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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2008 at 8:27pm

Seaman 1st Class James J Carter USN.

(March 24th 1927 –December 23rd 2007)

Mr James Justus Carter, of Riverside , CA USA passed away on December 23, 2007. He was born in Long Beach, CA USA on March 14, 1927 to James Adam Carter and Katherine Miller Carter. Mr Carter attended various schools in Long Beach as a youngster. His father passed away in 1937 and Mr Carter began his work career selling newspapers. Later on, he worked for McDonald-Douglas Aircraft in 1942 while still in high school. Mr Carter joined the Naval Armed Guard in March 1944, after his 17th birthday. After boot camp, Mr Carter went to Signalman School and was sent aboard a tanker ship to the Aleutian Islands. Later on in 1944, Mr Carter transferred to a hospital ship and went to Leyte, Philippines in October of that year. The year 1945 found Mr Carter at Okinawa during the Battle. His ship was damaged during the fighting, and subsequently was towed all the way across the Pacific. The damaged ship arrived via the Panama Canal to New Orleans , LA USA in early August. The crew was then granted 30-days Liberty. Mr Carter went on the train to Los Angeles, a three day ride of non-stop poker playing . When Mr Carter arrived in Los Angeles, he found the town quiet. Asking someone what happened, the person replied: "Did you not hear yet ? The War is over!" After Liberty, Mr Carter shipped on the hospital ship Bountiful, which was bound for Japan . The ship arrived at Yokosuku Bay in late December 1945. Finally, after another voyage to the Philippines, Mr Carter was discharged in March 1946 as a Seaman First Class.
 
After the War, Mr Carter worked for various companies as a swimming pool contractor, installing tousands of pools over a ten year period. Sometime in 1957, Mr Carter married his first wife Martha. That marriage lasted until Martha's death in February 1987. Mr Carter began a 30 year career in termite pest control. He was fortunate to have met a lot of movie stars that way. Mr Carter's encounter with Groucho Marx was a classic !  After Martha Carter passed away, Mr Carter met Charito Alter in March 1988 who had just arrived from
Cebu ,Philippines in March 1988.  Over the years, Charito and Mr Carter became best friends. They shared a lot of times together.
 
Mr Carter was the best man at Charito's marriage to Jonathan Alter in July 1996 in
Long Beach. All three of them went together to lots of places, with lots of laugher and fun for all.  Mr Carter had a fondness for dogs, indeed. After the move to Riverside in 2002, Mr Carter could be seen walking various family dogs down to the local donut shop. Mr Carter became a fixture at the shop, taking daily walks, indulging in donuts and coffee. Oh, how he loved his coffee!  You could hear him talking about football, baseball, basketball - he had his favourite teams. In March 2005, Mr Carter married for the second time. In death, he leaves behind a widow, Suzette To-ong Carter.
 
Mr Carter was buried at Riverside National Cemetery , laid to rest with full military honours.
 
He is and will always be missed by all.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2008 at 7:11pm

Petty Officer Motor Mechanic. Howard Spencer.

 

 

6th January 1926 – 13th February 2008

This quiet and gentle person was a loyal member (2911) of the Coastal Forces Veterans Association (London Branch) and will be sadly missed by all who knew him, and especially by his two children, Paul and Sandra.

He had a very eventful life. His wartime and particularly his later service in the Mediterranean can only be briefly described here, but certainly recognised as being quite exceptional.

He was born in Killamarsh Derbyshire on 6th January 1926. He joined the Royal Navy in 1943 and did his initial training at HMS Royal Arthur Skegness (the old Butlin’s Holiday Camp) then, after finishing his initial training, went to RNB Portsmouth. He started active service as a Petty Officer on Minesweepers in the Baltic and around Iceland; He served on board HMS Indomitable but later transferred to Coastal Forces and onto ML’s in the Mediterranean.

He passed a selection board (Naval and Police) in May 1946 and was seconded for 6 months by the Royal Navy to the Libyan Police Force - Port and Marine Division, assisting with the setting up of a Lybian Naval Coastal Force, using craft from the RN.

He was ‘demobbed’ in Malta, and then returned to Tripoli to take up a permanent position with the Marine Division of the Tripolitanian Police Force (assigned by the Foreign Office in London).

He met his future wife Valerie Arnell who had been driving ambulances with the ATS in Libya and Egypt and they were married in Tripoli on 12th June 1948.

Their two children, Sandra and Paul, were born in Tripoli and the family finally came home to England in 1957 (after Libya being given its independence as a British Protectorate).

In England, Howard worked for EMI Electronics - Weapons Division - until he retired.

