Late father was a chef on board the Oronsay
October 07, 2009 3:55 PM
I hope you don't mind me calling you "Mac".
I have just come across an item on your web log in reference to the SS Oronsay that plied the Australian run before WW11. I have an interest in the history of the ship because my late father was a chef on board the Oronsay and I believe he was on the Oronsay at the sinking of the Lancastria at the evacuation of St Nazaire in 1940.
I have often wondered about the ships history and what she was used for during the war. My father told me a little about what he did during the war years, but he died before I was old enough to understand a great deal about his war time service.
I would be interested in any information you may have in reference to the history of the Oronsay.
Mac is fine.
Here is a Post Card picture of Oronsay 1, she had been built in 1925, with a Gross Tonnage of 20,001 and was requisitioned as a Troopship in 1939, to be torpedoed in 1942 off Liberia.
Oronsay was sunk on the 8th. of October 1942 off Freetown, West Africa, by the Italian Submarine Archemede, commanded by Lieutenant Saccardo, 5 crew members of Oronsay died, 26 were captured to become Prisoners of War, and 412 survived.
Archemede was commissioned on the 18th. of April in 1939, and only sank 3 Allied ships in her career, she herself was sunk by a land based US Catalina, VP-83, when she was surfaced off Brazil on the 15th. of April
A photo of this Italian Sub is attached.
Hope this helps.