SBS Holden-White, Harold Vere (Harry)

John Robertson

Administrator
Staff member
  • SURNAME
Holden-White
  • FORENAME
Harold Vere (Harry)
  • UNIT
No 2 SBS
  • RANK
A/Captain
  • NUMBER
162512
  • AWARD
Military Cross
  • PLACE
Oran,North Africa 1942 (Op.Reservist)
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
parent unit Royal Sussex Regiment
later CO A Group SBS
 

CITATION:

Military Cross : Oran Landings. Assault on port by H.M.S. WALNEY and H.M.S. HARTLAND - 8th November, 1942

Was in Command of the Special Boat Section Unit, which was detailed to carry out dangerous and delicate operations in conjunction with assault on the port of ORAN. He was in charge of the party operating from H.M.S. WALNEY in folbots and displayed courage and initiative of a high order in attacking with small torpedoes a French destroyer which was leaving the port, and it is believed that one hit on the vessel was obtained.

WEB LINKS:

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7348138 (MC)
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7395872 (MC)
https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7395848 (MC)
Last edited by a moderator:
Beautiful picture of my dear father. So proud of him. He was quintessentially English in the true noblest sense of the word and was prepared to put his life on the line to defend a certain idea of freedom which had nothing to do with jingoism or nationalism.
 

joepagnam

New Member
Harriet, I found out about your brave father (MC) from Saul David, author of the new book about the SBS, Silent Warriors. I highly recommend the book, and it has a full chapter on Oran. Like you, I know a lot about Oran, as my father Lt. JCC Pagnam, 2 SBS was part of the landing - and his CO would have been your father. I only found out about your father / name from an e-mail I received from Mr. David today. I have compiled a lot of information specifically about Oran over the years, and as confirmed by Mr. David, both your father and mine suffered tremendously following that fearful and tragic night. I cannot believe why Command ever approved the landing, given the firepower from ashore and Vichy French ships. And worst of all, the SBS torpedoes malfunctioned, And out fathers took the brunt, and from the citation, my father rescued several Americans, and your father absolutely deserving his MC. If you have any details of the circumstances of your father's MC, I would LOVE to hear about it, or any details in electronic format. Hopefully, you will receive this message, if not, I will try other means. You can contact me at joepagnam@comcast.net or by phone (540) 460-4014. I live in Virginia, USA, but originally from the UK (Isle of Wight). Best wishes, Joe Pagnam
 

BLANCHE

New Member
Beautiful picture of my dear father. So proud of him. He was quintessentially English in the true noblest sense of the word and was prepared to put his life on the line to defend a certain idea of freedom which had nothing to do with jingoism or nationalism.

Dear Harriet, I have been trying to find you for a few years now. I often visited your father when he was living in 'Huntley' and he gave me one of his paintings which, as I am a widow with no family, I would dearly love to return to you. Please do contact me on janden506@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you, Joy Nicholson
 
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