Sidney Binderman

Aircraftman 2nd Class
Service number 1063017
Died 16 Jan 1942
Commemorated on Runnymede Memorial
Age 26

Sidney was born on 27 March 1915 in Salford, Manchester to Russian born parents Isaac and Minnie nee Manley. In 1939 Sidney was living at 155 Bellott Street, Manchester with his parents and three of his five siblings. Sidney and his father worked as rainproof machinists. In October 1940 Sidney married Gertrude Silvert at South Broughton Synagogue in Manchester just before he enlisted.

Sidney was travelling as a RAF passenger on the ship Llangibby Castle. At 11.15 hours on 16 Jan 1942, the ship was torpedoed by U-boat U-402 north of the Azores. One torpedo hit the stern and blew away the after gun and the rudder, but the propellers remained intact. Sidney was one of the twenty-six personnel aboard as passengers that were killed by the explosion. The ship limped to Horta in the Azores at 9 knots, fighting off attacks by German Fw200 aircraft on the way. The neutral Portugal allowed only 14 days for repairs and on 2 February, the ship had to leave with the troops still on board and set course to Gibraltar, assisted by an Admiralty tug and escorted by three British destroyers. On 3 February, the small convoy was followed by several U-boats, but none managed to hit the ship, while the HMS Westcott (D 47) sank U-581 (Pfeifer). On 8 February, the troopship arrived at Gibraltar in tow of the tug and disembarked the troops. On 6 April, the Llangibby Castle left Gibraltar under escort after temporary repairs, but still without rudder, for the UK, arriving on 13 April. Altogether she sailed 3400 miles without a rudder and with a badly damaged stern, only using her engines for steering, a feat for which the captain Master Bayer was awarded the OBE.

1939 Register