We were busy with a small German convoy off St. Malo,
France; There were two armed escorts and five merchantmen. We were also
taking fire from shore. St. Malo was almost as close and the scene was
well lit up. At the time, I was captain of 'B' gun and we could see life-boats
being lowered from the ships we were firing at. Captain Rayner ordered
us to let them get their boats in the water. For some reason, they pulled
toward our ship. We didn't see this ourselves but we did hear the pom-pom
open fire and were also on the alert for E-boats.
After the action, we found out the pom-pom had
opened fire on one of the life-boats. According to the gunner, his excuse
was that he thought it was an E-boat. Capt. Rayner told him no one was
in the same doubt and I heard that he requestd a "draft-off" since he didn't
want the like of him in his crew. As we found out quickly, the gunner had
just lost his brother in the Air Force.