Francis Arthur John Downer DSC, RNR

Birth details unknown

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15 Mar 1939 S.Lt.
4 Nov 1940 Lt.
??? A/Lt.Cdr.
4 Nov 1948 Lt.Cdr.

Retired: 8 Jun 1952


9 Sep 1941 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
1 Jan 1945 DSC
8 Feb 1950 RD

Warship Commands listed for Francis Arthur John Downer, RNR

HMS Northern Spray (FY 129)Lt.ASW TrawlerDec 194212 Nov 1943
HMS Northern Spray (FY 129)Lt.ASW Trawler23 Nov 1943Nov 1944
HMS Montserrat (K 586)A/Lt.Cdr.Frigate7 Apr 19459 Jul 1945
HMS LST 3044 (LST 3044)A/Lt.Cdr.Tank landing shipAug 1945mid 1946

Career information

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Events related to this officer

ASW Trawler HMS Northern Spray (FY 129)

4 May 1943
HMS Northern Spray (Lt. F.A.J. Downer, DSC, RNR) was part of the escort of convoy ONS-5. At about 2000hours, U-707 surfaced after letting the convoy pass overhead, and fired a salvo of three torpedoes, hitting British merchant North Britain. Northern Spray hurried to assist, but the merchant sunk in 69 seconds, and could only pick up 11 survivors. Later on, U-628 was the attacker. After weaving unseen past the escorts, she fired a salvo of torpedoes aimed at five targets, but scored only one hit, at the British merchant Harbury. As she was settling by the stern, the skipper (Cpt. W.E. Cook) gave the order to abandon ship, and it was again Northern Spray that came to the rescue, picking up 42 survivors (7 were missing). Later, U-264 took over in attack, and hit two ships: The American West Maximus (5.561 ton), and British Harperly. Northern Spray rescued 56 survivors from lifeboats of the former (4 crewmen were missing), and 38 from the second. The by then overcrowded Northern Spray was ordered to disengage from the convoy and make for St. John's, which she did safely on May 8th. (1)


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