HMS Curacoa.

EMMESSTEE
3rd August 2007, 14:03
The cruiser which sank after a collision with the Cunard liner "Queen Mary" during WW2 is variously named "Curacoa" and "Curacao", depending on which book/report, or whatever, you're reading at the time. I think I've determined, from a "Jane's Fighting Ships" 1931 edition, that the cruiser was indeed the Ceres class cruiser "Curacoa", as she is listed as such with the others in her class in that "bible" of books!!

However, bearing in mind that the RN had a West Indies station in the first 60 years of the last century, might it be that she was meant to be "Curacao" and somehow became "Curacoa" - if indeed the latter is correct and intended, does anyone know from where the name came? Is the second "c" hard or soft?

---------
Mike.

Bruce Carson
3rd August 2007, 14:46
Mike:
"Curacoa', I believe, is an alternative spelling of 'Curacao' and both refer to the West Indian Island. There was a previous Royal Navy vessel named 'Curacoa'.

Bruce C

BlythSpirit
3rd August 2007, 14:49
Is the second "c" hard or soft?


"cure a sew" is how you pronounce it

Jan Hendrik
3rd August 2007, 15:03
Lived there for a number of years, excellent time.
Jan

Steve Woodward
3rd August 2007, 19:42
The wrong spelling is the correct one, Curacao the ship was spelt Curacoa, the mistake was made with the first ship and perpetuated with the second ship, this was not the only ship in the RN with a spelling mistake, one of the B class destroyers was also misspelt - forgit which one!

EMMESSTEE
4th August 2007, 07:30
Many thanks for the information, much appreciated and these posts have maybe put to bed my "discussions" with a colleague!!

--------
Mike.

Banni
5th August 2007, 20:16
As a result of the collision some of the crew were washed ashore on the West Coast of Scotland. There bodies are buried in various graveyards. Two I know of in particular are St Mary's, Arisaig and Morar. As with all war gravestones they are well kept. So if you are heading up the Road to the isles it is worth a stop off at Arisaig or Morar. By the way the scenery isn't bad either!!!

Skye Sierra
15th November 2007, 12:43
As a result of the collision some of the crew were washed ashore on the West Coast of Scotland. There bodies are buried in various graveyards. Two I know of in particular are St Mary's, Arisaig and Morar. As with all war gravestones they are well kept. So if you are heading up the Road to the isles it is worth a stop off at Arisaig or Morar. By the way the scenery isn't bad either!!!

There are also three 'Curacoa' graves in Portree cemetery on Skye, the last resting places of OS R Dunning (aged 18), OS F Brownsett (19) and AB H Dean (19) always marked with a poppy cross on Remembrance Day by the North Skye Branch of the RBLS. A sad end for such young men.

vectiscol
17th November 2007, 20:12
In my 1940 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships, CURACOA was by that time listed as an anti-aircraft ship, along with sisters CAIRO, CALCUTTA and CARLISLE.

Steve Woodward
18th November 2007, 21:07
Curacoa was converted to an AA cruiser July / August 1939, losing her original armament of five 6" single mount guns and being fitted with four twin 4", a quad 2 pounder and two quad 0.5" machine guns

aleddy
19th November 2007, 02:34
Division of Naval Intelligence lists her as " Curacao " in Warships of the British Commonwealth 1944
Cheers
Ted

tedthompson
8th October 2008, 17:18
My uncle, Lieutenant Matthew Percy Thompson, was a navigating officer on HMS Curacoa. His body was washed up in Oban and he is buried in Oban cemetery. He is wrongly listed as an engineering officer in the book "Queen Mary and the Cruiser".

joebuckham
8th October 2008, 22:18
The wrong spelling is the correct one, Curacao the ship was spelt Curacoa, the mistake was made with the first ship and perpetuated with the second ship, this was not the only ship in the RN with a spelling mistake, one of the B class destroyers was also misspelt - forgit which one!

at present reading a book by captain marryat- percival keene- and in this book the hero visits the island of curacoa and this spelling is used throughout the book so perhaps this was the original english spelling

Jan Hendrik
9th October 2008, 03:59
The island has always been spelled as Curaçao and is part of the Netherlands Antilles which in turn is a colony of The Netherlands,
yet this year it becomes a "province", but that's another story.
I lived there for a period of 3 years and can definitely confirm it has never been written or called otherwise.
The reason for this "odd" "ç" is done so to pronounce this letter as an "s", otherwise you would pronounce it as a "k".

