10/17/2017 - 21:47
My late father Douglas , joined the San Calisto on the 30.11.1939 as a 17 year old
O/Seaman . Briefly the story goes that for some unknown reason on the fateful day of the sinking , my father could not sleep and got up early. He then went down the alleyway to a small mess room to make a mug of tea , he was in the mess when the ship struck the mine. From the resulting explosion the hot water boiler spilled over and he was quite badly scalded . He remembered his training and ran back to his cabin to don his lifejacket. When he got there he found a huge steel beam from the bowels of the ship had forced it,s way up through the deck taking his bunk and the one above, skewering them to the deckhead. That was one lucky early morning wake up. He eventually made the lifeboat and was rescued by the Margate RNLI boat.There is a Pathe news reel of the survivors coming ashore my dad is the one wrapped in a towel. He later went on to serve in the Royal Navy for the rest of the war his nickname was Happy. Think it should have been Lucky. He died aged 83 back in 2005 , he left myself and 5 other brothers and sisters.