HMS Tynedale & R. G. Babb

Her Majesty’s Ship, the HMS Tynedale was sunk by a German Torpedo on 12 Dec 1943. This postcard is meant to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the loss. It has been signed by R. G. Babb along with 7 others.

The answer isn’t immediately obvious, but with a little help from one of our members I did some additional research and have discovered a crew list from the HMS Tynedale. It does NOT include any of the people who signed the card, or at least those whose names are legible.

Crewlist from HMS Tynedale (L 96) (British destroyer) – Ships hit by German U-boats during WWII –

The Lieutenant of the HMS Tynedale was James John Simon Yorke DSC, RN. About 15 months after the loss of the HMS Tynedale, he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander of the Destroyer, HMS Camperdown. He retired from the service in 1958. No picture of Lt. Yorke is currently available.

However, one of our members noted that the signature on the bottom left of the card appears that it could be that of the German U-boat commander Kapitänleutnant Gerd Kelbling. Following up on that lead, I found this biography:

Source: Kapitänleutnant Gerd Kelbling – German U-boat Commanders of WWII – The Men of the Kriegsmarine –

Seeing that Kelbling lived until 2005 I knew it was a possibility that his signature is what is on the card. I decided that if he did, this would be a newsworthy event, so I went to and did a cross referenced search for his name in Newcastle Upon Tyne, where the card originated. I was rewarded with this article.

CLIPPED FROM: The journal.
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England
13 Dec 1993, Mon • Page 11

So, it seems that this is indeed the signature of Gerd Kelbling, which answers all of my questions about this card, save for one.

Who is R. G. Babb?

Leave a Reply

Blog at