On 30th October 1942 radar contact was made on a U Boat by a Suderland
flying boat on patrol in the Eastern Mediterranean. One of the destroyers
sent to investgate was HMS Petard captained by Lt Cdr Mark Thornton. The
destroyers arrived at about mid-day and began a heavy depth charge attack
on the U Boat which was U559.
Eventually the U Boat was forced to the surface and its crew abandoned ship.
Petard, which was nearest, then attempted to board it led by First Lieutenant Anthony
Fasson accompanied by Able Seaman Grazier and Tommy Brown a young lad from
Fasson made his way down to the Captain's cabin, found some secret looking documents
and passed them up to Tommy Brown in the conning tower. Fasson and Grazier
then went back down to try to recover some electronic equipment and
while they were down the U Boat suddenly started to sink. Tommy Brown
jumped clear but Fasson and Grazier were drowned.
The documents were taken back to Petard and eventually arrived in Bletchley
Park on 24th November 1942.
The documents were the German Weather Short Code Book and the Short Signal
Book and were vital in "getting back into Shark" after the blackout
caused by the introduction of the 4 wheel Enigma.
Fasson and Grazier were awarded posthumously George Crosses. Tommy
Brown received a George Medal.
This page was originally created by the late Tony Sale the
original curator of the Bletchley Park Museum