ss. Aracatacaca sunk on this day
Type: Steam merchant
Tonnage: 5.378 tons
Completed: 1924 - Cammell Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead
Owner: Elders & Fyffes Ltd, London
Date of attack: 30 Nov, 1940 Nationality: British
Fate: Sunk by U-101 (Ernst Mengersen)
Position: 57.08N, 20.50W - Grid AL 0245 - See location on a map -
Complement: 70 (36 dead and 34 survivors).
Route: Port Antonio, Jamaica - Halifax (21 Nov) - Avonmouth
Cargo: 1600 tons of bananas
Notes on loss: At 00.41 hours on 30 Nov, 1940, the unescorted Aracataca (Master Samuel Brown) was torpedoed and sunk by U-101 west-northwest of Rockall. 36 crew members were lost. The master, 16 crew members and one passenger were picked up by the British merchant Potaro and landed at Buenos Aires on 23 December. 14 crew members, one gunner and one passenger were picked up by the British merchant Djurdjura were landed at St.Johns.
Many Liverpool Lads made up the crew,some from Garston
Jimmy, that reminded me of my husband's 3 uncles - 3 Dingle lads who all went down on board the S.S. Arakaka.
My father, who died in 2002, survived the sinking of the Aracataca and was one of the crew picked up by the Potara after about 11 days. There was nothing in the lifeboat, no food or water, and just a single flare which they used to make themselves visible when they saw the Potara approaching. When they landed in BA, they were given money by the British Consulate, which they immediately spent on a boozing session. Guess they felt they had something to celebrate. My father came home on the Andalusia Star, if I remember right, in the north docks and had to walk all the way back home to the Dingle because the overhead had finished for the night. He remembers getting hounded for £4 by the Consul for years after. Never paid it though.
It is important to remember these maritime losses from the Second World War and the sacrifices that the men and their families made.
Gnomie and Lindy, I made a slight change in Lindy's post since it sounded to me at first when you said the men went down "on the same ship" that you were talking about the selfsame loss of the S.S. Aracataca with which jimmy started this thread, only you were spelling it differently! It took a few moments for me to realise you were talking about the loss of another Liverpool ship, the S.S. Arakaka, which occurred on a different date.
All my best
That's ok Chris - I didn't even notice
The name of the ship in Jimmy's post reminded me about my uncles-in-law. The name of the ship being so similar.
When you look at the ages of those 3 brothers who went down at sea - what a terrible tragedy.
We often say how much bigger my husband's family would have been if those brothers had survived and had future children.
My grandad Stephen Flynn was a Fireman and Trimmer on board the Aracataca when she was torpedoed and lost his life. Coming up to the 70th anniversary in November. RIP Grandad.
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