Incident Folder


The text below gives a summary of the conflict (i.e. war), event or incident that resulted in deaths in the Borough or abroad. On the right are listed the individual events and incidents, such as battles or air raids. For each conflict the total number of casualties are given, whereas for each event or incident the names of those who died are listed in alphabetical order.

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Details for: Operation Torch, the attack on Oran and the sinking of HMS Walney


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Historical Data:
HMS Walney was a former 1700 ton US cutter called USCG Sebago. On 8th November 1942 she took part in Operation Torch, the invasion of French North Africa. Her mission, together with another cutter HMS Hartland, was to take the port of Oran without causing damage to the facilities. An hour and 45 minutes after invading forces were put ashore on the beaches adjacent to Oran, the Walney and Hartland aimed at top speed for a log boom that closed the entrance to the harbour. However, French defenders in Oran were awaiting the ships (on alert due to the earlier landings) and poured gunfire into the two ships. Walney broke through the boom but was hit by close quarter fire from ships in the harbour. She capsized and sank with 76% casualties. The Hartland fared no better – eventually blowing up after survivors had been taken off. All of Walney’s crew were either killed or wounded, the wounded being taken prisoner. Before Oran fell as a result of the invading forces from the beaches, the defenders were able to destroy all the facilities – exactly what the crews of the Walney and Hartland had hoped to prevent.


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1 person killed