SS Dardanus

James Slater
22nd September 2005, 10:02
I have an account of the sinking of the Dardanus in April 1942. She had been attacked by the Japanese and abandoned by her officers, leaving the Chinese crew on board. The BI ship Gandara took her in tow but bothe ships were attacked by three Japanese war ships. There were 13 fatalities from the BI ship, none from the Dardanus.
Does anybody know anything about the, apparantly, shocking conduct of the ships officers?
James Slater

R58484956
22nd September 2005, 11:39
Were the SO's employed by the Blue Funnel line, first time that I have heard of such despicable actions ,
PS sunk on 6/3/1942 from gunfire from heavy cruisers Mikuma & Mogami and destroyer Amagiri
Dardanus 7726 tons. Gandara 5281 tons.Also sunk on same day Indora (6622 tons) by the same three Japanese ships.

James Slater
22nd September 2005, 14:17
I don't know the answer to the above. Nothing was ever heard of the 'officers' by my contact.

James.

R651400
23rd September 2005, 05:12
Dardanus was attacked by bombers off Vizagapatam and badly damaged 5th April 1942. Taken in tow by BI Gandara both vessels were sunk next day by a Japanese cruiser.
Had their been anything untoward in the actions of the Dardanus officers, it would have been well known throughout the company and most certainly there would have been some form of government inquiry.
nb Blue Funnel's non vessel insurance policy alone meant it highly unlikely that any master would leave his ship under such circumstances!
eg Phemius during Caribbean hurricane in 1932.

James Slater
24th September 2005, 11:50
I have read the diary kept by one of the Gandara officers while he was in the lifeboat about taking the Dardanus in tow and the subsequent attack on both ships. He is quite clear that the Dardanus officers had left their ship and crew. He is still alive and well and I have spoken to him about the incident.

James.

James Slater
24th September 2005, 13:10
I now know of another account that is at odds with what my contact seems to be saying. Watch this space.

James.

benglish
27th January 2006, 05:20
I am the captain of the dardanus' grandson. I can give you the complete story if you wish. My father is still alive and has a record of the incident from my grandfather. He received an mbe and it wasn,t for bad conduct. Strange story! Randomly in a Belfast shop a man of app 88yrs approached me. Asked who I was, and went on to tell me he spent 3 days in a lifeboat with my Grandfather. After that he would know his features anywhere. That was 20yrs ago, 44 yrs after the sinking. Pleased to help

R651400
27th January 2006, 07:41
....and we would be very pleased to hear your Grandfather's account.
Regards
Malcolm

John Glover
10th July 2008, 20:08
My father in law Joseph Hanlon was on Dardanus at the time and refutes any allegations of improper conduct by the ships officers. Joe is alive and well and living in his home town of Liverpool. Although he is now getting on in years (87) in November, and not as mobile now, he is still mentally agile, and remembers the incident clearly. If i can be of any further help please ask.
regards
john glover

MICHAEL SQUIRES
14th July 2008, 19:55
I've just found a link on "farewell to the china boats" website which gives a full description of what happened when the Dardanus was attacked by two members of the crew.

Hugh Ferguson
15th July 2008, 23:51
I have an account of the sinking of the Dardanus in April 1942. She had been attacked by the Japanese and abandoned by her officers, leaving the Chinese crew on board. The BI ship Gandara took her in tow but bothe ships were attacked by three Japanese war ships. There were 13 fatalities from the BI ship, none from the Dardanus.
Does anybody know anything about the, apparantly, shocking conduct of the ships officers?
James Slater

It is difficult to reconcile this account with the one given by Roskill in his book, A Merchant Fleet in War, in which he states, and I quote, "All four of her boats made land in safety on the 7th, the exhausted crew soon found help, and in spite of the severe treatment meted out to their ship, not a single life was lost".
Dardanus had, initially, been abandoned, but as she was not sinking she was re-boarded by Captain English and some of his officers and men.