Alicia Sotherland

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"The U Boat submerged when she sighted us and then it was my job to detect her. After I had done so, we went into action and the wreckage, clothing, air bubbles and oil patches which appeared soon afterwards told their own story."

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Vans Pink Shoes

The Germans had their revenge, however, just a few weeks later when another U Boat shot nine rounds into the trawler one Sunday afternoon before diving to safety.

At 15, however, he opted for a career at sea, signing up for a 12 year stretch in the Royal Navy as a boy seaman.

Alfie was one of two HMT Visenda seamen to receive a Distinguished Service Medal (DSM) for showing 'courage and skill' during the destruction of U551.

´╗┐Sunderland sailor hailed as national hero

SIDEBAR: The Northern Patrol

"It took a bit of work and several trips to the Skechers Ladies Shoes Sale

Alex said: "A friend of my dad asked, after he had died, what he had won the DSM for and none of us knew, so we decided to try and find out.

Alfie's initial training was carried out at HMS St Vincent, a shore based naval centre near Portsmouth, where Vans Pink Shoes he learned the basics of seamanship.

harbour defence motor launch in South Africa and the convoy escort ship HMS Verbena followed.

The submarine U Boat number 551 had been in service for less than a year. It was sunk by three depth charge attacks by Visenda. None of the 45 Mbt Men

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The ship saw active and highly dangerous service off the shores of Norway and Dunkirk before he was transferred to the trawler HMT Visenda in 1941.

But he was eventually discharged from the Royal Navy in the summer of 1946 however, after being found unfit for further service possibly due to a stomach ulcer.

His son, Alex, said: "Dad never talked about the war or the medal he got for what happened. I can remember playing with it as a bairn, but it is long gone now."

His lieutenant was awarded a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order for the action, while a sub lieutenant received a Distinguished Service Cross.

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The crew of the Visenda were tasked with 'Northern Patrol' keeping the mid Atlantic waters safe for Merchant Navy vessels a risky yet vital job.

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Alfie secured work with the Gas Board in Hendon after being forced to give up the sea, marrying his sweetheart Peggy who had served as a WAAF during the war.

And it was on March 23, 1941, that Alfie secured his place in history after tracking down an enemy submarine near Iceland, just before it destroyed a British ship.

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But Wearside sailor Alfred Hutchinson known as Alfie to his friends kept his cool, pin pointing the exact location of the sub as it disappeared beneath the waves.

The medal citation, published in The London Gazette in July 1941, read: "The King has been graciously pleased to approve the awards for courage and skill in a successful attack on an enemy submarine."

He was later to recall in The Echo: "We sighted a submarine about to attack one of our merchant ships. We tried to warn the merchantman, but she must have seen the danger herself, because she continued at full speed.

Stints on the destroyer HMS Inconstant, as well as a Vans Shoes Women

And he was then able to put his training into practice on HMS Leander, a cruiser class ship on which he served as a boy seaman from April 1935 until January 1937.

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IT was 'all hands on deck' when the crew of a British trawler spotted a German U Boat emerge from the stormy seas at the height of World War Two.

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Vans Pink Shoes

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Alfie went on to serve on HMS Pyramus, where he was involved in anti submarine duties, before being stationed in South Africa on HMS Quadrant in 1943.

THE Northern Patrol was a special force of ships steaming between the Faro islands and Iceland to prevent German raiders attacking British convoys in the Atlantic.

crew survived.

library, but eventually we found an old Echo with the story in. It made us all very proud of him."

When war broke out in 1939, Alfie now an Able Seaman specialised as a submarine detector, joining the crew of a destroyer at first.

The shells thudded into Visenda, with shrapnel filling the gallery and peppering the newly baked bread. The captain was killed by flying glass from a shattered window.

Alfie, the son of a brewery drayman, was born in Cairo Street in 1918 and worked as an errand boy after leaving Garden Street School.

He died in August 1992, just two days before his 74th birthday.

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