In latter years he became blind through macular degeneration and also deaf, however this didn't defeat him and he remained a very independent and self sufficient person to the end.

He will be remembered not only as a very brave and stoic gentleman, but also a kind, warm, and gentle person of the ‘Old School’. 

He will be greatly missed.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2008 at 10:13pm

 

An appreciation for the life of

George Alfred Heard

 1925 - 2008.

 

It was with great sadness that the news of ‘passing into calmer waters’ by George was received by the London Branch (of the former CFVA). Although unable to attend recent meetings he remained a loyal member (1212) and will be sadly missed.

 

The eventful life of George Heard began on the 14th March 1925 in Bermondsey, South London.

 

Leaving school aged just 14, he began his early working life with several employment positions, including one working as a Page Boy for the Daily Mirror in Fleet Street, London.

 

The beginning of the Second World War found George working for a construction company driving dump trucks and bulldozers building the military camps that were required for the War effort. On reaching the age of 18 he volunteered for the Royal Navy and was called to ‘muster’ on 17th June 1943.

 

Allocated to the Port Division of Chatham and given the service number of c/kx 528532, he was placed in the Engineering Branch, becoming enrolled as Stoker 2nd Class.

 

His records show that he served on MGB 16 between 13th and 26th September 1943, joining MTB 723 on 2nd June 1944 and becoming Stoker Mechanic 1st class (17th June 1944). This vessel is recorded in several publications as being heavily involved in actions during the time that George was aboard.

 

Finally, after joining MTB 5009 on 22nd January 1945, his naval career came to an end when he was ‘demobbed’ on the 1st January 1947.

 

Returning to civilian life he found employment as a gas fitter for the South Eastern Gas Board at their ‘Phoenix Wharf’ works at Greenwich, London. He continued to work for the SEGB (later British Gas), retiring after 41 years of continued and loyal employment in 1989.

 

He had met his wife Doris Church during the War, through an introduction by his Uncle who worked with Doris in the Woolwich Arsenal. They were married on the 26th December 1948.

 

George will be sadly missed by all those who knew him, especially Doris and their three children – Trevor, Kieron and Ramon.

 

This gentle gentleman will be remembered also as having served his country well through the darkest of hours.

 

“Lest we Forget”

 

 



Edited by Pioneer - 10 November 2008 at 2:00pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2008 at 9:13am
Lt Cdr William Nelson Ridinger USN.

1921 – 2008.

Nelson Ridinger, 87, of Christiansburg passed away peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by loved ones on Wednesday, April 9, 2008.

He was the son of Harvey Jackson Ridinger Sr. and Hester Blanche Jennings. In addition to his first wife, Elizabeth Anne Dale, and his oldest daughter Linda Ridinger Smith, Nelson is survived by his loving wife of 35 years, Sandra Sarver Ridinger.

 

Nelson graduated from Christiansburg High School in 1938. He proceeded to get his degree in Pharmacy from the Medical College of Virginia in 1942.

Nelson answered the call to serve his country in WWII by attending an accelerated officer-training program at Columbia University.

He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy and was assigned to the Admiral's command ship for the Utah Beach Sector during the D-Day invasion. Nelson's military honors include medals for the European Campaign and two battle stars.

 

Nelson returned to Christiansburg in 1949 to raise his family and become an active member of the local business community. He began work at Thompson-Hagan Drug Store as a pharmacist in 1949 and retired as the owner of the oldest continuous business in Montgomery County in 1979.

Nelson was an active business partner in Town & Country Estates, Arcnel Corporation, and owner of Ridgedale Farms real-estate development.

 

Over the years, Nelson also served in numerous community leadership roles. Nelson was President of the Christiansburg Chamber of Commerce and was Chairman of St. Paul's Administrative Board, the local library board and Red Cross of America. He worked to get the Altamont Hospital on Radford Road incorporated into the Montgomery Regional Hospital and served on its board as a named trustee of the hospital.

Nelson faithfully served 41 years as a Director of First National Bank (FNB) in Christiansburg and served as its Chairman of the Board before retiring in 1998.

 

Nelson enjoyed spending time with his beloved family - Nelson also had a love for horses and spending time outdoors on his farm in Christiansburg.

 

He will be greatly missed by all.

 

The Funeral services were conducted at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 12, 2008, at St. Paul United Methodist Church with Dr. David Goodpasture and Rev. Brian Siegle officiating.

Interment followed at Sunset Cemetery, Christiansburg,VA.

 

The family wishes to express special thanks to Dr. Michael Payne for his care and concern during this time.

 

 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 November 2008 at 2:11pm

An Appreciation for the Life of

Peter Henry DSM..

