Merchant Navy (R241039). British
|Born||26 Dec 1925||Whitburn, West Lothian|
|Died||3 Nov 2017||(91)||Guildford, Surrey|
Roster information listed for John MacKinnon
|Ship||Type||Rank / role||Attacked on||Boat|
|Vimeira||Steam tanker||Junior Apprentice||11 Aug 1942||U-109 (1)|
John "Ian" MacKinnon joined the Merchant Navy shortly after his fifteenth birthday. He survived the sinking of his first, not yet identified, ship and spent three days in a lifeboat before being rescued. On 18 March 1941 he joined the Vimeira at Tilbury and survived the sinking of this tanker in the lifeboat in charge of the second officer on 11 August 1942. The occupants of this boat were rescued by Siranger after 28 days at sea and later transferred to the British cable ship Lady Denison-Pender, but John decided to stay on the Norwegian ship to continue his training and became part of the crew as deck boy until signing off at New York on 25 November 1942. He eventually returned to the UK and continued his training aboard the Valdemosa, another tanker of Gow, Harrison & Company.
After the war, John MacKinnon first returned to Scotland to work with his father, who was a dairyman from the island of Barra, then gained employment with Anglo Iranian Oil Company and later Mobil Oil. Many years after the war, his son Simon encountered a man from Bergen who managed to get him into contact with the son of Amund Utne, who had been the master of Siranger. In due course, a reunion of some great emotion was made possible between John MacKinnon and Amund Utne.
- Personal communication