ss mopan

28th October 2008, 23:16
can anyone give me info on the ss mopan my grandad was on it when it was sunk in 1940

Hugh MacLean
28th October 2008, 23:28
Hello Betty welcome aboard,

See this thread on here:
and this:

28th October 2008, 23:35
Welcome onboard to SN and enjoy the voyage

28th October 2008, 23:41
thanks hugh will have a look at the national archives

28th October 2008, 23:43
Welcome aboard from the Philippines. Enjoy all this great site has to offer

28th October 2008, 23:50
Some info here.

K urgess
29th October 2008, 00:00
Welcome aboard, Betty.
I see the crew have been their usual helpful selves again and I'm sure it will continue.
Find your way around the ship and enjoy the voyage.

bert thompson
29th October 2008, 09:06
Welcome Betty to this great site.
Best wishes

29th October 2008, 13:24
Greetings Betty and welcome to SN. Bon voyage.

Peter McArdle
11th August 2014, 16:38
can anyone give me info on the ss mopan my grandad was on it when it was sunk in 1940

Hi Betty, just found this site after googling "Mopan." My father was a crew member in the engine room. There's a lot of controversy over the fact that the captain didn't send out a radio message warning there was a German battleship in the area. The Admiral Scheer fired a few shots at her and warned her not to send a radio message or she would be sunk. The crew got in the lifeboats and were picked up by the Germans and locked below. They purposely took a long time getting in the boats so that darkness moved in. The Germans then went after a convoy they knew was in the area. This is a good account of that story. After this the prisoners from the Mopan were transferred to a disguised merchant ship called the Altmark and eventually taken to St. Nazaire in France. After a couple of weeks they were put aboard a cattle train and taken to a camp in Germany called Milag. Some of the crew escaped from the train and made their way across France to Marseilles where the French underground met them. They were escorted up the Pyrenees to the border with Spain. There were six of them and they split up into twos. They got into Spain but were almost immediately arrested and thrown in jail. They were beaten often by the Spaniards and were there until Aug. 1941, 10 months after they were sunk. The British consul got them out and took them to Gibraltar where they were put on a ship and repatriated. One of them, Gerard Riley from Birkenhead, wrote a book about it. My father, Peter McArdle from Liverpool, was one of the escapees and him and Riley paired up when they got to Spain. I found the book "A Fugitive in France" a few years ago. It's well out of print of course and is heavily censored since it was written in 1942 and the war was still going on. Reading the book I couldn't understand my father not being mentioned until they got to Marseilles, except for early in the book when he and Riley got into a fight on the Altmark. Then I realised Riley was recaptured the first time but escaped again and met up with the first group in Marseilles. My dad died 12 years ago and hardly ever spoke about it to me. Riley died about 5 years ago. When Riley escaped the 2nd time, he escaped with Bob Smith,George Roberts, Ginger Kilgallon and Billy McArthur.