David Jack Coote
Known as David John Coote
1919/04/04 - Born Witherfield, Suffolk
Son of Harry and Nelly Coote
1941/09/09 - Tropical kit was issued and orders were to proceed to Liverpool.
Reno Del Pacifico
1941/10/30 - The 5th Suffolk Battalion together with the 18th Division HQ sailed in the Reno Del Pacifico from Liverpool in Convoy CT.5.
Arriving at Halifax 8th November the men were then moved across to the transport ship tied along side, the 27,000 ton Wakefield.
1941/11/10- The voyage continued with six American troopships, two cruisers, eight destroyers and the aircraft carrier Ranger, the Convoy William Sail 12X was under way, destination still unknown.
Above Photo supplied by the late Maurice Rooney
Vought SB 2U Vindicator Scout Bomber - USS Ranger which was flying an Anti Submarine patrol over the convoy.
Front Line Top to Bottom
USS West Point - USS Mount Vernon - USS Wakefield - USS Quincy (Heavy Cruiser)
Back Row Top To Bottom
USAT Leonard Wood - USS Vincennes (Heavy Cruiser) - USS Joseph T Dickman
(USS Orizaba Ap-24 also sailed with Convoy though not pictured in photo)
The convoy passed through the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and St Domingo, arriving at Trinidad on 17th November in glorious sunshine so the tropical kit came out, but unfortunately no shore-leave. Left after two days of taking on supplies.
1941/11/24 - The convoy crossed the equator, there was a crossing the line ceremony.
Crossing the Line Ceremony Certificate
After a month the convoy arrived at Cape Town, South Africa.
1941/12/08 - The Americans were in the war as the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbour and attacked Malaya and the rumours were that they were heading for the Far East and not the Middle East as first thought.
1941/12/13 - The convoy left Cape Town and sailed along the coast of East Africa past Madagascar and into the Indian Ocean heading for Bombay.
1941/12/27 - After 17,011 miles at sea Bombay was reached.
1942/01/17 - Embarked back onto the Wakefield. The convoy sailed the next day with a British escort, the H.M.S. Exeter and H.M.S. Glasgow with British and Australian destroyers. As Japan had entered the war, destination was the far East. The Prince of Wales and the Repulse had both been sunk by the Japanese off Malaya. Passing Colombo, (Ceylon), crossing the equator for the third time, the convoy passed through the Sundra Straits between Java and Samatra and then the Banka Straits. The convoy was then bombed by Jap Planes, there was no damage.
1942/01/29 - The Wakefield was the first of our convoy to reach the safety of Keppel Harbour, Singapore. Ships were ablaze in the harbour, clouds of smoke drifted across the sky and the smell of fumes was overpowering, this was not the best of greetings. The Japanese had taken most of Malaya in the last three weeks and were only thirty miles away from Singapore.
1942/02/15 - Singapore surrendered to the Japanese
WO 417/62 - Previously reported missing , now PoW
PoW No. II 694
Japanese Index Card - Side One
Japanese Index Card - Side Two
1942/08/17 - Japanese Index Card produced
1942/06/24 - Transported overland to Thailand in June Mainland Party
4th Train from Singapore to Thailand
Commander Major P D Weir, 118 Field Regiment, RA
PoW No. II 4647
1942/06/28 - Ban Pong, Thailand
1942/09/06 - Chungkai, Thailand
1943/01/14 to 1945/09/04 - Nakom Patton, Thailand
Commander Lt-Col. Sainter, RA
1945/09/07 - Liberated Thailand
WO 417/97 - Previously reported a PoW, now not a Prisoner of War
Name changed to adopt children from his wife’s first marriage using their surname of Simpkin.
Keith Andrews - Liberation Questionnaire
Convoy William Sail 12X
KEW:- WO 361/2172, WO 345/12, WO 361/1979, WO 361/1954, WO 361/2196, WO 361/2058, WO 361/2176,