Did William Richard Cook sail in H.M.S. Curacoa?

April 28, 2012

Hi, I have a photo of my father (attatched) in navy uniform of the ship H.M.S. Curacoa, I have no idea if or when he was on this ship, his name was William Richard Cook D.O.B 8th June 1914 from Barry, South Wales, U.K. he never mentioned anything about it, I know it was sunk in 1942 by a collision with The Queen Mary. Do you have a list of previous crews? I am interested if he was ever on this ship.

Thanks Richard Cook (son)


I cannot find a crew list for the time this ship was sunk or before that period.

Here is some detail listing the number that both died and survived.

Known as the Grey Ghost as a result of its grey paint
makeover and the speed at which the Queen Mary could
navigate through U-boat territory without attracting fire
- the ship was never targeted in all its years at sea -
the ship's swiftness was tempered by a series of "zig zag"
maneuvers undertaken to confuse enemy crafts.

It was under these maneuvers - "zig zag No.8", with the
Curacao two miles ahead, both positioned approximately 20
miles from the Donegal coast in the north-west of Ireland
- at about 2pm that the Queen Mary crossed the
much-smaller escort ship's path, approaching it from
starboard side, hulling it amid ships and slicing it
almost in half.

At 28 knots, the 4,200-ton cruiser built in Pembroke,
Wales, gave little resistance to the Queen Mary - almost
20 times her weight at some 83,500 tons - and sank

Many of the men onboard the punctured vessel plunged in
desperation into the icy Atlantic, expecting the Queen
Mary to turn round and collect survivors. But the ship was
on captain's orders to continue, lest it become a sitting
target for U-boats.

Only 102 men survived, rescued by two other destroyers;
338 perished. A number of the servicemen who died are
buried in north-west Scotland - at Lower Breakish in Skye,
Arisaig and Morar.

The Queen Mary sailed on to the Clyde, where it would dock
safely and receive temporary repairs to its bow, which was
badly bent and patched with cement before it would be
fully repaired across the Atlantic in a Boston shipyard.

The tragedy would not be made public until the war's end
three years later, for fear of demoralising the troops or
the UK's civilian populace


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