-H.M.S. Hood Crew Information-
H.M.S. Crew List

It is estimated that as many as 18,000 men served aboard the 'Mighty Hood' during the operational portion of her 21 year career. Unfortunately, there is no surviving official single listing of ALL men who served in her. Here you will find our attempt at creating such a listing. We are using the few, fragmentary crew lists known to exist, Navy Lists, various official reports, public records, and most importantly of all, inputs from the families of former crew.

Chainbar divider

Robert McDonald

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Date of birth: 22nd April 1916
Place of birth: Dundee, Scotland
Previous occupation: Scholar
Service: Royal Navy
Rank: Stoker 1st Class
Service Number: KX88057
Joined Hood: 8th September 1936
Left Hood: 2nd May 1940

Biographical Information: Robert McDonald, known as Bert, was a native of Dundee, one of a family of five brothers and a sister. He joined the RN at an early age, owing to the scarcity of work in his home city, as did his brother Jim.

Robert spent nearly four years in Hood, from 1936, being drafted off to Victory Barracks in May 1940. He was then drafted to the Free French submarine chaser number 6. She was lost in action against the German torpedo boat Greif in the English Channel on 12 October 1940. Nearly half her ship's company lost their lives in that sinking, but Robert was rescued and taken into captivity by Greif, and spent five years, until 1945, as a prisoner of war of the Germans. As such, Robert was moved to a PoW camp in Poland. After the war (his family members recall) like most men who had had bad experiences during wartime, he rarely spoke about those times. On those rare occasions when he did reminisce, he did not have a bad word about the way he had been treated: he understood that his captors had only been doing their duty. He did mention that he had been on the long walk from Poland when the Russians were 'freeing' Eastern Europe. All he said was that it had not been easy and some of his experiences had not been pleasant.

Postwar, Robert served, as an Acting Stoker Petty Officer, in the new aircraft carrier HMS Indefatigable.

On leaving RN service in 1948, he returned home to Dundee, where he had married Mary Morrison in 1946. The couple had a family of two boys and a girl. Robert worked for many years in the NCR office machine factory in Dundee as a milling machine operator/ leading hand. Following redundancy from NCR in 1978 he had a job locally until his retirement in 1981.

Robert died at the age of 91 in 2007.

Additional Photos

Robert McDonald on the fo'cs'le of HMS Hood.

No known memorials

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
'Register of Deaths of Naval Ratings' (data extracted by Director of Naval Personnel (Disclosure Cell), Navy Command HQ, 2009)
Information and photographs from Mr Mark McDonald, Robert's son, 2017 and 2022.