Regarding the spelling of the ship's name, then I have no idea if or not this was misspelled.
Regards,
Jan

joebuckham
9th October 2008, 13:09
The island has always been spelled as Curaçao and is part of the Netherlands Antilles which in turn is a colony of The Netherlands,
yet this year it becomes a "province", but that's another story.
I lived there for a period of 3 years and can definitely confirm it has never been written or called otherwise.
The reason for this "odd" "ç" is done so to pronounce this letter as an "s", otherwise you would pronounce it as a "k".

Regarding the spelling of the ship's name, then I have no idea if or not this was misspelled.
Regards,
Jan
hi jan
i was'nt claiming that was the right spelling of your overseas possession,wrote it enough times in the log to get it wrong. i was only putting forward a theory for the mispelling of curacao, maybe it would have been more correct to have wrote "so perhaps this was the original english misspelling of curacao"(Thumb)

Jan Hendrik
10th October 2008, 06:04
Hi Joe,
Please do not misread, I did not critisice anything or anybody but merely wanted to explain the correct spelling of the name of the island as I have absolutely no idea about the naming or spelling or history of that navy vessel.

It may not have had any reference to the island as such. No idea.

Your theory and any theory for that matter is all acceptable to me simply because I do not have the knowledge.
By the way: the island of Curaçao : Best time ever.......fantastic.
And I should add there is a difference between living there and/or just paying a visit.
Meanwhile best regards,
Jan

K urgess
10th October 2008, 11:41
The attached are from the Second (1820) Edition of Wilkinson's General Atlas of the World.
The first one is detail from map 2 "Mercator's Chart" Published May 25th 1808 by Robert Wilkinson, No. 58 Cornhill London and drawn by Froggett.
The second one is the title from map 47 with the third being detail from that map.

It seems that the name derives from the British spelling of the time. Even then they couldn't make their minds up.

Cheers
Kris

Banni
19th June 2009, 16:45
On the same thread, I previously mentioned that some of the crew were buried in a cemetery in Arisaig. If you follow the link below then scroll down the page to the section on A Little Genealogy there is a short article on the HMS Curacao.

http://westword.org.uk/


The Westword is a community paper in that area. There is also a small article on the last herring drifter - the Reaper

Abbeywood.
21st December 2009, 16:09
The wrong spelling is the correct one, Curacao the ship was spelt Curacoa, the mistake was made with the first ship and perpetuated with the second ship, this was not the only ship in the RN with a spelling mistake, one of the B class destroyers was also misspelt - forgit which one!

Could that have been the Boadicea. that name appears in many guises.

Klaatu83
21st December 2009, 17:56
The first time I ever read a reference to that unfortunate cruiser the name was spelled (or should that be "spelt"?) "HMS Curacoa". I assumed it must have been a typographical error for the name of the Island of "Curacao". However, every subsequent reference I have seen to her has been spelled the same way.

Union Jack
21st December 2009, 18:42
On a lighter note, readers may be interested in the tale, perhaps apocryphal, regarding the post war court case about the loss of the CURACOA. One of the barristers involved was examining a witness who had been a lookout in the cruiser, and was asked what had been his reaction on first sighting the QUEEN MARY bearing down on him at full speed.

The alleged response, namely "You could have buggered me through my oilskins", was not heard clearly by the learned judge, who asked the barrister what the witness had said, to which the reply came "The witness was taken aback, My Lord."

Jack