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Arandora Star

Arandora Star

Photograph from Imperial War Display at Duxford, relating to Polish Airmen and their part in the Battle of Britain.
Arandora Star photographed in June 1940 evacuating Polish aircrew from France; the caption says almost 2000 aircrew men saved.

At the onset of World War II, the Arandora Star was refitted and was assigned as a transport ship. She evacuated troops from Norway and from France in June 1940 before undertaking what was to be her final voyage transporting Axis nationals and prisoners of war to Canada.

On 2 July 1940, having left Liverpool unescorted the day before, under the command of Edgar Wallace Moulton, she was bound for St John's, Newfoundland and Canadian internment camps with nearly 1,200 German and Italian internees, including 86 POWs, being transported from Britain. There were also 374 British men, comprising both military guards and the ship's crew. The Italians numbered 712 men of all ages, most of whom had been residing in Britain when Benito Mussolini declared war on 10 June.
At 6.58 am off the northwest coast of Ireland, she was struck by a torpedo from the German submarine U-47, commanded by U-Boat ace Günther Prien. U-47 fired its single damaged torpedo at Arandora Star. All power was lost at once, and thirty five minutes after the torpedo impact, Arandora Star sank. Over eight hundred lives were lost.

2,905 Posts
Tim, HI.
Thanks for posting this picture. A rare photo of a Blue Star boat. History as been mentioned, but not many photo`s.
Cheers, John.

8,126 Posts
Location probably St Jean de Luz. From
"The retreat down the French coast was becoming chaotic by this time", he continues," and we were sent out to try and get down to the last port where there was hope of getting survivors out. This was St. Jean de Luz. All was fairly quiet when we got in, and we got about 1,700 troops and refugees, including most of the Polish Staff and their troops who had been fighting back all the way down the coast. We got clear just as the bombers came over the hills, and strangely enough they left us alone this time! We went to Liverpool with that load, and lay off the landing stage while they were disembarked."

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