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Old 15th October 2018, 11:55
Peter McArdle Peter McArdle is offline  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 6

Hi Ken, it's been a long time since the last post concerning this incident so I hope you still watch the forum. My dad was an engine room crew member on the Mopan when she was sunk. When they were finally taken to the POW camp in St.Nazaire my dad was among a few escapees from the train taking them to Germany. He eventually made his way to Marseilles with a few others, then were led over the Pyrenees to the border with Spain by the French Underground. While in Spain they were arrested and thrown in prison. They eventually were released to the British Embassy and taken to Gibraltar and repatriated. I found a book a few years ago written by one of the escapees, Gerad Riley from Birkenhead, in 1942, and in it he categorically states that he was woken up when the ship was fired on by the Admiral Scheer. He describes three areas of damage, including the engine room. One of the lifeboats was unusable. They were taken on board the German and locked up below. They were disappointed because they would rather have been left in the lifeboats since they knew the convoy was around. Little did they know at the time that the Admiral Scheer was going after theconvoy. I've read only one other account of the sinking, by a steward, Urban Peters. He tells the story about the captain being told not to signal and to get in the boats. I was a deck officer in the MN for 13 years and with all due respect, I'm not sure how a steward would know this information. He might be right, who the heck knows, but there is another account of what happened to the ship. On a purely selfish note, I don't really care because whatever happened, my soon-to-be father made it back to my soon-to-be-mother.
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