 

Peter Henry DSM, of Seaham, County Durham died Sunday 26th October at Sunderland Royal Hospital aged 85. Beloved Husband of Freda and cherished by all the family. Peter served with Honour in the Coastal forces during World War 2 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

All through his life he was passionate about pigeon racing and was known as part of 'Gippert and Henry'.

Everyone is welcome at a service which will be held at
2pm on Thursday 30th October, prior to a cremation at Sunderland crematorium at 3pm. A wake will be held at The Phoenix, Seaham at 3.45pm.

Flowers welcome or a donation to the Coastal Forces Veterans Association if desired.

 

“Lest we Forget”

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 November 2008 at 2:18pm

Ldg Wren Brenda Coombs

 

We send our deepest sympathy to Alison and Sister Pat and Family at this sad time with the cherished memories we hold of a very sincere friend and shipmate.

 

It was at Lowestoft HMS Mantis where Brenda met the love of her life, no doubt in a run ashore when Charles Coombs, serving on board MTB’s  88-222 & 602 came into her life and romance bloomed. They married in Lowestoft on 25th May 1945.

 

Both Charles and Brenda were great enthusiasts of the CFVA from its early beginnings with its vast opportunities for the renewing and the making of new friendships . With their Daughter Alison they were great supporters of, and took part in many of, our visits to Croatia and the Island of Vis . Since the death of Charles in June 2001  Brenda and Alison have continued to support and enjoy the visits to Vis , sadly this year due to Brenda being unwell and the death of her daughter Janet  in August

they had to cancel.

 

Brenda’s funeral will be at Cambridge Crematorium on November 14th at 13-30hrs.

 
"Lest We Forget"



Edited by Pioneer - 10 November 2008 at 2:18pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2009 at 11:09pm

Harry Leader DSM.

26th April 1923 – 28th December 2008.

 

The news that Harry Leader had ‘Crossed the Bar’ and now rests in calmer waters was received with a great sadness.

There will always be very warm memories of Harry; ‘our’ last meeting with him being at the September Branch Meeting of the London Branch of the former CFVA - onboard HMS Belfast in the Pool of London. Then, having only very recently been discharged from Hospital, he had appeared to be his old self, even after quite a prolonged stay; but true to his character he did not disclose any details of his suffering or illness.

 

Harry will certainly be missed by all those who knew him – especially those members of the London Branch Committee – who sometimes were the butt of many ribald comments emitting from the irreverently titled “Stokers Mess”. He, being an active and leading member of this group, had the ability and wit of always being able to find a quick and humorous remark - for whatever was being discussed at the time - sometimes raising a smile from his selected ‘target’ - but his banter was always made without malice.

His broad cockney accent assisted his particular brand of charm, this also added to an ability to display a very warm nature and great love of being among those whom he called his ‘Shipmates’.

 

Although being a fully paid up and active member of ‘our Stoker’s Mess’, Harry was not a member of the Engineering Branch of the RN. He had ended his naval career as an A/B Seaman but having been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

 

Harry was one of only 10 survivors when MTB 622 was lost off the coast of Holland on the night of March 9th/10th 1943.

Severely injured, he was rescued by the crew of the German naval craft VP 1300, spending many months in Dutch and German hospitals before being incarcerated in a POW camp deep in Germany. Still suffering from his wounds he, with three others, decided to try and escape from the camp after hearing of a proposed forced march of the inmates, even deeper into Germany.

 

After several hair-raising ‘incidents’ they managed to reach the advancing Allied army. Harry was to feel the generosity of the American troops for a number of weeks before eventually being repatriated back to the UK.

 

Harry thoroughly enjoyed the friendly banter between ‘Home Waters’ and ‘Mediterranean War Theatre’ crews – both fully represented at the London Branch meetings.

For many, Harry will be remembered as a true friend, but also it should be remembered that he stands among the ranks of this country’s heroes.

 

He will be sadly missed by his beloved wife Gwen, his son-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandson Harry.

 

 

Lest We Forget.

 


Edited by Pioneer - 20 January 2009 at 8:57am
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2010 at 1:37pm

Andrew Banger DSM, MID.

Born 31st May 1922 Died 29th January 2010

 


Andrew Banger was born in Stirling Scotland, he had three brothers and one sister. His Mother worked in catering and his Father was a Chauffer.

Andrew moved to England with his family at 6 years old and started his education. On leaving school he became an apprentice plumber, on completing his apprenticeship

Andrew volunteered to join the Royal Navy.

He was based at Felixstowe and served on MTB’s (MTB454).

During his service Andrew was awarded The Distinguished Service Medal and was also Mentioned in Dispatches.

