On 2 July 1940 the Arandora Star was hit by a German torpedo and sunk off the coast of Donegal, Ireland. The ship was transporting 1,500 German and Italian men to interment camps in Canada. Over 800 people died in the sinking, a figure exacerbated by inadequate lifeboat provision.
The Arandora Star was built in 1927 and intially sailed under the name Arandora. The Arandora’s maiden voyage was on 22 June 1927 to Buenos Aires, and can be found in the exclusive Passenger Lists on ancestorsonboard.com.
Rebuilt and renamed in 1929, the Arandora Star continued to sail as a luxury cruise ship. Records from it can be seen in our Passenger Lists, by searching under ship name.
An example of the journies undertaken in peacetime by the Arandora Star can be seen below, from a cruise made in March 1939:
The captain of the fateful journey in July 1940 was Edgar Wallace Moulton. He can be seen sailing her in 1939, in the Passenger Lists on ancestorsonboard:
A Canadian destroyer, HMCS Laurent, arrived to attempt a rescue mission, but it proved largely fruitless. Some of the scant lifeboats on board had been damaged by the torpedo, whilst others were unusable. Those internees that survived the sinking were still deported, sent on other ships as soon as possible to Australia.