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HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (b. 1921)

Prince Philip's Midshipman's log 1940-41

RCIN 250119

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In 1941 Prince Philip joined the battleship HMS Valiant, which took part in the Battle of Matapan off the coast of Greece. He was Mentioned in Despatches for his role operating the searchlight during the Night Action. In his log book he described his role in the battle on 28 March 1941:                                                                                                 ‘My orders were that if any ship illuminated a target I was to switch on and illuminate it for the rest of the fleet, so that when this ship was lit up by a rather dim light from what I thought was the flagship I switched on our midship light which picked out the enemy cruiser and lit her up as if it were broad daylight. She was seen complete in the light for only a few seconds as the flagship had already opened fire…’