10 May 2012

Men of Action: Remembering a Claude Holloway, A War Veteran and True Hero

Claude Holloway 
14 May 1919 - 25 March 2012

We are remembering Claude Holloway, a Second World War veteran and hero, who died last month.

This week marks the end of the final battles of the Second World War in Europe, a time to remember those who gave so much.

Claude was a renowned motor torpedo boat (MTB) Commander, and won a Distinguished Service Cross for his part in the Caorle Point action of April 1945.

Bit it was a Bari Harbour, when Claude showed pure heroism when he rescued dozens of men, almost loosing his life.

On December 2nd 1943, Luftwaffe attacked Bari Harbour while Claude's motor torpedo boat was moored there. In the attack, 17 ships were sunk. It is said that the entire harbour was ablaze and chaos loomed.

At the time of the attack, Claude was ashore, but chose to take his boat to the water, to save the survivors. A witness remembered:

'The MTB skipper... leapt with half his crew into the blazing sea to rescue a dozen Norwegian seamen.'

A Second World War Motor Torpedo Boat
The chaos at Bari Harbour which Claude found himself in the middle of
Claude did not escape unharmed. During the rescue, he fell into the water, which by was saturated with oil and dangerous chemicals. But Claude continued on and worked for hours to help save his comrades.

A remarkable display of heroism.

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