Ministry of Defence
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Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

H.M.S. CURACOA

HMS Curacoa was a Ceres Class Cruiser. Built Pembroke Dockyard, laid down July 1916, completed February 1918. 5th Light Cruiser Squadron Harwich Force. She was seriously damaged by bombs from German aircraft off the Norwegian coast on 24th April 1940. She sank 2nd October 1942 when accidentally rammed by the liner Queen Mary collision off the coast of Ireland.

H.M.S. Curacoa was a 4,200 ton British cruiser that, on 2nd October 1942, was detailed to escort the 83,673 ton R.M.S. Queen Mary carrying 10,000 American servicemen into the Clyde. As the two ships zig-zagged into position, and with the Queen Mary steaming at 28 knots, their converging course was misjudged and the Queen Mary struck the Curacoa’s stern pushing her broadside on.

As a result the, Queen Mary sliced through the Curacoa amidships and cut her in half. The captain of the Queen Mary, under orders never to stop his ship for any reason was forced to sail on. 102 men were rescued from the Curacoa, 338 were lost. A number of graves of men of the Curacoa can be found at Lower Breakish in Skye, Arisaig and Morar.

Last updated 15 August, 2008

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