Torpedoed Ship - M.V. San Arcadio (Jan 2000)

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Torpedoed Ship - M.V. San Arcadio (Jan 2000)

Post by Archivist » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:12 am

From: "hewmac" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2000

This relates to a much earlier post which is reproduced below. These were local men who lost their lives on the M.V. San Arcadio 31st January 1942:

William Boyd DOCHERTY age 19 Engineer Officer. Sixth son of Henry and Jeanie Docherty, of Saltcoats.

Alexander Dunn MACMILLAN age 24 Ordinary Seaman. Son of Robert Hall MacMillan and Margaret Dunn MacMillan; husband of Mary K. MacMillan, of Saltcoats.

David McCUBBIN age 40 Greaser. Son of William and Susan McCubbin; husband of
Margaret McCubbin, Ardrossan

Francis McQUADE age 27 Greaser. Son of Arthur McQuade, and of Winifred McQuade, Ardrossan.

Commemorative Information: Memorial Panel 69 Tower Hill London, UK.

Hugh McCallum

Hugh McCallum asked the Mariners List:
>> Where can I get further details regarding the sinking of vessel M.V. San
>> Arcadio. Registered London. Sunk 31st January 1942. These details were
>> obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for a friend whose
>> father was a crewmember. Others from our three Scottish towns were also
>> believed to be aboard.

John D. Stevenson in Edinburgh replied:
> San Arcadio.
> Built Harland & Wolff, Govan , yard no 938,1935.
> Motor Tanker engines by the builders.
> The San Arcadio, Capt`n W.F.Fynn, was 150 miles E. of New York on 31st
> January ,1942, when she was torpedoed by a German submarine. Soon after
> the submarine surfaced and completed the destruction of the tanker by
> gunfire and a second torpedo . Forty two men, including the master were
> killed. The vessel was not in convoy.
> This from "Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the age of Steam ,
> 1824/1962 " by Charles Hocking.
> This from my own private research database : There is evidence to support
> the story that when the submarine surfaced it attacked the lifeboats with
> machine gun fire , killing several crew.
> Trust this helps.

From: "John Steele (Ardrossan)" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2000

Hugh, Regarding the torpedoing of the San Arcadio, It was not uncommon for enemy submarines to surface, after a ship had been sunk by a torpedo, to machine-gun survivors in the water. When those that survived the machine-gunning returned to the UK, they were ordered not to talk about the machine gunning of helpless survivors in the water. This was to ensure that the bereaved would not know the terrible circumstances in which their loved ones perished. As a matter of interest I have a photograph of a survivor of submarine machine gunning. He was badly wounded in both arms by this action.