Death of a Merchant Seaman: Leonard Gould Shannon

eagle RN

Good day to you fine people. Anyone up for a detective mission? If you belong to the Coastal Forces Veterans site, you will have seen the full thread. If you wish to see it, you can find it at

The thread starts:

Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:27 am

I am looking for more details on the sinking of Pilot Vessel No.4. This vessel was in the service of the Admiralty when it was sunk by enemy action. I am taking my information from the Record of Death of a Merchant Seaman: Leonard Gould Shannon.
On the record are some hand written notes which cloud the issue of further investigation on my part and if possible, I would ask for the help of your Veterans to assist me to get to the bottom of this particular mystery.
The vessel was Dutch Registered, in the service of RN, with the only other linking information being a number : RG7572.

I have tried several other organisations including the Merchant Navy in Liverpool. It seems that this was a RN boat. The RN state that it is categorically a Merchant craft.

My agenda is that a 79 year old ex soldier would like to know a little more about his uncle. Can you or your members help? I do have a copy of the Record of Death with the notes if it would be of assistance to the search.

Many thanks in anticipation.

Fourteen months into the research and I continue to get half a story but never to to the root of the issue. RN say the vessel was a an MN asset and MN state it was commandered by RN and therefore an RN asset. This vessel was involved in a well documented engagement with the German destroyers Lody, Galster and Beitzen . The action is better known for what happened next. HMS Javelin, Jupiter, Kashmir, Jackal and Jersey intercepted the destroyers and a close engagement followed.

My focus has shifted as to the comments in RED on the sailors death certificate (attached). I cannot get a cypher for the codes on the certificate and cannot find a reason why he has been denied a place on the ROH.

Any contribuions will be gratefully accepted.



War Hero
Might RG be a port registration code for somewhere in The Netherlands? I would have thought it must be a major port, as four Pilot Boats is not an insignificant number.

You might get a clue from contacting the Dutch Shipping Inspectorate

eagle RN

My thanks to Branch-Hopper and Salty Dog for their contributions. Liverpool Museum is on the list. The Dutch Maritime were less than interested as this vessel was "given over" to the British in 1940 to become an RN asset. I can find 12 ( nos. 1-12) Pilot vessels all of a similar class. Photo attached. Further information from a Dutch site : Stroomloodsvartuig 4 -flag unknown -World War II: The pilot boat was shelled and sunk in the English Channel by Z10 Hans Lody, Z20 Karl Galster and Z4 Richard Beitzen (all Kriegsmarine).

Back to the ROH and why the name should not be included, surely, if this was "Enem Action" and LGS was a serving seaman (RNVR is my belief) then he should be included in the ROH. Within the tread on the
another lady, in search of another member of the crew has a similar death certificate with the same red script.

A detective riddle. so far the RN, MN and the Dutch Maritime Services cannot or will not fill in the blanks.

Many thanks for taking the time to read through this

eagle RN


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