Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: HMS Curacoa run down by Troopship Queen Mary on 2

  1. #1

    HMS Curacoa run down by Troopship Queen Mary on 2

    As you know my main interest is Scottish Regiments but coming from Arbroath there is a sea feeling in my bones too !

    My wife Di and I were recently on holiday on Skye and we mentioned to the B & B owner that we had been to the Broadford War memorial so he told us he knew a lad who was in the Black Watch but he's listed on the WW2 memorial with the Cameron Highlanders. (Listed on the war memorial under Camerons but War Graves commission have him recorded as Pte 2933728 Charles MacKinnon, 5th Black Watch, age 26 years , son of Murdo & Marion MacKinnon of Broadford isle of Skye grave Sfax Tunisia - I realised later that Pte MacKinnon had transferred to the Black Watch as his service number is that of a Cameron Highlander !) . The B & B owner told us about several war graves when the Troop ship Queen Mary was transporting 10,000 U S Troops to the Clyde to train for D Day . We visited Ashaig Cemetery at Lower Breakish and found not a few but 16 from the Cruiser of which 3 were unknown from that vessel. A later holiday we found more from the Cruiser at Portree , Oban, Morar, Roshven burial ground , Arisaig and weve heard of others at Knoydart and on Eigg and Muck ... Recently a friend of ours whose father was in the water for 2 hours and rescued by a fishing boat knows a friend who now lives in Perth Australia so I offered to place a poppy cross for her Dad at one of the unknown from the cruiser .

    As you see Di has again made a Poppy Cross tag for this lady whose Dad was lost in the sinking .. Seems that the Queen Mary was carrying 10,000 US Soldiers ( 15,000 during the summer months on the ship decks as well) and the Captain of that Troopship was given orders not to stop for any reason so when the old Great War built HMS Curacoa was doing its Zig Zag No 8 Course off Northern Ireland the Queen Mary ran straight through her and she sank within minutes leaving a large hole in its bows.

    The crew and US soldiers on board threw lifebelts etc overboard in the hope they would help as it was several hours before the rescue started .The HMS Curacoa had earlier been in action at Narvik and P O Roderick MacLennan from Tong , Isle of Lewis was a casualty from that action. Out of the Crew to survive there was the Captain, one officer ( Air Defence Officer), and a few men out of a crew of 25 Officers and 313 Ratings . I found recently that the Dundee Roll of Honour for WW2 lists ; Telegraphist RN Roderick P. McHardy, C/JX 232064, HMS Curacoa from Dundee a casualty with no known grave and listed on the RN Memorial to the Missing at Chatham Kent.

    It would appear that the War time government put a block on the story of the sinking ( Friendly fire it would be called nowadays) and it was only when Cunard asked for compensation for the temp repairs to the bows of the Queen Mary at Gourock ( concrete filled ) and then repairs itself in Boston USA .

    The locals during the war buried the casualties in cemeteries and in 1948 the Commonwealth War Grave commission took them over and the next of kin were offered if they wished to exhume their family member to a home cemetery but some asked that they remain where they were buried initially it would appear . A father of one of the casualties came regularly from the Isle of Lewis to see his son at his grave on Rhum and as he got to know the locals he told them that his son nearly made it home to Lewis . It seems that his son's body was one that has been exhumed as there is one HMS Curacoa war grave at Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.

    We will remember them

    Hope this story is of some interest to folks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

    Re: HMS Curacoa run down by Troopship Queen Mary on 2

    What an interesting story and great pictures. May vist on my next trip to Scotland. Thanks
    Bob LITTLE
    God Bless "The Watch" Now And Forever

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Re: HMS Curacoa run down by Troopship Queen Mary on 2

    Excellant Pat, there must be cemetaries like these all over the country, that the people look after.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Re: HMS Curacoa run down by Troopship Queen Mary on 2

    Thankfully the Commonwealth war grave commission looks after them in the UK and they seem to be well maintained .

    Sad that the children in schools around the UK don't know about the war graves in their town /village cemeteries as it seems that in the Netherlands and France the adults and children tend the war graves in these countries of Both World wars as a THANKS to these brave Soldiers, Airmen , Sailors who gave their lives for Freedom


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Re: HMS Curacoa run down by Troopship Queen Mary on 2

    You will find out as I have just recently that the councils have sub contracted out the up keep of all the cemetries in scotland and these people do not take pride in what they are doing. Not like the lads who worked for the local councils.
    JTR Rhyl 1970 - 72
    BW 1972 - 95

Similar Threads

  1. Nurse Mary YOUNG , - Scottish heroine of WW2 :
    By patrick anderson in forum Military History - World Wide
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 2nd September 2013, 16:48


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts