Gateway School 1933-37. Son of George and Lillian Williams.
The British steam merchant vessel Manistee of Elders and Fyffes Ltd. was
requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1940, and became the armed Ocean Boarding Vessel HMS Manistee (F104), armed with two 6in, one 12pdr and one AA guns.
Midshipman Williams was on board HMS Manistee escorting Convoy OB-288 from Liverpool to North America, when the ship was torpedoed by the German submarine U-107 and sank south of Iceland. None of the crew of 141 survived.
Midshipman Williams is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 60, Column 2.
The Manistee had a turbulent war. She had been torpedoed on 7th July 1940 by U-99 and returned fire and the engagement was broken off.
On 23rd February 1941 at 22.42 hours, U-107 fired
a spread of two torpedoes and hit the engine room.
She was also attacked by the Italian submarine
Michele Bianchi which fired a torpedo at 22.56 hours and hit her astern. At 22.58 U-107 fired two more torpedoes both of which missed. HMS Manistee proceeded to zig-zag chased by U107 which fired two more torpedoes at 07.58 on 24th February . One hit the Manisteein the stern and she sank at 58°55N/20°50W.
She and her gallant Commander and crew had put up a resolute fight.
U-107 also met her end on 16th August 1944 sunk by depth charges dropped by a Short Sunderland in The Bay of Biscay.