Andrew was demobbed in 1946, he then moved with his wife Joyce to Slough in Berkshire. He worked as an engineer at various establishments. During his career Andrew worked at Pinewood Studios building the sets for various films including James Bond and Super Man.

After retirement Andrew maintained an active life, he loved holidaying in Scotland. His main activity was to build a replica model of his boat MTB 454; this was built from drawings and historical photos. He installed engines and made it radio controlled, the model spent many hours on the water.

 

Andrew was a very proud member of The Coastal Forces Veterans Association, he enjoyed attending meeting and AGM’s. He loved his time with the association and his shipmates. He is greatly missed by his family and friends.

Able Seaman Andrew Rae Ronney Banger DSM, MID.

R.I.P

Lest We Forget.



Edited by Pioneer - 19 March 2010 at 5:18pm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2010 at 7:06pm

Ldg Seaman (Torps) Peter Henry Shorer
1923-2010.
 

Peter volunteered for the Navy at 18 but failed the medical; he had had rheumatic fever twice as a child which had left him with a heart condition. Six months later however, he got his call up papers. A heart specialist at this medical declared him fit and he joined the Royal Navy on 7th September 1942.

 

Reporting to the shore base HMS Ganges, at Shotley Suffolk, for his initial induction and basic training, following which he was then to spend a month at HMS St Christopher, Fort William Invernes-shire, learning how to work on Coastal Forces Craft, MLs & MTBs etc; this was the real attraction for him, and why he had volunteered in the first place.

 

His first Draft was to ML 212 at Holyhead in the Western Approaches, patrolling round the Irish Sea searching for mines, in one day they sank thirteen mines by shooting at them with 303 rifles.

 

After taking the Seaman Torpedoman’s (S/T) Course at the Eastbourne Girls School ‘Roedean’ - requisitioned as an annex to the Mine warfare and Torpedo training establishment, HMS Vernon at Portsmouth - he was to be Drafted into the Mediterranean war theatre where he served in and around Malta and the Aegean Sea areas with the 10th and 27th MGB/MTB Flotillas.

As an A/B S/T Seaman, one of his jobs was to get inside the twenty foot long torpedo tubes to clean and grease them after use. The records show that his Flotilla’s had a very active war; shortly after VE Day the Flotilla’s 10th/27th were paid off, including his much loved MTB 398.

 

He passed further examinations on the County Class Cruiser, HMS Norfolk, to become Leading Seaman Torpedoman (L/St) joining the Destroyer HMS Javelin. Because of his small-boat experience he became coxwain of the Captains Motor boat.

He was finally demobbed in June 1946.

 

Peter’s time in the navy gave him a love of the sea and boats of any kind. He and his wife Audrey spent many happy times crewing on a gaff rigged Cutter to Holland. He built a Heron class dinghy to sail at Burnham on Crouch and when the children came along he built canoes and a fully equipped narrow boat to explore the English canals.

 

His enthusiasm for a challenge eventually led to a very successful peace time career and also allows another proud achievment of Peter’s to be seen.

On display in the Malta Maritime Museum is the reproduction of the ship’s bell from HMS Illustrious. This perfect reproduction, including its damage sustained on the ship during WW2, tested his skills developed during his employment with the British Museum. The bell was presented to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1976, presented to Malta 1977, the original previously on display, being requested by the IWM.

 

Peter enjoyed the companionship of his shipmates at the Southend Branch of the Coastal Forces Veterans Association and later as a member of the London Branch aboard HMS Belfast, where he could relive the happy, sad and dangerous times in ‘his war’.

 
“Lest We Forget”


Edited by Pioneer - 25 June 2010 at 8:45am
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2010 at 4:39pm
A/B Donald Campbell

6th October 1923 – 20th July 2010

 

It is with a great sadness that we record the death of Donald Campbell.

 

Donald was one of the early joiners of the CFVA, he came aboard in February 1982 and carried the membership (CFVA) number 869. He was a popular member of the London Branch becoming Secretary of the Branch from January 1989 - December 1994. 

His wartime service in the Mediterranean was as an A/B on MTBs 388 - 5009 and also with a Coastal Forces Mobile Base in Italy inc Sardinia and Maddalena .

 

In peacetime Donald became a very keen supporter of West Ham United so we could always expect a good repartee at the London Meetings with the Spurs and Orient supporters.

 

Donald retired from the Ford motor company at Dagenham having been employed as a maintenance electrician.

Sadly Donald was to spend his last years in a Nursing Home suffering from a cruel and debilitating illness.

 

To his Wife Iris we send our Deepest Sympathy and our Love at this very sad time.

 

“Lest We Forget”

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