Cornish City (3)

Comments from the forum - 1

I joined the Indian City June 75 I think in Houston and Jackie Chatten was the extra 2nd Engineer on board until we reached Japan and he paid off there, not sure if that was his last trip. Remember him reminiscing one night in the bar about the Graf Spee and the Jervis Bay/San Demitrio convoy, if I remember rightly he was bosun on the Cornish City the ship is right, rating may be wrong she was either the Commodore or vice commodore ship in that convoy. He gave a vivid description of the Jervis Bay steaming out of the convoy ensigns flying and firing away with her hand loaded and ranged 6" guns against a pocket battleship with automated 11" ones and how they bought the rest of the convoy time to scatter to the winds. he also described what it was like to be on the receiving end of the aforesaid 11" shells. He was a character and I found him to be a gentleman as well. Wally Hutchings. Posted on forum 7 May 2010.

If I may, just to correct your memory slightly with the Jervis Bay convoy that you mention. This was convoy HX 84 out of Halifax eastbound and was attacked on 5 November 1940 by the "Admiral Scheer", not the "Graf Spee" (which was actually scuttled a year earlier in December 1939 in Montevideo). The "Jervis Bay" as an Armed merchant Cruiser, was the sole escort and was of course sunk with a VC going to the Master Fogarty Fegan, but by her sacrifice she did save the convoy which had time to scatter.
As I understand it, yes the "Cornish City" was the Commodore ship of the convoy and hence was the ship that gave the order to scatter. Again if I remember rightly I think Capt Jake Vaughan was also on her as a young apprentice ( but I stand to be corrected on that )And yes the "San Demetrio" was in that same convoy. All in all an heroic and historic convoy in the annals of the Merchant Navy, many a brave man that day. Graham Mapplebeck. Posted on forum 7 May 2010.

...and further to my last I forgot to mention that another RSL ship, the Fresno City was also a victim of that convoy sunk by the Admiral Scheer, one of 5 British merchant ships sunk in the convoy that day ...but it could have been so many more had it not been for the Jervis Bay. As you say must have been quite horrific being virtually defenceless on the receiving end of 11 inch shells fired from what was at that time an ultra-modern ship, the Admiral Scheer. Graham Mapplebeck. Posted on forum 7 May 2010.

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Cornish City. Page No. [1]
Memories from RSL staff. Page No. [1]
Official Loss Report. Page No. [1] [2] [3] [4]