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SS Motagua Collision

Updated: Mar 30

Unit/ Formation: Memorial

Location: Irish Coast

Period/ Conflict: World War I

Year: 1918

Date/s: 19th March 1918

SS Motagua armed merchant cruiser, in collision with US destroyer Manley off Irish coast. She was damaged by her exploding depth charges.

9 RMLI killed

SS Motagua Log 19 March 1918

From Dakar to Special Rendezvous Lat 49.50, Long -8.47

6.00am: Lat 49 07 N, Long 9 22 W: star observation.

7.45am: Sighted destroyer Escort.

8.50am: US destroyer “Manley” approached on port bow, and rounded close under “Motagua’s” stern and came alongside starboard side.

8.10am: Manley’s stern collided with Motagua’s counter causing Manley’s depth charges to detonate. Heavy explosion followed Completely Wrecking Motagua’s poop and stern and causing extensive damage to the whole upperworks of Motagua including wireless cabin and aerial. Manley drifted away heavily on fire from Bridge aft.

9.00am: Motagua proceeded under her own steam steering by engines and escorted by Bluebell joined later by “Polyanthus”.

Hands employed collecting Wounded, clearing away debris and recovering dead. [Differing revs for port and starboard engines recorded from 9am to 9pm]

Noon: Mustered ships company. 1 Officer (Sub Lieutenant Rowland RNVR) and 7 men missing. 2 Officers (Lieutenant CS Wood RNR and Mr Lee RN Gunner) and 17 men identified, killed and 1 unidentified, killed. Approximately 33 Wounded.

4.00pm: Committed to the deep the remains of the late: Lieutenant Wood RNR, Mr Lee RN, Privates Beaney, Brown, Carver, Powell, Wykes [further details here], Oram, Levett and Corporal Wyatt RMLI. Stokers Logan, Turley, Goram [Gorman], McMenamin, Kerr, Rady [Raidy], Nolan, McCasken [McCracken], Assistant Steward Fraser and 1 unidentified body.

[Lat 49 32 N, Long 7 43 W]

Log: Navy Net

See the Royal Marines casualties here: Royal Marines Roll of Honour and Graves Database

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