My name is Jaap Beaujon,son of Cornelis "Cees" or "Boei" Beaujon, 3rd mate on the Rosalia when it was torpedoed off the coast of Curacao in the evening. They were slowly crusing in order to enter the harbor in the early morning with their cargo of crude oil from Maracaibo, Venezuela.Beaujon had the first evening watch and was in charge on the bridge with one helmsman when suddenly the first torpedo hit aft into the engine room.A moment later they could see the second torpedo heading straight toward them at mid schip.He jumped of the bridge on the opposite side.The torpedo hit and while the ship went down Beaujon swam underneath the burning oil and only surfaced by wiping the burning oil aside to get some air.Once out of the burning oil he floated all night feeding the sharks with his uniform buttons.There were two boats around but he could not get their attention. They left but by early morning they returned.By then Beaujon had drifted away and could not get their attention. He finally remembered that he had his officer's whistle in his pocket and used it to get their attention but at first at no avail. When they turned away to go back he once more blew his whistle at all his might and someone on board heard something. They started looking again. After turning the engines off and after numerous more whistle blows from Beaujon they finally found him and he was rescued. The last one of the 13 survivors........ His parents and family saw the burning ship from their second floor balcony of their home on the ocean front of Pietermaai. It was not until hours later they heard that it was the Rosalia but were relieved to hear and see their son alive together with his 5 month pregnant wife of their first son. I followed on September 21, 9146 as a Victory baby.
A number of years later when he was piloting a German ship into the harbor of Willemstad, he had become a harbor pilot, he noticed that the captain seemed to know his way around outside the harbor with the strong currents. After docking they went down to the captain's hut for a cup of coffee. While talking the captain asked him where he had worked during the war and Beaujon told him about his sailing on the lake tankers and being torpedoed. He asked the name of the ship, "the Rosalia" Beaujon aanswered. There was a silence......... Then the captain said .... "Juli 27, 1943 at10.40p.m....one aft and one mid schip's",...........There was a long silence........"I was the first officer on that submarine,U615, I fired the torpedoes". " How many survived?"..."13 , I was the last one rescued"............... The conversation did not last too long after that . They shook hands and my father left.
Thank you for allowing me to share this story on this date, 5 May, 2014, Liberation day in the Netherlands,in his honor and memory.He lived until the early nineties.
Jaap Beaujon from Aruba
PS. The U-boat fled toward Barbados and was spotted there some days later by US warplanes stationed there. They bombarded to force it to surface. The crew was allowed to swim and float away from the boat after which it was bombarded to sink with the captain(wounded?) on board. The crew was shipped to the US as prisoners of war and remained there until after the war.
Does anyone know where I can get a decent photo of the Vicount to frame as a present for by father.
In July 1978 We were rescued by the Crew of the Gadinia when our boat engine broke down and we were drifting in the south China Sea for 43 days ! We had ran out of food and water. and had sick children aboard. If it wasn't for the Gadinia and crew I wouldn't be here today writing this. Grateful thanks to Gadinia and Crew. would love to get in contact with any crew members that wera on the same time as us.
My father, Norman Carter, was a survivor of the torpedo and was adrift for 28 days before reaching the Maldives. I believe he was a gunner.
Hi my Step dad John Morgan from Newport speaks fondly of his time on her Joined at Cardiff docks was on her until the great storm when you all had to fly home.
I must have enjoyed the Humilaria, as I joined the vessel on 11th May 1972 and left on 1st May 1973. I remember that the air-conditioning was always malfunctioning, so there was many a night spent sleeping on deck. People moan about their work today, and it was no different all those years ago, but I remember a time when there was more cameraderie and less selfishness and greed than there is today.
I joined the Ebalina in September 1980 as Chief Steward. I remember when C/0 Mike Barkes joined the vessel a couple of weeks after me. He joined with a 'heavy cold' and took to his bed for a few days. When he felt a little better he visited the Officers Bar around 0900 hours and as it was not opened, he knocked back the presentation miniature bottle of spirits that was given to the vessel by the shipyard. Needless to say the liquor did not have sufficient time to mature. Poor Mike died a year or two later from a brain haemmorage. He was one the last of the ' great characters' during those days.
Grant Arnold, Second cook, Chief Steward 1962-1964 Christened 25 August, 1962, was on the bow
Joined the ship in Rotterdam at the end of its maiden voyage having misplaced the anchor in the English channel? She was an ok ship a few teething problems as I recall, feed pumps losing oil, deck ballast line joints all rupturing when the ballast water slammed into a closed valve, trying to slow the ship up the channel only to find the warming through steam had been left on the hp turbine, soot blower auto warming through valve failing, caused a bit of a panic around the back of the boiler as I recall? But very clean and modern; however slow steaming from Europe to the gulf and back didn't do much for me as an adventure and was the catalyst for me going back on motor ships.
Sorry Paul Wayman, but it was me who “Bullshitted” the papers, I was actually senior cadet at the time. Though I was pissed It all escalated rather quickly. The Chief Officer saw this and pointed at me straight away and said “You” (I thought fuck me that was quick), then he went on “your the senior cadet, I want you to find out who did this”
Anyway, then came the “punishment” work (petty f***ers), I was all set to fess up, then word got round and about a dozen of the lads came to see me. “Mike, don’t do it, you’ll get sacked. Anyway, it was worth it just to see the reaction from the Chief Officer”. So discretion being the better part of valour I kept shtum, though (nearly) everyone knew it was me.
When I left I was branded “immature” on my report. Then thrown out of the captains cabin (Snowdon - I think), for telling him what went on the ship. Ie Alcoholism, drinking contests, sleeping on watch (on the mat behind the helm), flogging the chart corrections etc. He even threw a sellotape dispenser at me.
His response - he wrote to the company refusing to sail with me in any capacity whatsoever ever again. Petty arsehole.
When Shell interviewed me (after already having had my redundancy notice) they said they hoped I had learned something. I said “Yes - you just cant win” , they said that was the wrong attitude, I said it’s the only one you’re going to get from me.
Although we had some fantastic fun, and camaraderie, I hated the ship, and most of the officers on it. I recently went to an old Oralia shipmates wedding - so not all bad.