Daily Event for January 9, 2013

The 4,713 ton passenger ship Lamoricière was built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson in 1920. She was launched May 20, 1920 and was 370' long. Her owners were Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (French Line) and she was used in the Mediterranean between France and French North Africa.

On Jan. 6, 1942 the ship carrying about 400 people departed Algiers for Marseille, but the weather turned bad and she was soon in a violent storm. It was later reported that the quality of coal in the ship was low and subsequently she could not get up to full speed, nevertheless when a distress call was sent by the freighter Jumièges on the 7th, captain Milliasseau altered course and made all speed toward the ship. When he arrived in the area nothing was found (Jumièges had already foundered, none of her twenty man crew survived) and his own ship was now in great difficulty.

The waves were pounding his ship to pieces, her plates were starting to buckle and water was enter the ship. Milliasseau made a gallant attempt to get his ship to Menorca Island in the Balearic Islands which was about thirty miles southwest of where Jumièges had gone down. The waves continued to lash away at his ship and finally about ten miles northeast of the island the Lamoricière succumbed to the sea and went down.

A number of French warships and freighters moved in to the area and picked up about 100 survivors, but apparently the remaining almost three hundred people on board, including captain Millasseau, were lost.
© 2013 Michael W. Pocock