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On This Day



On This Day… The Liner That Sank A Warship

Written by: George Chittenden : 05 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 2nd Oct, back in 1942 when the Ocean Liner RMS Queen Mary accidentally rammed and sank HMS Curacoa, killing 337 crewmen aboard. The accident occurred as RMS Queen Mary was used as a troopship during WWII. She crossed the Atlantic without an escort carrying approximately 10,000 American troops of the 29th Infantry Division and used her speed to avoid U-Boats.

When she reached Ireland, she was joined by HMS Curacoa whose anti-aircraft guns provided a safe escort for the final leg of her journey to Scotland. The collision between the two ships occurred because the Queen Mary was performing a standard zig zag course to avoid submarine attacks. Meanwhile the Curacoa was on a straight course and would eventually be overtaken by the liner. Unfortunately, both Captains believed their ship had the right of way and the other would take evasive action. When the Queen Mary zagged, she hit Curacoa at full speed, cutting straight through the six-inch armoured plating and slicing the cruiser in half.

RMS Queen Mary is now in Long Island, New York

RMS Queen Mary is now in Long Island, New York

It took only six minutes for her to sink, killing 337 of her total crew of 439. The Queen Mary was under strict orders not to even stop and she continued her journey to Scotland. Today we remember those poor men that died on that dreadful day in our history. Lest we forget.

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