Crew list of Ships hit by U-boats

David Noel Earls

RN. British

Born  4 Jan 1915

Roster information listed for David Noel Earls

ShipTypeRank / roleAttacked onBoat
HMS Courageous (50)Aircraft carrierStoker17 Sep 1939U-29 (1)

Personal information

David Noel Earls joined the Royal Navy in 1936 at Dublin. He survived the sinking of HMS Courageous and later became Chief Petty Officer aboard HMS Azalea, participating in convoys to North Russia. He later told his family that the most frightening time for them was when a convoy was attacked by U-Boats. That night they spent picking up Russian survivors of the sinkings. He was working in the engine room and all he knew was that it was very busy above. Their relief for the shift never turned up, so he sent one of the rating up to see what was going on. But he never came back. After several hours of stopping starting and manoeuvring, he decided to go up himself to find out what was going on. He found that almost all the crew were drunk! As they had been lifting the Russian survivors on deck they all bottles of vodka with them. Naturally the grateful and freezing survivors shared the vodka with the seamen who were just pulling them up the nets. But the ratings had never experienced drinking vodka before and drank it like water.


  1. Personal communication

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Crew list for Ships hit by U-boats