Posted by William B Rose email@example.com
on April 13, 2001 - transferred from the old Forum.
If anyone out there knows anything about the British
registered ship the "Rio Dorado", would you kindly
email me the info. I know that it was sunk on
March 16, 1941 in the North Atlantic and there were
no survivors. My father, Lester Barnes was on board
and I am trying desparately to find any and all info.
Thanks in advance> Bill Rose
Posted by Siri firstname.lastname@example.org
on April 13, 2001.
Rio Dorado belonged to Thompson Steamshipping Co. Ltd., London. Built in 1924, 4507 gt.. This company also had 3 other ships named Rio+another name.
She was shelled and sunk by Gneisenau on March 15-1941, 42N 43W, as you say there were no survivors, 39 died. Hope someone else can give you more information on this incident.
Posted by Roger W Jordan email@example.com
on April 14, 2001.
RIO DORADO was owned by Thompson Steam Shipping Co Ltd, of 50-51 Lime Street, London EC3, which before the Second World War owned a small fleet of general cargo vessels.
The vessel was built by Blyth Shipbuilding & Dry Docks Co Ltd, Blyth, England, and completed in September 1924. She was 4507 gross tons, 2766 net tons, 8200 deadweight tons; length 390 ft, breadth 55 ft 4 in, depth 25 ft 6 in, and draught 25 ft 1 in; fitted with a triple expansion steam engine of 444 nominal horsepower, about 2000 indicated horsepower, and had a top speed of 12 knots. Official number was 147726 and signal letters GFYC.
On 15 March 1941 the German battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst encountered in the northern central Atlantic scattered ships of a dispersed convoy. Gneisenau sank seven cargo ships and captured three tankers. RIO DORADO, under command of Captain A J Clare, was one of the vessels sunk, in approximate position 42N 43W, and all of her 39 crew was lost. She was on voyage from River Tyne and Oban and her eventual destination was Baltimore; cargo was 3046 tons of coke.
Gneisenau was soon after found by the battleship HMS Rodney which was part of the excort for convoy HX114, but the faster German ship was able to escape and avoided an engagement. This was the German ship's most successful attack while operating from ports in occupied France.
Roger W Jordan
Posted by Siri on April 14, 19101 at 17:30:48:
This must have been the incident in which the Norwegian Bianca was captured and the British Simnia was sunk? (If so the Norwegian ship Polycarp was also there).
Posted by Roger W Jordan on April 17, 2001.
In this encounter, which was the most successful made by the German Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, Scharnhorst sank the British tanker ATHELFOAM, the British freighters DEMETERTON, SARDINIAN PRINCE, MYSON and SILVERFIR and the Netherlands freighter MANGKAI.
Gneisenau sank the British tankers BRITISH STRENGTH (together with Scharnhorst) and SIMNIA, freighters ROYAL CROWN and EMPIRE INDUSTRY, the Danish reefer CHILEAN REEFER and the Norwegian freighter GRANLI. The Norwegian tankers BIANCA and POLYKARP and the British tanker SAN CASIMIRO were captured.
Roger W Jordan