On 28 December
1943, Lieutenant Rooper was awarded the
Distinguished Service Cross for: "For
outstanding bravery, enterprise and skill in
successful attacks on enemy shipping in
enemy coastal waters, while serving in Light
In the night
of 16 March 1944 (a German source states the
night of 14/15 March 1944) MTB 417, as part
of a larger force, attacks a convoy off the
French coast. (English sources state the
location as between Calais and Boulogne.
German sources off the coast of Gravelines.)
The convoy of trawlers is escorted by the
ships of the German 36th M-Flotilla under
command of Kapitan Grosse. The English force
torpedo and sink the M3610 (probably a
minesweeper). Later MTB 353 sinks the German
minesweeper M10 off the coast of Dunkirk.
MTB 417 is sunk by German surface ship.
Cape Griz Nez, the English force run into
the German 18th Vp-Flotilla under
command of Kapitan Boit and disengage.
The body of
Lieutenant Ralph Rooper washed ashore on the
Dutch coast and is buried at Bergen Military
Cemetery. Of his crew,
Able Seaman Burring
is buried at Castricum Protestant
Cemetery. Lead Telegraphist
Eric Woolis is also buried in Bergen Military Cemetery. Sub-Lieutenant Henry
Berkeley is recovered off the Belgian coast
and buried at Coxyde Military Cemetery.
of the MTB 417, Sub-Lieutenant Thomas Hughes,
Stoker 2nd Class Albert Fearn are commemorated at the Chatham Naval
Able Seaman Robert W. Cocker, Able Seaman
Walter Hallsworth and Ordinary Seaman James
Goostree are comemmorated at the Portsmouth
Ralph Rooper was 25 and is buried at Plot 2.
Row A. Grave 2.