Angus MacLeay was a sailor on board ss Thistlegorm, a merchantman.
The Thistlegorm set sail from Glasgow on June 2 1941, carrying Bedford trucks, Brencarriers, motorcycles, Brenguns and ammunition, .303 rifles and two railwayengines for the British troops in North-Africa.
At the time, the Meditterranean was dominated by the Germans. Therefore the Thistlegorm sailed by way of Cape Town and the east coast of Africa to the Red Sea. Due to a collision between a few ships in the Suez Canal, Thistlegorm could not leave port.
The Germans, who had been watching the build-up of British troops, were expecting convoys so they dispatched two Heinkel He 111 bombers from Crete to search for troop transports. They did not find any but they did find Thistlegorm. October 6th, 1941, Thistlegorm was hit by two bombs and sank due to exploding ammunition. Four sailors and five members of the Royal Gunnery crew lost their lives.
Today, the Thistlegorm, rediscovered by Jacques Cousteau is a popular diving site.
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