23 Facts About Alan Villiers


Alan Villiers wrote 44 books, and served as the Chairman and President of the Society for Nautical Research, a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum, and Governor of the Cutty Sark Preservation Society.


Alan Villiers was awarded the British Distinguished Service Cross as a Commander in the Royal Naval Reserve during the Second World War.


Alan John Villiers was the second son of Australian poet and union leader Leon Joseph Villiers.


The young Alan Villiers grew up on the docks watching the merchant ships come in and out of the Port of Melbourne.


Alan Villiers sought employment as a journalist at the Hobart Mercury newspaper in Tasmania while he recovered from his wounds.


Soon Alan Villiers was back at sea when the great explorer and whaler Carl Anton Larsen and his whaling factory ship, the Sir James Clark Ross came to port with five whale chasers in tow in late 1923.


Alan Villiers was headed for the southern Ross Sea, the last whale stronghold left.

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Alan Villiers wrote By Way of Cape Horn after his experiences crewing the full-rigged Grace Harwar from Australia to Ireland in 1929.


Alan Villiers had a desire to document the great sailing ships before it was too late, and Grace Harwar was one of the last working full-riggers.


The voyage took 138 days and was filmed as The Cape Horn Road; Alan Villiers took photographs, serving as a record of that period in full-rigged working ships.


Alan Villiers reunited with Ruben de Cloux in 1931, becoming a partner with him in the four-masted barque Parma.


Alan Villiers used the environment of the sea to build character and discipline in his young crew and, with his contemporaries Irving and Exy Johnson, he helped form the modern concept of sail training.


Alan Villiers published two books of his adventures, Cruise of the "Conrad" and Stormalong.


In 1938, Alan Villiers embarked as a passenger on an Arab dhow for a round trip from Oman to the Rufiji Delta, and depicted the way of life of Arab sailors and their navigation techniques in a book called Sons of Sindbad, illustrated with his own photographs.


Alan Villiers was assigned to a convoy of 24 LCI's, or Landing craft, Infantry.


Alan Villiers commanded "flights" of LCIs on D-Day in the Battle of Normandy, the Invasion of Sicily, and the Burma Campaign in the Far East.


Alan Villiers was the Captain of the Mayflower II in her 1957 maiden voyage across the Atlantic, 337 years after the original Mayflower, and beating her predecessor's time of 67 days by 13 days.


Alan Villiers advised on the 1962 MGM movie Mutiny on the Bounty.


Alan Villiers was a regular contributor to the National Geographic Magazine throughout the 1950s and 1960s.


Alan Villiers produced a travel lecture film, Last of the Great Sea Dogs, which ran at the Dorothy Chandler pavilion in 1976.


In 1951, the Portuguese Ambassador to the United States, Pedro Teotonio Pereira, a sailing enthusiast and later a friend of Alan Villiers, invited him to sail on the schooner Argus, a cod fishing four-masted schooner, and to record the last commercial activity ever to make use of sails in ocean-crossings.


Alan Villiers wrote The Quest Of The Schooner Argus: A voyage to the Grand Banks and Greenland on a modern four masted fishing schooner.


In 1978, Alan Villiers weighed in that Francis Drake landed at New Albion at Point Reyes in Marin County, California.