Ss niceto de larrinaga 1941

17th October 2017, 17:00
Hello, Im new to this but wondered if anyone out there can help me solve a mystery? I have a relative who died on the ss niceto de larrinaga on the 22/09/1941.
I would like to know the time line of this ship before being hit & sinking. My main aim being that I want to know when he was last in the UK.
Any help would be appreciated.(Thumb)

17th October 2017, 17:49
Niceto de Larringa was torpedoed by U-103 South West of the Canary Islands whilst in convoy SL-87. Out of a total crew of 51, 48 survived however one crew member and one gunner died later from injuries. She was on passage from Lagos - Freetown bound for London with general cargo. I have not researched when she was last in a UK port, hope the above information helps.

Hugh MacLean
17th October 2017, 19:11
Hello and welcome,

There are a number of ways to obtain this information.
The last crew agreement for the ship should tell you when he signed on for the voyage and at which port. The ship's movement card will also give a timeline of when she arrived and departed various ports. So in answer to your question possibly Oban or Liverpool.

She departed Oban, Jun 11, 1941 on convoy OB.333 (Liverpool - Dispersed)
Proceeded Independent, arrived Bathurst, Jul 4, 1941. Departed Bathurst, Jul 12, 1941, Independent, arrived Takoradi, Jul 17, 1941 . Departed Takoradi, Jul 19, 1941, Independent, arrived Accra, Jul 20, 1941. Departed Accra, Jul 25, 1941, Independent, arrived Lagos, Jul 27, 1941. Departed Lagos, Aug 4, 1941, Independent, arrived Lagos, Aug 13, 1941. Departed Lagos, Aug 30, 1941, Independent, arrived Accra, Aug 31, 1941. Departed Accra, Sep 1, 1941 Independent arrived, Takoradi, Sep 2, 1941. Departed Takoradi, Sep 7, 1941, Independent, arrived Freetown, Sep 12, 1941. Departed Freetown, Sep 14, 1941, SL.87 (Freetown - Liverpool) lost on Sep 22, 1941.

If you need any further help just ask.


17th October 2017, 19:17

DIXCOVE (Captain R. Jones). Bound for the Liverpool, sailed in Convoy SL.87 which contained 11 ships and left Freetown on 14 September, 1941. Torpedoed and sunk by U.107 (KrvKpt. Günter Hessler) at 6.31am on the 24th, in position 31°12'N 23°4¾W. One died. Fifty-one picked up by the Ashby and the Fana (Nor.) (Captain Nic Knudsen), but transferred to the sloops HMS Gorleston (Cdr. R.W. Keymer) and HMS Lulworth (LtCdr. C. Gwinner), and landed at Londonderry on 4 October.

Other ships lost in Convoy SL.87
Edward Blyden (see below)
Silverbelle. See under SILVER LINE.
Niceto de Larrinaga (Captain F.M. Milnes). By U.103 (Kptlt. Werner Winter). Three died. Forty-two
picked up by HMS Lulworth. Eleven picked up by the corvette HMS Gardenia (LtCdr. H. Hill) and landed at Port Delgada in the Azores.
John Holt (Captain C.G. Hime). By U.107. One died. Sixty-eight picked up by HMS Gorleston and
landed at Port Delgada.
Lafian. See under UNITED AFRICA CO. St.Clair II . See under UNITED AFRICA CO.

Sorry I got the ship's name wrong.

18th October 2017, 15:00
Thankyou so much for your replys, all information has been helpful, how do I find the last Crew agreement & ships movement cards?
I have other ships to check on as I only know that my relative was drowned at sea WW2 & there is another ship which might be the one he was on.
I also need to prove that he was in the UK between March & May of 1941, does anyone have any ideas how I can find out??:sweat:

Ron Stringer
18th October 2017, 17:46
Tried to send you a Private Message via SN but it refuses to go - well, it doesn't register in my 'Sent' box. I need your email address so that I can send you some information about VRCs. If you can send a PM with your email address to me, I will send you an email with attachments from the Guildhall Museum Library, where the VRCs are held.

Hugh MacLean
18th October 2017, 18:47
Do you wish to give the seaman's name and date of birth - it may be a more economical route than checking out those files?

However, should you wish to obtain the last crew agreement for NICETO DE LARRINAGA it should be held at Kew in piece BT 381/1327 ( The movement card is held at Kew in piece BT 389/22/49 ( and can be downloaded to your computer for £3.50 - I would suggest this is easier than going via the VRC route at Guildhall.

Note* the crew agreement is not available online and you would need to go to Kew to obtain it or use a private researcher or the Kew research service.


Laurie Ridyard
19th October 2017, 00:39
You might find a crew list on the Uboat Net website



Laurie Ridyard
19th October 2017, 00:45
There is a photo here....


Hugh MacLean
19th October 2017, 15:50
The crew list section of is very much incomplete and tends not to show the survivors.

19th October 2017, 16:03
Thank you all once again, for all your help.
The crewman was a merchant seaman named John Simpson.
I'm unsure of his age, I only know he was in the UK between March & May 1941.
He could have been on the SS Niceto de Larrinaga or the SS Benalbanach .

Hugh MacLean
19th October 2017, 18:57
You indicate he may have been lost on one of the two ships mentioned. There are other possibilities but for starters.

John Simpson age 41 was travelling as DBS (passenger) on NICETO DE LARRINAGA when she was lost in Sept 1941. He was from Ballycastle and his last known address was 20 Pottery St, Greenock.

Or John Simpson age 18, a Cadet, was lost on BENALBANACH on 7/1/1943. He was from Borthwick Hall, Heriot.

If you are sure it was 1941 then rule out BENALBANACH. If you can match him with the place of birth I have given then he will be your man if not there are other ships lost with John Simpson so if you have any information such as where he was from it would help me narrow him down.


21st October 2017, 14:04
I think I may need to go another route, my John Simpson fathered a child in between March & May 1941. The child was adopted & has no papers or information about parents apart from birth certificate. where it states father John Simpson Merchant seaman. He was drowned at sea during WW2 this is all the information I have. Because of the dates I've been able to discount 3 John Simpson's leaving me with the 2 ships mentioned above.
Thank you all for your help & advice, I've made the mistake of chasing the ships rather than the persons so I will try in another way.
Bless you all!

23rd October 2017, 04:35
Welcome aboard from the Philippines. Enjoy all this great site has to offer

Ken Glasdir
28th October 2017, 16:48
The best place to look for crew lists etc is the Maritime History Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland. They have a massive archive and will communicate search results by e mail. very reasonable too.

Hugh MacLean
28th October 2017, 17:34
The best place to look for crew lists etc is the Maritime History Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland. They have a massive archive and will communicate search results by e mail. very reasonable too.

That is not the case for WW2, Ken. I have already stated where the enquirer should go to obtain the crew agreement.