Crew list of Ships hit by U-boats

William Brears

RAF. British

Born  22 Sep 1918Ecclesall Bierlow, Yorkshire
Died  26 Jan 1986(67)Sheffield, Yorkshire

Roster information listed for William Brears

ShipTypeRank / roleAttacked onBoat
Duchess of AthollSteam passenger shipPassenger10 Oct 1942U-178 (1)

Personal information

Son of William and Jane Ellen Brears; husband of Elsie Brears, of Sheffield. He was returning from South Africa as passenger aboard Duchess of Atholl following RAF crew training at No. 42 Air School, Port Elizabeth. He later recounted that everyone was tearing off stripes when the U-boat surfaced so that the Germans could not identify them as RAF personnel.

Photo courtesy of Sylvia Langan


  1. Personal communication

Crew list for Ships hit by U-boats