british MV Derrycunihy [+1944]
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  Details  
 
general
nationality british
purpose transport
type cargo ship
propulsion motor vessel (diesel)
date built 1943
status
unknown
details
weight (tons) 7093  grt
dimensions 108 x 17.4 x 10.7 m
engine 1, 1 diesel engine
power 516  n.h.p.
speed  
about the loss
cause lost mine
date lost 24/06/1944  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  163~189rank: 453
about people
builder
Burntisland Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Burntisland
owner
McCowan & Gross Ltd., London
captain
complement 600
about the wreck
depth (m.) 9 max. / -- min. (m)
orientation 135°
protected
war grave
updates
entered by Eekelers Dirk
entered 25/01/2006
last update Allen Tony
last update 16/04/2013
 
  Position  
 
[1] Lettens Jan23/06/2009
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  The Wreck today  
 

Lettens Jan06/08/2007

Stands proud, orientation NW-SE. At low tide, the aft part and a piece of a mast are visible. The front part was recovered and towed back to England.

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copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu
 
 copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: SHOM copyright: Chipchase Nick copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
 
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  Hydrographic Service UK  
   
  History  
 
Claes Johnny19/06/2008During the Second World War, Burntisland Shipyard was working flat out and launching ships at an unprecedented rate. There were seven launches in 1943, and one of these was that of the Derrycunihy. She was a general purpose cargo ship of 10,200 tons, built for owners McCowen and Gross of London, and delivered to them in late February 1944. Although operated by her owners, she immediately came under the overall control of the Ministry of War Transport.

Guns were fitted fore and aft, and she entered war service. Three months later, on D-Day (6 June 1944), the first Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. The follow-up invasion forces included 600 men of the 43rd Reconnaissance Regiment. They found themselves crammed into the Derrycunihy, anchored off Sword Beach awaiting the impr ovement in the weather which would allow them to be landed safely. Things looked good early on the morning of 24 June - it was a fine day, with a flat, calm sea. Captain Richardson weighed anchor and prepared to head for the landing point. Then disaster - the ship´s movement triggered a German acoustic mine, which split the Derrycunihy in two. The forward section remained afloat, but the stern section, though still attached by the keel plates, sank within 20 seconds....

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ref. used: 
  burntisland.net
Eekelers Dirk25/01/2006Derrycunihy was mined when sailing from Sword beach (ouistreham) to Juno beach in Normandy on 24th June 1944. The ship broke in two and the stern sank very rapidly. 189 soldiers perished.
Lettens Jan27/08/2008UK hydro member
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 UK Hydrographic Office


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  Documents  
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About Builders
 Burntisland Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Burntisland
Burntisland Shipbuilding Co. opened at Burntisland West Dock in 1918 as an emergency shipyard during World War 1. The yard was managed by the Ayre Brothers, Amos and Wilfrid. They built a four berth yard and this enabled them to build ships up to 450 feet in length. This hi-tech shipbuilding "factory" also included an extensive railway system to carry steel to the various parts of the yard. - - In 1918 the first three ships to be built were standard "C" types, the yard then went on to build five-hold three-island tramps and twenty four-hold engines-amidship colliers. The yard also built "Arch-deck" colliers. In the 1920s the yard built a number of large tramps and from 1921 to 1929 the yard made 12 such vessels. The orders for colliers and coasters were constant during the interwar years and this managed to keep the yard solvent. During the 1930s the yard made a number of "flat-iron" colliers and coasters. In the mid 30s the demand for "Burntisland Economies" continued, and over a dozen of these were completed from 1935 to 1939. - - During WWII the yard made three "Loch" class frigates and sixty merchant hulls, tramps and colliers. In addition a number of orders were received from he Government for tramps, merchant aircraft carriers and a coaster. The yard was also making ships for private customers. - - From 1945 to 1965 the Burntisland Yard consolidated its reputation for high quality tramps and cargo-liners by making over 50 vessels.

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  History  
 
Claes Johnny19/06/2008During the Second World War, Burntisland Shipyard was working flat out and launching ships at an unprecedented rate. There were seven launches in 1943, and one of these was that of the Derrycunihy. She was a general purpose cargo ship of 10,200 tons, built for owners McCowen and Gross of London, and delivered to them in late February 1944. Although operated by her owners, she immediately came under the overall control of the Ministry of War Transport.

Guns were fitted fore and aft, and she entered war service. Three months later, on D-Day (6 June 1944), the first Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. The follow-up invasion forces included 600 men of the 43rd Reconnaissance Regiment. They found themselves crammed into the Derrycunihy, anchored off Sword Beach awaiting the impr ovement in the weather which would allow them to be landed safely. Things looked good early on the morning of 24 June - it was a fine day, with a flat, calm sea. Captain Richardson weighed anchor and prepared to head for the landing point. Then disaster - the ship´s movement triggered a German acoustic mine, which split the Derrycunihy in two. The forward section remained afloat, but the stern section, though still attached by the keel plates, sank within 20 seconds.

To make matters worse, an ammunition truck on the ship exploded, igniting the spilled oil on the surface of the surrounding water. Of the 600 men of the Regiment, 189 died and 150 were injured. Twenty-five of the crew, including a number of army gunners, also lost their lives. Most of the men who died had been trapped in th e sunken stern section. It was the heaviest single British loss of life off the invasion beaches. Paul Hannon, the archivist of the 43rd Reconnaissance Regiment History Group, visited Scotland in March 2006, to gather information for an exhibition in Bristol to commemorate the tragic events of 24 June 1944. Also planned was a memorial service off the Normandy coast at the spot where the stern section of the Derrycunihy still lies.
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  burntisland.net
 
 
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MV Derrycunihy [+1944]
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