Author Topic: H.M.S. Curacoa  (Read 9246 times)

Fraser Mitchell

  • Guest
H.M.S. Curacoa
« on: July 28, 2001, 07:49:00 PM »
We have just spent a lovely week exploring the area around Mallaig and visiting some of the Small Isles. We visited several cemeteries from Kilchoan in Eigg to Inverie in Knoydart, and kept stumbling across the last resting places of sailors lost with the sinking of the H.M.S.Curacoa can anyone shed some light on this tragic event?

Patrick Anderson

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2001, 07:45:00 PM »
last summer time I was on SKYE when we found I think 16 War graves at LOWER BREAKISH CEMETERY (SOME NAMED) to HMS Curacoa and later in that holiday found more of these graves at ARISAIG graveyard (within the RC church yard) and then one more at MORAR CEMETERY (THIS ONE NAMED). I wrote to the SCOTS MAGAZINE and got replied about the sinking ... the HMS Curacoa was escorting the Queen Mary carrying 10,000 US troops of the 29 Division for training in the Normandy landings ...OCTOBER 1942 and as the HMS Curacoa was doing its Zig Zag course the faster Q Mary ran straight into it cutting it in half, luckily some of the Queen Mary crew and US soldiers on board threw down life belts but only a few surviviors were picked up later when rescue ships arrived. I recently found more 5 war graves from that ship at OBAN cemetery on the road to Ft William, only 2 of them named. That cemetery has many RAF and Merchant Navy and RN last war casualties. Info found on the HMS CURACOA can be found in the WAR AND PEACE EXHIBITION North PIER, OBAN (curator Bill Grant). There is a book on the sinking written by the only officer survivor Patrick Holmes and a former naval officer David A Thomas called QUEEN MARY AND THE CRUISER 1997 by Lee Cooper, Barnsley. The ship's Captain was the only other officer survivor .

Willie Moir

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2002, 04:36:00 PM »
I stumbled across this site by accident while doing some research on HMS CURACOA. My grandfather was killed on her during this "accident". I would love to hear from anyone who can provide any more info on survivors or graves.

Bob Woodward

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2002, 06:16:00 PM »
My uncle was lost on the Curacoa. I only yesterday read about the graves in the Skye area in the Feb edition of Family Tree Magazine. I have ordered a book from the library "Queen Mary and the Cruiser" by David Thomas and Patrick Holmes which deals with the tragedy. I also have two long articles from the Sunday Express in about 1967. If you do not get the information you are seeking perhaps I could help.

Patrick Anderson

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2002, 07:47:00 PM »
Readers may have read my write-up in THE FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE for FEBRUARY 2002 in TOM WOODS pages and some may have seen my LETTER in the PRESS & JOURNAL (Aberdeen and areas ) on 1 February 2002 about the sinking of the HMS Curacoa. During December 2001 and January 2002 I had a short story in the CRAIGIE SECTION of the DUNDEE COURIER about the sinking and a month later in January 2002 a gentleman from Rattray near Blairgowrie wrote in saying that he was a wee boy on Rum when his father helped to bury bodies that came ashore on the island from the ship and these bodies were re buried in war graves in 1947. I have also found out that one of these bodies was taken home to STORNOWAY, Lewis for re burial. Readers may like to know about a book called SCOTTISH DISASTERS by DONALD M FRASER (1996) and a large chapter covers the sinking with photos too. (publishers are MERCAT PRESS, 53 SOUTH BRIDGE, Edinburgh. The missing sailors who have no known grave are listed on the ROYAL NAVY Monument to the MISSING for WW1 and WW2 at CHATHAM, KENT "we will remember them"

Patrick Anderson

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2002, 08:06:00 PM »
re the sinking of the HMS Curacoa on 2 Oct 1942 when it was run down by Troopship Queen Mary I have recently found another named WAR GRAVE from the cruiser at GLENELG CEMETERY Argyllshire ( Chief Stoker Albert Wall from Dover). One named casualty from the cruiser must have been taken home to BANFFSHIRE (joiner George Hepburn) buried Gamrie New parish churchyard, Banff. The cemetery at Oban has many WW2 war graves RN, MN, RAF and unknown sailors too including some from the HMS CURACOA ( 2 named).

Shirley Camfield

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2002, 09:46:00 PM »
338 men were killed on 2nd October 1942 at 2.12 pm when the Curacoa was sliced in half by the Queen Mary, which didn't even stop for survivors. Most of the men on board Queen Mary were not even aware of the collision. They just felt a bump!!! My grandfather was one of those 338 men leaving at home his wife and 3 daughters (age 6, 3 and 3 months). The incident was kept quiet until well after the war because it was such a tragic error, all because the two captains didn't synchronise watches (amongst other reasons for the incident that were concluded at the very lengthy court case afterwards).

Christopher Arundell

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2002, 04:00:00 PM »
Many thanks to all who have made known via this, and other, Internet sites more facts concerning the events surrounding HMS Curacoa. (Particular thanks to Patrick Anderson). My interest is that my uncle P.O.George (Harry) Saywell was lost in the incident. He was the eldest (and only) brother of four sisters, one of these being my mother, Joan Agnes Arundell (nee Saywell). It is 60 years now since the incident and today, with my mother and other members of the family, I attended a service in Hull dedicated to my Uncle Harry and his shipmates (many were from the Hull area - we WILL remember them!). Thanks also to all in Scotland who apparently tend the graves in their various locations; perhaps one of those unmarked graves is that of my uncle.

George D. Salaita

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2003, 03:37:47 AM »
I have read that the Q. Mary carried anywhere from 25,000 to 10,000 soldiers. Any real figures?

Joan Pearman

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2003, 10:50:27 AM »
I have only just found this site - as starting to research my father's family, my uncle was a survivor on HMS Curacoa - so I sympathise with all of you who lost your relatives. Until now we still thought the ship had been torpedoed - so I am glad to have found out the actual truth - there is not much more I can say except again to sympathise will all of you.

Jacques Dupuet

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2003, 05:54:56 PM »
I read the tragic story of the collision in 1965 or 1966 during a call in Hong Kong in a local newspaper (Souh China morning post ?). It was certainly written by a mariner with many details, bearings , curse of the ships, from hours until the last minutes before the collision. Officiers on the Queen sought the cruiser would manoeuver. On HMS Curacoa, they sought that normal rules were still in force...I regret but I lost the article. With my sincere sympathy to those who lost a family member. I have been in Mallaig (a place we all love in the family) but I was not aware of the HMS Curacoa crew members graves.

Hilary Bidmead

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2003, 09:37:00 AM »
Do you know the names of any survivors of HMS Curacao? My Mother's cousin was kiled in the accident. Thank you

Valerie Pearce

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2003, 01:27:04 AM »
My grandfather was also killed in this incident his surname was Tadman he had two daughters and two sons

Malcolm Macdonald

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2003, 05:15:57 PM »
Yes AB Donald Maciver RN(HO)(C/JX 259465) of 2 Newvalley, Isle of Lewis was a lookout on the Air Defence Platform when the ship was sunk. He was washed up on Rhum and in 1947 was re-interred at Sandwick (Old) Cametery outside Stornoway. A full list of casualties is given in the book. There is an HMS Curacoa Association which had photographs of most, if not all, the graves.

Roy Fraser

  • Guest
Re: H.M.S. Curacoa
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2003, 11:28:52 PM »
My Grandfather francis robert fraser was on this ship when she was sunk. She was a aa cruiser & was sunk due to a collision with HMS Queen Mary on the 2nd of October 1942.