Geoffrey Alexander Rotherham DSO, OBE, RN

Born  31 Dec 1906Darenth, Kent, England, UK
Died  8 Dec 2002(95)Granges, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Ranks

1 May 1927 A/S.Lt.
1 Nov 1927 S.Lt.
1 Dec 1928 Lt.
1 Dec 1936 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1939 Cdr.
??? A/Capt.

Retired: 6 Jan 1949


Decorations

11 Mar 1941 OBE
16 Sep 1941 DSO

Warship Commands listed for Geoffrey Alexander Rotherham, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Trouncer (D 85)A/Capt.Escort Carrier12 Apr 1945Oct 1945 ?

Career information

Geoffrey Alexander ‘Hank’ Rotherham was born in Darenth, County of Kent, England in 1906. He attended Royal Navy College in Dartmouth, County of Devon, England and was appointed a naval cadet in?1920. he spent the next twenty-five years in the Royal Navy. In 1924, Hank served as a midshipman in hms Iron Duke, one of the last?coal-burning battleships. He was appointed as a Lieutenant in 1928 and served on the?cruiser hms Durban. In?1932, he trained as an observer for the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal navy. Hank later served on the?carriers Glorious and Furious from 1933 to 1934. In 1936 he was appointed Lieutenant–Commander and served on the cruiser Apollo in the North America and West Indies station, flying catapult-launched Osprey floatplanes. In 1939, he was promoted at the young age of 33 to Commander, and assigned to the carrier Courageous. In what was one of the first losses of the war, the Courageous was torpedoed by a german submarine in the South-West Approaches on 17 September, 1939. Hank swam to a nearby ship and was home four days later. In 1941, Hank was stationed at Scapa Flow in northeastern Scotland when word came that the Germa ?battleship Bismarck had sailed out from the Baltic Sea. Hank volunteered to be the navigator on a Maryland bomber sent out on a reconnaissance mission to spot the location of the Bismarck. After careful inspection of the Norwegian fjords, a signal was sent reporting that the battleship was not in the area. As a result, the hunt for the Bismarck was switched to the open Atlantic and led to its destruction on the 27 May, 1941. Hank was awarded a DSO and was appointed OBE in 1941 for his part in the reconnaissance mission. In 1948 Hank accepted an appointment as Director of Naval Aviation on loan to the Royal Canadian Navy. He retired from the Royal Navy in 1949 and transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy as a retired Captain. After retirement from the navy, he worked briefly in the aircraft industry, and then went into real estate in Knowlton, Quebec. Geoffrey Alexander Rotherham retired to British Columbia in 1994, where he died in Granges on Spring Island in 2002.

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