Author Topic: U-boat rammed by British tanker  (Read 1428 times)

Offline seaweed

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Re: U-boat rammed by British tanker
« Reply #9 on: Thursday 22 February 18 08:43 GMT (UK) »
BAYNYASSA official number 137787 was a general Cargo Ship rather than a Tanker. According to the link posted by TreeSpirit, She was in action on the last week of July but the original post by Chaid Fhear---
"The attached Obituary mentions the ramming of a German submarine by a British Tanker for which the Captain of the Tanker was awarded the D.S.O. (Distinguished Service Order) in June 1917" I cannot see this.

Flattybasher9 quotes the citation.

"30437 - 18 DECEMBER 1917

..... in recognition of zeal and devotion to duty shown in carrying on the trade of the country during the War:



To be a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order.

Capt. George Badenoch Murray (Lieut., R.N.R.)." 

This would be a more realistic time scale. I think the original obituary which talks of him being in command of "Fuel Tankers" is maybe  stretching journalistic licence a little too far and we should not discount the possibility of him being in command of BAYNYASSA if indeed she was involved with the "ramming". Problem is the 1917 logbooks of this vessel, which would confirm or otherwise, seem to have been lost or destroyed.
We should not overlook the fact that the "ramming" maybe newspaper talk and that Captain Murray
was awarded the DSO for sustained devotion to duty during WW1.

Dim ateb yn well nag ateb anghywir. Nid oes dim yn ddall fel rhai nad ydynt yn dymuno gweld

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Offline Flattybasher9

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Re: U-boat rammed by British tanker
« Reply #10 on: Thursday 22 February 18 08:45 GMT (UK) »
That is what I came up with. There was an English built ship in 1922, which Anderson renamed in 1924 and it was used during the prohibition. It was called the Lillehorn. It ran Rum from Canada to the USA.
http://www.chiefskugaid.org/1923-33-rum-running.html

http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/m-s-lillehorn-at-dock

This is the only ship name that I personally can find with a similar name.

I actually wonder if this was "an embelished" story fed to the press by the family or friends who did not know the whole truth, similar the the Victoria Cross story a couple of months ago.

Malky

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Offline Chiad Fhear

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Re: U-boat rammed by British tanker
« Reply #11 on: Thursday 22 February 18 13:56 GMT (UK) »
Hi to all of you and thanks for your interest and input.

For some reason I didn't receive notification of your replies :o

Apologies too for any confusion over dates quoted  :-[   "Senior Moments"  ;)

The mention of the Captain ramming an enemy submarine came from a handed down family story and so, as quite rightly suggested, may be an "embellishment" in the Obituary  ;)

There is a lot to consider, and investigate further, in all of the comments and I'll take them on board, in further discussions with the Captain's grandson, to see what we can establish as being as near to facts as possible.

Regards

Chiad Fhear

PS:

The date for the award of George's D.S.O. was found here:


"Second Supplement to The London Gazette" of Tuesday, the 18th of December, 1917 and "The Edinburgh Gazette" Friday, 21 December 1917
"Honours for the Mercantile Marine.
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of Honours, Decorations and Medals to the undermentioned Officers and men of the British Mercantile Marine, in recognition of zeal and devotion to duty shown in carrying on the trade of the country during the War :
To be a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order ... Capt. George Badenoch Murray (Lieut., R.N.R.)."


I would presume any "action" would have been prior to this, e.g. July 1917

Chiad Fhear
Aye mair questions than answers in a world where the past was a different place - that cannae be revisited!

Family surnames being researched ...
Crawford, Neilson, Lindsay, Reekie, Davidson
Drummond, Laing, Pearson, Tulloch ... will do for starters but there's a whole lot more!

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Offline ADM

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Re: U-boat rammed by British tanker
« Reply #12 on: Friday 23 February 18 00:57 GMT (UK) »
Well this is all very interesting and I'm astonished that my Grandfather has attracted such attention and interest over an event that took place over 100 years ago.

