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HSM Goatfell

With reference to Pilot officer Cottier and his tragic death and the rescue of two of his crew. I have been researching my family history for several years. I am particularly interested in the involvement of members of the family in the two world wars. Having 'stumbled on your web page about Pilot Officer Cottier it may or may not of interested to know that at the time of this incident my father, Douglas Hand, was serving on the Goatfell. Unfortunately he passed away in 2006 but many years before I interviewed him about his service and he recounted this incident. He stated, as does your article, that the weather was bad and therefore the crew of the Goatfell had difficulty getting the men on board. As 'dad told it' because of their condition one of the Goatfell's crew, 'Tug' Wilson, got into the water to assist them on board.

He also recounted an incident in February 1942 when the Goatfell was in or about the Humber estuary. The report on the incident identifies the Goatfell's position as in the 'Humber Light Float area'. It appears there was two possibly three Junkers 88 about to attack shipping in that area. The Captain, Lt Commander Gaffney, brought the ship broadside onto the on coming aircraft and as a result used all his guns to destroy one aircraft and probably one other.

Dad had several adventures when serving on the Goafell and other similar ships. He was on the Paddle Minesweeper Marmion when it was sunk as a result a bombing raid in 1941 in Harwich. He was on the Goatfell in 1941 when it was badly damaged whilst moored near Tower Bridge on the Thames, London. One crew member was killed and several badly injured. And just as an after thought he and the Marmion were at Dunkirk helping to evacuate the BEF.

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