The History of Leith

December 22, 2010

A Goodwill Ship

The Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes hung side by side in the
wardroom of H.M.S. “Polyanthus” when, early in 1942 she went to
Galveston, Texas, for a refit. Never did a crew of the Royal Navy
receive a warmer welcome or enjoy more generous hospitality. During
their eight weeks’ stay some of the crew became engaged to Texas
girls. Two of the crew, with only ij/- between them after the first
fortnight, ” thumbed “- their way all over New Orleans, and fourteen
days later were driven back to the ship in a luxurious car by their final
hosts, still with the i$/- in their pockets. Such was the warmth of
American hospitality.
” Polyanthus,” like her sisters, did valiant work to and fro across
the Atlantic before she was eventually lost by enemy action on ist
October 1943.

The Commanding Officer of H.M.S. ” Polyanthus,” during her visit to Texas, was Lieut.-Commander R. S. Holland, R.N.R., who was
succeeded by Lieut. J. G. Aitken, R.N.R., who was in command when
the ship was sunk.

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