John Wellington Hall

Lieutenant Commander, Royal Navy, HMS HOOD.

Died At Sea on the 24th May 1941 aged 38.

Lieutenant Commander John Wellington-Hall

John was the son of Harry & Edith Hall and the Husband of Joan Hall. He received his commission on the 30th September 1934 and joined HMS Hood on the 25th August 1939, prior to which he served aboard HMS Wryneck.

The German battleship, Bismarck, and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, sailed from Gotenhafen in the Baltic for the Atlantic via Norway on the 19th of May, 1941. Once out of the Baltic, they headed north. They were spotted during an RAF reconnaissance flight, and the hunt was on. The English knew the target for these two warships were the convoys and the Home Fleet brought a large number of ships into action to cover all the routes into the Atlantic. They were spotted northwest of Iceland by the heavy cruiser Norfolk on 23 May, 1941. The Hood and HMS Prince of Wales dashed to intercept them west of Iceland. Early the following morning Prince of Wales sighted Bismarck 17 miles away and both ships moved towards the German vessels.

The big ships met at 06:00 in the morning. Hood opened fire first. A shell from Prinz Eugen hit Hood on the boat deck, causing a fierce fire. Then a salvo from Bismarck struck HMS Hood. There was an enormous explosion and the ship broke in half and then sank within minutes. Only three of the crew of 1,418 survived.

John has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. (Panel 45 Column 1)

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