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  MV Derrymore
RAN
Cargo

4,799 Tons
414' x 56.9' x 25.7'


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Hansen c1938

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RAN Feb 13, 1942
Sinking History
Built by Burntisland Shipbuilding Company Ltd. in Burntisland, Scotland. Laid down with yard number 213 as a cargo vessel. Launched January 18, 1938. Completed by April 1938 as MV Derrymore named for Derrymore in southwest Ireland. Purchased by McCowen & Gross Ltd. in London.

Wartime History
During the Pacific War, requisitioned in Australia by the Royal Australian Navy for use as a military cargo vessel and armed with guns and anti-aircraft weapons. Derrymore was under the command of Captain Harold Richardson.

On February 11, 1942 at Singapore loaded seven tons of military cargo including ammunition and six crated Hawker Hurricane Mark II fighters plus Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel being evacuated then departed to the southeast bound for Batavia (Jakarta) on Java.

Sinking History
On February 13, 1942 at 9:02pm hit by two torpedoes fired by Japanese submarine I-55 at north of the Sunda Strait roughly five miles north of Jason Rock at roughly at Lat 5° 18' S, Long 106°  20' E. Aboard, nine RAAF passengers were killed. Ninety minutes after being hit, the ship floundered and sank roughly 50 miles north of Batavia.

Fates of the Crew
The entire crew of 26 plus the other 209 RAAF passengers manage to deploy life rafts and floated at sea. Afterwards, the survivors were rescued by HMAS Ballarat (J184) and Hr. Ms. Cheribon. Among the survivors rescued was RAAF Flying Officer John Grey Gorton who became the 19th Prime Minister of Australia 1968–1971.

References
Other sources state the ship was hit or sank "southwest of the south watcher light in the Java Sea".
Ships built by the Burntisland Shipbuilding Company Ltd - Derrymore (i)
"4.1938 completed; 13.2.1942 torpedoed by Japanese submarine "I-25" 05.18S 106.20E o/v Singapore - Batvia (Djakarta) with aircraft & military stores, later broken up."
Digitized Llodys Register - Derrymore : Lloyd's Register of Ships
Lloyd’s of London Register of Ships - MV Derrymore 1937-1938 [PDF]
Lloyd’s of London Register of Ships - MV Derrymore 1938-1939 [PDF]
Lloyd’s of London Register of Ships - MV Derrymore 1939-1940 [PDF]
Lloyd’s of London Register of Ships - MV Derrymore 1940-1941 [PDF]
Lloyd’s of London Register of Ships - MV Derrymore 1941-1942 [PDF]
Lloyd’s of London Register of Ships - MV Derrymore 1942-1943 [PDF]
Lloyd’s of London Register of Ships - MV Derrymore 1944-1945 [PDF]
Postwar, Burntisland Shipbuilding Company Ltd built another cargo ship named Derrymore (ii) in 1951
Burntisland Heritage Trust "The Loss of the Derrycunihy" by Iain Sommerville

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Last Updated
February 14, 2021

 

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