MISSING ... and FOUND!

Article excerpt

Byline: MONICA PORTER

THE DAILY MAIL offers readers a unique opportunity to re-establish contact with long-lost relatives and friends. Each week, MONICA PORTER features the story of someone trying to find a missing loved-one, as well as a tale of people reunited.This column is produced in conjunction with the voluntary tracing service, Searching For A Memory, run by Gill and John Whitley.

ELEANOR BOSWORTHICK, president of the HMS Unicorn Association, hopes to find more of the sailors who served on the vessel between 1942 and 1956, the year it was scrapped.

'The Unicorn was the tallest ship built for the Royal Navy,' says Eleanor.

'It was a prototype aircraft carrier with two hangars to repair damaged planes from other carriers.

'For the first year she was operational, then from December 1943 to January 1946 she fulfilled the role for which she was built.

'After this she was part of the Reserve Fleet at Devonport.

Stokers were trained on her, then she became the HQ of the Senior Officer Reserve Fleet. She sailed to Japan in 1949, with a crew mainly of National Servicemen.

Trouble started in Korea soon afterwards, so she was ordered to stay in Eastern waters.

'By mid-1954 she was back in the reserve fleet waiting for the Admiralty to decide on her fate.

After two years it was decided the cost of keeping her running would be too high, so sadly it was the end of the line.

'Her battle honours were for Salerno, Okinawa and Korea - the most for any HMS Unicorn since 1620. She is remembered as a very happy ship by all who sailed on her.

'Our association has 320 members, some as far away as Australia and Canada.

We would be thrilled to find more of our shipmates. …