An excellent clandestine operations D.S.M. to the African Flotilla for dropping and picking up of agents on the Adriatic and Dalmatia coast from fishing craft , often unseaworthy and barely fit for purpose

Item type:

Product code: A3680

Quantity in Stock: 1 item(s)

Item condition: N.E.F.

Our price: £2,950.00

Medal Description

D.S.M. (GV1 - Sto.1), 1939/45 Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, War Medal

LX/KX157434 E. Rowe

With several good original photographs.

Together with the ADM report marked 'Top Secret' 'Mediterranean Irregular Sea Operations' 'Recommendations for awards for personnel of the African Flotilla'

Recommendations for rewards (4 DSC and 7 DSM) and details of the operations from commencement

Rowe is twice recommended  (with 2 others)  'Joined in April 1943 and conduct brought to notice for individual acts of bravery and outstanding devotion to duty' 'fate has decreed that Stoker Rowe should have been present  on eight occasions when his ship was at sea in the worst weather conditions experienced by the flotilla. His constant attention to duty in flooded engine rooms and the inspiration he has been to the flotilla personnel in conditions of danger and acute discomfort have brought him specially to my notice as an exceptional rating.'

The services are best summed up from an extract  from the report

Today the flotilla consists of a number of Meditteranean local fishing craft varying from 45 to 60 feet in length fitted with sails and diesel engines of foreign manufacture, and a mixed collection of British, American  and Italian coastal vessels in varying states of reliabiliy, all of a makeshift character and unsuitable for clandestin operations....the craft were invariably heavily loaded with extra fuel, passengers and special stores and equipment and the task of the commanding officerin nursing his crazy overloaded craftin the appalling winter weatherconditions of the N.W. Mediterranean ; maintaining the moral of his passengers and crew in conditions of acute discomfort; making accurate landfalls on successive nights along an unlighted unfriendly coast; and finally executing the transfer of passengers and stores by dinghy between the mother ship and the shore called for qualities of leadership , endurance, determination and navigational skill, out of the ordinary.'

'From 'Undercover Sailors' by A. Cecil Hampshire 

‘The crew, apart from the two officers, consisted of a coxswain, motor mechanic, and two seamen, all volunteers. Navigational equipment included a compass, sextant and charts, and a good two-way radio was also carried. Throughout their clandestine voyages officers and men slopped around in civilian fishermen’s rig of weather-stained jerseys or smocks, trousers and seaboots, although certain items of naval uniform were also taken along in case they should be seized as francs tireurs.'  (whether the last point would have helped in the event of capture may be doubtful).

Excellent clandestine ops. award

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