Regiment : H.M.S. Cornwall Royal Navy
Service number : CKX89818
Conflict : WW2
Date of death : 5th April 1942 aged 23
Buried : Commemorated on Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent, England, Panel 61, Column 2.
Relatives : Son of Michael and Frances Durkin, of Pershore, Worcestershire
Memorial : Pershore Abbey
Additional information on the memorial: Royal Navy
Appears on the Royal Navy casualties list for Worcestershire.
HMS Cornwall was a heavy cruiser. In late March 1942 reports were received of an impending attack on Ceylon by the Japanese resulting in HMS Cornwall and her sister ship HMS Dorsetshire being sent to Colombo. On the 4th April the Japanese carrier fleet was sighted and the two ships left Colombo. At midday on the 5th April, the two cruisers were sighted in the Bay of Bengal by a Japanese spotter plane from the Japanese cruiser Tone. The two vessels came under heavy and sustained attack by dive bombers from the carriers Akagi, Soryu and Hiryu. Within minutes HMS Cornwall was disabled with damage to her boiler and engine rooms and with little defence she sank in 12 minutes with the loss of 190 men either killed or missing presumed killed. HMS Dorsetshire sank 6 minutes later. Survivors from both ships were rescued by HMS Enterprise, HMS Paladin and HMS Panther on the following day.
Arthur Michael Durkin has no known grave, the photograph available shows his name on Chatham Naval Memorial.