I vividly remember as a young boy being allowed to hold and examine my Grandfather's DSO and being told the story of the submarine action. My interest in this stems from the fact as a diver I would love, if possible, to establish the fate of the rammed submarine. Did it sink or did it limp away to fight another day.

The absence of evidence does not preclude the taking of an educated guess and I suspect that if the submarine had been sunk it would have been logged and recorded somewhere. Official records draw a blank so for me I think it more likely that the submarine managed to evade a watery grave, at least on the occasion it made contact with Capt. Murray's vessel

All pure speculation of course, and the search for documented evidence continues.

Happy hunting!

Andrew Murray

Offline ADM

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Re: U-boat rammed by British tanker
« Reply #13 on: Friday 23 February 18 01:11 GMT (UK) »
One further thing I would like to add. I come from a military family, and as such we are not given to embellishing anecdotes of this nature. Life on the high seas during both wars was precarious and unpredictable.

My own father, a commando during WWII, was torpedoed twice in the course of his service so the ramming of a German submarine in WWI, as dramatic as it sounds today, was almost certainly regarded as the expected response by a ship's Master to an attack on his vessel and crew.

Food for thought indeed.

Offline TreeSpirit

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Re: U-boat rammed by British tanker
« Reply #14 on: Friday 23 February 18 10:45 GMT (UK) »
Hi Andrew,

There are still so many question marks for us. Could you tell us some more of the actual details as - apparently - you have been told the full story.

1 - Could you tell us the approximate year of the event and the name of your grandfather's ship at the time?
2 - Was your grandfather the captain of said ship or was he there in another role?
3 - Was he in the Royal Navy (ie abt 1917) or the Merchant Navy (or something else?) when the event occurred?

rgds Sylvia

Offline ADM

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Re: U-boat rammed by British tanker
« Reply #15 on: Friday 23 February 18 11:13 GMT (UK) »
Hi Sylvia,

I'm going to have to reach out to my cousins here as the DSO and supporting material was passed to that side of the family on my Grandmother's death in 1986.

What I can tell you was that the year of the incident in question was 1917 and my Grandfather was indeed Captain of his vessel at the time. I don't know the name of the ship but that may be recorded in documents that may be held by my cousins.

For the duration of the war, and to the best of my knowledge, he served in the RNR rather than the RN.

I'm sorry this is so sketchy but I'l do what I can, I'm as fascinated as everyone else is to get to the bottom of this.

Best regards,

Andrew

Offline TreeSpirit

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Re: U-boat rammed by British tanker
« Reply #16 on: Friday 23 February 18 12:44 GMT (UK) »
Hi Andrew,

I think you are right re the RNR. The available (=online) Royal Navy documents are a bit unclear sometimes. I can see that he got his Lieutenant seniority on 24-07-1917 ("commission granted for services rendered"), but that admiralty notification occurred on 13-12-1917. The timeline seem to coincide with the story of the BAYNYASSA after all. We know that this ship was involved in gunfire during "THE INTENSIVE SUBMARINE CAMPAIGN", so who knows maybe some other minor events occurred as well. Currently it might be your best bet to look into this ship a bit more.

BTW Please don't think that we don't accept or believe that your grandfather was very heroic. His track record and DSO are 100% proof of that. Nevertheless, it is always possible that a story might have some different aspects to it. Personally I have encountered many ingrained family stories (mine and others) that were a little different from the actual facts. Additionally, many of us have seen newspaper articles that contained various errors. It would be wrong of us if we didn't question everything and this might even help us to find some helpful clues.

Sylvia

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Re: U-boat rammed by British tanker
« Reply #17 on: Friday 23 February 18 12:55 GMT (UK) »
Hi Sylvia,

That's great to hear and I think the ship may provide some some clues. I've been told by another contact who is also researching this that the Baynyassa is currently lying in shallow waters of 6m to 10m off the coast of Morocco and if that's the case I'm going to organise a trip to dive the wreck to see what's there.

We still need to find that submarine though. It won't evade us forever.

Andrew