After relating his memories of his time as the first Radar Officer on the Prince of Wales and, along with the Hood, the encounter with the Bismarck, Rear Admiral Stuart Paddon continues with memories of the occasion when the Prince of Wales transported Winston Churchill to Placentia Harbour in Newfoundland, then still a British colony, for a secret meeting with the American President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Shooting Crap with Roosevelt's Son
I have a host of memories of this occasion. One of these was going over to HMCS Restigouche to buy some Canadian cigarettes, which I had been without for too long a period. I knew none of the Canadian officers, but I was well received in the Wardroom and asked to join in a crap game in progress on the deck. The person at my left turned out to be Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr., then a young ensign in the US Navy. He had been invited to this occasion, along with his brother who was in the Army, in order to meet Churchill.
I purchased ten thousand Buckingham cigarettes and this occupied two huge cartons. I was intending to call my ship to send a boat when FDR Jr. suggested that he take me back in the boat allocated to him. I was duly delivered to my ship along with my ten thousand cigarettes.
Old Man Not Amused
Churchill Saluted Merchant Convoy
We final left Newfoundland and proceeded back on our own as we could do thirty knots. I remember very well, at one point, we passed through a huge convoy of ships, which I would guess was doing about eight or ten knots, and at this time Churchill made his famous V sign to many of the merchant ships as we passed them. I have seen pictures of him so doing on many occasions in later years. He finally left us with his group at Iceland, at Reykjavík. We then returned to Scapa Flow. I presume he took passage in some other smaller ship back to England from Iceland.
Churchill aboard the Prince of Wales