MV Derrycunihy - 24th June 1944

Discussion in 'Recce' started by 43rdrecce, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. 43rdrecce

    43rdrecce Junior Member

    Remembering once more today on the 70th anniversary, the loss of the MV Derrycunihy at 0.735 hrs off Sword Beach, Normandy, 24th June 1944.

    Of the 600 men of 43rd Recce Regiment aboard, 189 died and 150 were injured. Twenty-five of the crew, including Royal Navy and Royal Artillery DEMS gunners and a Royal Observer Corps Seaborne Observer, also lost their lives.

    We will remember them.
     
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  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    :poppy: R.I.P all those who died as a result of the mine exploding. :poppy:

    There but for the grace of God my good friend Cyril, who was on the next ship, could have been one of those that we are Remembering.

    Tom
     
  4. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

  5. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    A truly tragic event, sadly oft forgotten.

    :poppy:
     
  6. 43rdrecce

    43rdrecce Junior Member

    Remembering on the 71st anniversary, the loss of the MV Derrycunihy at 0.735 hrs off Sword Beach, Normandy, 24th June 1944.

    Of the 600 men of 43rd Recce Regiment and others aboard, 189 died and 150 were injured. Twenty-five of the crew, including Merchant Navy, Royal Navy and Royal Artillery DEMS gunners, and a Royal Observer Corps Seaborne Observer, lost their lives.

    We will remember them.
     
  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Panel from Tower Hill Memorial attached

    regards
    Clive
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Legion Etrangère

    Legion Etrangère Active Member

    Lest We Forget.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Yes, We Will Remember Them.

    A good friend and Veteran of the 43rd Wessex witnessed the Explosion whilst on deck of the adjacent ship.

    He said that he will never Forget the experience.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  10. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    :poppy: Lest We Forget :poppy:

    Paul
     
  11. 43rdrecce

    43rdrecce Junior Member

    Remembering on the 72nd anniversary, the loss of the MV Derrycunihy at 0.735 hrs off Sword Beach, Normandy, 24th June 1944.

    Of the 600 men of 43rd Recce Regiment and others aboard, 189 died and 150 were injured. Twenty-five of the crew, including Merchant Navy, Royal Navy and Royal Artillery DEMS gunners, and a Royal Observer Corps Seaborne Observer, lost their lives. Their sacrifice helped liberate Europe.

    We will remember them.
     
    Stewart Smith and Owen like this.
  12. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

  13. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    A harsh loss.
     
  14. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Last week I returned back to my home town Preston and visited my old friend Cyril.
    I have mentioned previously that Cyril was on the next ship to the Derrycunihy and who was on deck feeling queezy as he was a very poor sailor.
    He witnesses the explosion and even mentioned it whilst I was looking at his French Legion de Honour medal he received last December.
    He has never forgotten this tragic episode in his life.
    RIP those who died in the explosion that day.
    Regards
    Tom
     
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  15. 43rdrecce

    43rdrecce Junior Member

    Remembering on the 73rd anniversary, the loss of the MV Derrycunihy at 07.35 hrs off Sword Beach, Normandy, 24th June 1944.

    Of the 600 men of 43rd Recce Regiment and others aboard, 189 died and 150 were injured. Twenty-five of the crew, including Merchant Navy, Royal Navy and Royal Artillery DEMS gunners, and a Royal Observer Corps Seaborne Observer, lost their lives. Their sacrifice helped liberate Europe.

    We will remember them.
     
    4jonboy, Hugh MacLean and CL1 like this.
  16. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    :poppy: Lest We Forget :poppy:

    Paul
     
  17. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    About half an hour before the Derrycunihy was mined HMS Swift broke in two after striking another mine; seventeen were killed. At 0805 the s.s. Fort Norfolk suffered the same fate; she had completed discharge and was returning to the assembly anchorage. Her engine and boiler rooms were wrecked and the seven crew on duty there died.
     
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  18. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    :poppy: Lest We Forget :poppy:

    Tom
     
  19. StrideSearch

    StrideSearch New Member

    Hi All,

    Just discovered this forum as we search for information on my husband's grandfather. He was Cdr. WJ Stride. At Dieppe and Normandy, he was C.O. of HMS Locust. Apparently, he was responsible for Locust picking up survivors from the Derrycunihy. We know very little - his daughter (my mother in law) indicates he never talked much of the war or his role and he died quite soon after. I'm currently working on a search to help our family understand his contributions. We have only two pictures of him... If anyone has any photos of HMS Locust at Dieppe or Normandy, or her crews, we'd love to know.

