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Herbert Patrick Westmacott


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Herbert Patrick AWMM
  • Surname
    Westmacott AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Percy AWMM
  • Service number
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    31 March 1921 AWMM ChristchurchCanterbury AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
    Submariner/Military AWMM
  • Enlistment
    1934 AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • One of only three New Zealanders to command a submarine during the Second World War (Laurence Edward 'Larry' Herrick, Connell Percy Thode, and Herbert Patrick 'Percy' Westmacott).

    'Commander ‘Percy’ Westmacott, DSO, DSC, born and bred in New Zealand, his service was all with the Royal Navy, and his decorations were all won in submarines, particularly in the specialist world of midget submarines.

    He joined the Royal Navy in 1934; 1941, Lieutenant; 1955, Commander.

    He qualified in submarines at the start of the war. He was First Lieutenant of Unshaken in 1942 when, one night as she surfaced in rough weather, she rolled so extremely that her captain and two lookouts were washed overboard and lost. Westmacott had to take charge and return to Gibraltar. Later, with a new CO, she carried out successful patrols, sinking six enemy vessels, and capturing the Italian S/ M Ciro Menotti, for which he was awarded the DSC. In 1944 he joined X-craft (midget S/Ms) and commanded X-24 on a mission to sink a floating dock inside Bergen harbour. The dock was sunk and X-24 returned safely.

    Westmacott was awarded the DSO. In 1945 he commanded the larger XE-5 in an operation to cut Japanese telegraph cables, which were cryptographically secure, to force them to use radio – the Allies having broken the radio codes. While under tow to the Site, the tow broke and XE-5 plunged well below her maximum designed depth, dragged down by the wire. Luckily the tow was slipped and she popped up like a cork. Westmacott decided to continue and XE-5 was three days underwater at the Site before retiring to be towed back. The cable was put out of action and Westmacott was awarded a a bar to his DSC.' Source: HMS Unshaken, Clyde Maritime. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
  • Date of death
    January 1995 Public - Stoney - Researcher - 21 July 2018 - January 1995
    Mark Felton, The Sea Devils, Icon Books Ltd
  • Age at death
    73 years Public - Stoney - Researcher - 21 July 2018 - January 1995
    Mark Felton, The Sea Devils, Icon Books Ltd
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
    HMS Unshaken, Clyde Maritime
    Further Reference
  • References
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
      p.396 AWMM
    • Waters, S.D. (1956). The Royal New Zealand Navy. Wellington, N.Z.: Department Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
    • Felton, Mark. The Sea Devils p333 Public - Stoney - Researcher - 21 July 2018 - per ref


Command item
Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
21 July 2018StoneyTuakau NZResearcher

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