Crew list of Ships hit by U-boats

John MacKinnon

Merchant Navy (R241039). British

Born  26 Dec 1925Whitburn, West Lothian
Died  3 Nov 2017(91)Guildford, Surrey

Roster information listed for John MacKinnon

ShipTypeRank / roleAttacked onBoat
VimeiraSteam tankerJunior Apprentice11 Aug 1942U-109 (1)

Personal information

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.


  1. Personal communication

Crew list for Ships hit by U-boats