Rescuing survivors from torpedoed merchant ship

After spending four days in a lifeboat, seafarers from a torpedoed British merchant ship, the Mentor, are about to be rescued in the Gulf of Mexico in early 1942. Survivors of ships sunk while sailing alone faced the prospect of days or weeks adrift, awaiting a rescue that might never come.

Credit

John Gregson collection. Not to be reused without permission.

How to cite this page: 'Rescuing survivors from torpedoed merchant ship', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/rescuing-survivors-from-torpedoed-ship, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 20-Dec-2012

Community contributions


Ozires moraes
25 Mar 2013

Dear Emanuel:
I currently run a website which deals with all aspects of the War Two in the south Atlantic. You are correct when say that many details pertaining the sinking of several ships are not known to date. I would like to attach the commentary you posted regarding the fate of SS Dinsdale.
With the due credits. I enclosed the page.
http://www.sixtant.net/2011/artigos.php?cat=british-ships-sunk&sub=ships...)dinsdale
With my respects.
Capt. Ozires Moraes Recife Brazil.

Billy McGee
02 Dec 2011
Interested in the survivors reports for the RFA tanker Dinsdale for a book I am writing in regard to over 2000 Merchant ships commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial in London. Rgds Billy McGee MNA Archivist
Emanuel Hawthorne
06 Nov 2011
The sinking of the R.F.A. Dinsdale is a story that little has been written about and must be told. It is a story of one of the many heroic contributions made by the Merchant Navy during WWII. Unfortunately, and with good reason, little has been written of the demise of the RFA Dinsdale and / or of her survivors. As a security measure during this period of time, photographs and publications of the RFA Dinsdale (a tanker) were strictly prohibited. Regretfully, and almost certainly related to the security measures in force, the story of the surviving crew members who suffered 17 days lost at sea, to my knowledge, has never been written; until today! This is their story, an account of what actually happened on the night of 30th June, 1942. The story, as told to me by two creditable seamen who served on the RFA Dinsdale and coincidently who were rescued from the same lifeboat. One version was told to me by my father, the late William-David Hawthorne (Billy). The second version I received via correspondence letters from Mr. James Wilson (Jim) resident of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, England. If interested in the complete story with a rare photo of the Dinsdale, please contact me.

What do you know?