation EV – PQ18 and QP14 (the return) during which Gray ranger was torpedoed and sunk
Whilst there is no specific recommendation this may be read in conjunction with that of the Captain (DSO)
‘This ship performed the most magnificent work, oiling without a break for 9 days, every daylight hour, despite. continual air & submarine attacks. Every ton of oil was utilised. To my great regret “Gray Ranger” was torpedoed after her immediate work had been completed.’
Holt served aboard during
PQ15. from Iceland 29/4/1942
PQ17, sailed from Hvalfiordur, Iceland on 27/6/1942. On 1/7/42 Gray Ranger suffered her bow split open. The left the convoy with destroyer H.M.S. Douglas as escort joining the homebound PQ13 on the 7th thus missing the slaughter of PQ17
PQ18, assembled in Loch Ewe and sailed for Iceland 2/9/1942 departing from there 8/9/1942. Probably the hardest fought of the North Russian convoys, suffering continual attack by submarines and waves of torpedo bombers. 13 of 44 merchantmen were lost at the cost to the Germans of 44 aircraft lost including 38 torpedo -bombers.
QP14, sailed fro the Dvina River 13/9/42. On 20/9/42 they were attacked by U-435, U -255 and U-703 . U-435 sinking a minesweeper, U-255 also sinking a vessel and U-703 torpedoing the destroyer ‘Somali’ which later broke in 2. On the 22nd U-435 penetrated the screen sinking 2 ships and additionally hitting Gray Ranger . The Rescue Ship ‘Rathlin’ picked up 33 survivors of the crew of 39 from Gray Ranger.
Holt was present aboard Wave King as part of Task Force 112 , British Pacific Fleet and was involved in nearly all themajor operations.
Served as Master of ‘Brown Ranger’ during the Korean War
Holt was additionally commended and awarded an inscribed silver cigar box (not with the group) by the Norwegian Government for a gallant rescue in the China Seas. Newspaper article refers
‘Recognition by the Norwegian Government of the gallant part played by a Rochdale officer in the Merchant Navy in effecting the rescue of 37 members of the crew of a Norwegian vessel which foundered in Chinese waters in the spring of 1940 has just come to light. Last week First Office Ronald Holt son of Mrs Holt. and the late W.H. Holt of 68 Syke Road, Rochdale, attended at the Admiralty in London, and in the presence of Admiralty officials was presented with a solid silver cigar box by the Norwegian Government in recognition of his gallantry and initiative. Members of the crew of his ship who took part in the rescue operations received silver cigarette cases.
The rescue incident in which First Officer Holt and his men were concerned took place in Chinese waters at which time he was serving on a tanker based on Hong Kong. Thirty seven members of the crew of a Norwegian ship, including the captain and his wife, were marooned on a dangerous coral reef. First Officer Holt was in charge of a party of seamen from his own ship which undertook to attempt to rescue the Norwegians. The rescue operations lasted a whole day. At the first attempt First officer Holt were unsuccessful in their efforts to get a lifeline to the marooned party but at the third attempt First Officer Holt and his crew managed to get a line across, tearing up their cork jackets to make it, and all the Norwegians were saved.
The long delay in making the presentation is explained by exigencies of war-time conditions, last week was the first time it has been possible to get all the members of the rescue party together for the presentation.
This is the second time First Officer Holt has gained distinction for his work at sea, having recently being presented the Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry after. his ship had been torpedoed during a convoy trip to Russia. He is 41 years of age, and has been at sea since he was 16 years of age.’
Ronald Holt was born in Rochdale in 1902 c. The 1911 census records, Mary Holt , widow and 7 children aged 26 to 8, Ronald Holt being youngest. Died 1981 Bridlington
With original Master’s Certificate of Competency, Investiture at Buckingham Palace card for DSC , congratulatory letter for his OBE, British Seaman’s I.D. card containing his photograph (Korean War )
Also a thorough research file