Hello and congratulations on a great web site.
I am trying to find out more information about the sinking of the Oronsay and the fate of her survivors.
My father (Royal Signal Corps) and my mother (8 months pregnant with me) were passengers on the Oronsay when she was torpedoed by the Italian Submarine Archimede on 9th October 1942. They took to a lifeboat and were rescued some 36 hours later and taken to Clyde Ports Scotland arriving on the 30th October. My mother thinks that the ship that rescued them was a Submarine Chaser named Corinthia (I now have a brother and two nephews called Corin as a result of this!). Reports I have read indicate that most of the other survivors were picked up after 8 or 9 days adrift by the Destroyer HMS Brilliant and taken to Freetown and that 30 survivors were rescued by a Vichy French ship and interned at Dakar for the rest of the war.
I would like to hear from any crew member or passenger survivors from the Oronsay, or crew members from the Brilliant, or crew members from the Corinthia who might remember the event.
I cannot find any reference to the Corinthia anywhere on the net and I do not know what nationality it was, nor can I find any passenger lists for the Oronsay or any contemporary reports on what happened to the survivors. I appreciate that this event was not a major event in the overall scheme of things and that perhaps it would not have attracted much attention in the local press but I am completely green at this research thing and fear that due to my inexperience I might be missing out on lots of information.
I should be most grateful, therefore, if you could give me some ideas that might point me in the right direction in my search.
The questions I would like the answers to are:-
1. How did the survivors get home from Freetown?
2. What was the Corinthia?
3. How can I find (on the net) contemporary news reports of the disaster and subsequent rescue and re-patriation of the survivors?
Any help you can give me will be most appreciated by me and by my mother who has just celebrated her 88th birthday.
I have sent Ray a host of messages with bits and pieces about Oronsay, but have not burdened you with the details.
The Greek ship.
HML Ship Corinthia.
I can find no evidence she served in the Alantic Ocean.
Many thanks for the extraordinary speed of reply and the content of your numerous emails. I will be working through them and contacting you if clarification is required.
HML CORINTHIA what does HML stand for? Would she have been crewed by Greeks or by British men and would they have been Royal Navy or Merchant Navy?
HML stands for Hellenic Mediterranean Lines, and I would judge she was manned by Greek merchant sailors.
Do not think her crew were British Navy or Merchant Navy.
As I already indicated could find no mention of her serving in the Atlantic.
Hope you find some bits of use and interest to you.
Am not able to find the name of the Armed Merchant Cruiser that took the survivors home from Freetown.
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