2nd Engineer Littledale MBE
Heroes of RFA Broomdale
Chief Engineer Alexander Ballantyne OBE RFA
Second Engineer William John Littledale MBE RFA
T/Second Engineer William Herbert Victor Davies MBE RFA
The Norwegian Campaign was the name used by the Allies – United Kingdom and France – for their first direct land confrontation with the military forces of Nazi Germany in World War II. The conflict occurred in Norway between 9 April and 10 June 1940.
Between 16 and 20 May 1940 RFA Broomdale, which was supporting Royal Naval units in the Campaign off Norway, was repeatedly attacked by German dive bombers which hit the ship and disabled the ship’s machinery. The ship was sinking and in consequence was abandoned by all the crew with the exception of the three engineers. They made good the defects despite continued air attacks, pumped out the water and the ship was able to steam to Harstad. There she had to remain some days for further repairs to machinery and await a home going convoy. During this period further attacks were made on her.
It was entirely due to the courage and ability of the three engineers that the ship ever left Norwgian waters.
The King appointed Mr Ballantyne to be an Additional Officer of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and Mr Littledale and Mr Davis to be additional Members of the Civil Division of the same Order on 23 August 1940.
In December 1940 the Lloyd’s War Medal for Bravery at Sea was created and the first awards were announced in March 1941. Mr Ballantyne, Mr Littledale and Mr Davis were each awarded this medal for their exceptional courage on the RFA Broomdale.
In all 541 Lloyd’s War Medals for Bravery at Sea were awarded between March 1941 and October 1948