Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Chief Officer Norman Oakes

 At 11.15 hours on 23 Jan, 1941, the unescorted Lurigethan (Master M. Kennedy), a straggler from convoy SLS-61 due to bad weather, was bombed and set on fire by a German Fw200 aircraft of I./KG 40 in 53°46’N/16°00’W, about 280 miles west of Galway Bay, Ireland. 15 crew members and one gunner were lost. The survivors abandoned ship in the lifeboats, but a boarding party later returned aboard in an attempt to save her. They managed to extinguish the fire amidships, but the fire in the cargo of cotton in #4 hold was out of control, the engine room was wrecked and the ship was slowly settling by the bow. The wireless operator rigged a temporary aerial and sent emergency messages that were heard by Milos, another straggler from the same convoy, which picked up 14 men from two lifeboats about four hours after the attack and landed them at Oban on 27 January. Norman Oakes of Carrickfergus was one of 16 crew members that perished on board. 

NAME; Oakes, Norman
RANK; Chief Officer
UNIT/SERVICE; Merchant Navy
REGIMENT; S.S. Lurigethan (Belfast)
BORN; 1905, Carrickfergus
LIVED; Carrickfergus
FATE; Killed in action - 23/01/1941
CEMETERY; Body never recovered
CHURCH; Methodist
MEMORIAL; Tower Hill Memorial, London Panel 66
REMARKS: Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Oakes, husband of Norah Oakes. 

Lurigethan under her former name Celaeno

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