    Many thanks!
    Susan




    High seas and enemy shelling prevented unloading for three days and it was decided to move T72 to Juno Beach for disembarkation. As the ship started engines at 07.40 on the morning of 24 June it detonated an acoustic or 'Oyster' mine dropped by one of the nightly Luftwaffe raiders. The mine exploded under the keel, splitting the ship in two, and the after part, packed with sleeping men of 43 Recce, sank rapidly. Worse still, a 3-tonner ammunition lorry caught fire, and oil floating on the water was set alight. Landing craft and the gunboat HMS Locust quickly came alongside and picked up survivors, most of whom were evacuated to SS Cap Touraine, a former French liner. The remaining part was kept afloat by the salvage vessel SALVICTOR long enough to discharge the vehicles.

    When all the survivors had been taken off, Captain Richardson of the Derrycunihy and the commanding officer of 43 Recce, Lieutenant-colonel Francis Lane Fox, argued over who should be last to leave the half-sunken ship. The Regimental War Diary records that 'Great gallantry was displayed by all troops in the two aft holds' and lists 183 men of the regiment lost and about 120 others evacuated wounded. In addition, 25 of the ship's crew (including Army gunners) died in the disaster, which represented the biggest single loss of life off the Normandy invasion beaches.

    Aftermath
    In the days following the sinking, most of 43 Recce's vehicles were landed from the beached fore part of the Derrycunihy, and reinforcements were sent from England, but 43 Recce was not fully up to strength until the end of July 1944 and was unable to assist its parent division in the bitter Battle for Caen. The sunken after part of the Derrycunihy remains as a wreck site off Sword Beach. Another ship built at Burntisland for the Ministry of War Transport, the Empire Calshot (1945) was bought by McGowan & Gross after the war and renamed Derrycunihy.

    Of the 600 men of the Regiment, 189 died and 150 were injured. Twenty-five of the crew, including a number of army gunners, also lost their lives. Most of the men who died had been trapped in the sunken stern section. It was the heaviest single British loss of life off the invasion beaches.

    Paul Hannon, the archivist of the 43rd Reconnaissance Regiment History Group, visited Scotland in March 2006, to gather information for an exhibition in Bristol to commemorate the tragic events of 24 June 1944. Also planned was a memorial service off the Normandy coast at the spot where the stern section of the Derrycunihy still lies. Of the men who survived, twenty-five regimental veterans and a number of the ship's crew were (at March 2006) still with us, and Paul hoped that some of them would be able to participate in the commemoration events. Two of the crew who survived the sinking came from Burntisland - Daniel Frew and Andrew Turner. Andrew died in 1995. During his visit, Paul met one of the Scottish survivors, Walter Jamieson, who had been in number 5 hold of the Derrycunihy with his troop of A Squadron. Walter found himself underwater in the sinking stern. He could see light above him, which was actually the hatch of number 5 hold, minus its cover which had blown off. He was able to swim towards it and make his way out. He was one of the very few survivors from that hold.

    The Derrymore (launched in 1938) was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine in 1942 in the Java Sea. She was under the command of the same Captain Harold Richardson who later took charge of the Derrycunihy. The MV Derrycunihy which did a crossing to Philadelphia in March 1944, then 2 runs to Normandy ferrying troops of the 49th Infantry Division The third trip, carrying the Recce Regiment of the 43rd Wessex Division,The ship struck a mine and was split in two on 24th June 1944.

    Hope that helps stir up some memory cells, and try and record or video what he remembers to match/add to what is known.[/QUOTE]
     
  20. 43rdrecce

    43rdrecce Junior Member

    Remembering on the 74th anniversary, the loss of the MV Derrycunihy at 07.35 hrs off Sword Beach, Normandy, 24th June 1944.

    Of the 600 men of 43rd Recce Regiment and others aboard, 189 died and 150 were injured. Twenty-five of the crew, including Merchant Navy, Royal Navy and Royal Artillery DEMS gunners, and a Royal Observer Corps Seaborne Observer, lost their lives. Their sacrifice helped liberate Europe.

    We will remember them.
     
    CL1, Swiper and Hugh MacLean like this.

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