HMS Bayano (1913)

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HMS Bayano with dazzle camouflage
HMS Bayano with dazzle camouflage
Name: Bayano
Operator: Elders & Fyffes, Ltd., Glasgow
Builder: Alexander Stephen and Sons, Ltd., Glasgow
Completed: 1913
United KingdomUK
Name: HMS Bayano
Operator: Royal Navy
Fate: Torpedoed by SM U-27 on 11 March 1915
General characteristics [1]
Tonnage: 5,948 GRT
Speed: 14 knots
Armament: 2 x 6 inch guns

HMS Bayano, built in 1913, was originally a banana boat for the Elders & Fyffes line. At the outbreak of World War I it was drafted into the Royal Navy on 21 November 1914 as an armed merchant auxiliary cruiser.[2] On 11 March 1915, it was torpedoed by SM U-27 and sank within minutes killing around 200 of its crew.[2] Twenty-six survivors were pulled from the water.[3]


Once in the Royal Navy she was part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron.[2]


In the North Channel on her Glasgow to Liverpool route at 05:15 on 11 March 1915, HMS Bayano was attacked by the German submarine SM U-27 about ten miles west of Corsewall Lighthouse, Corsewall Point, Galloway, Scotland.[2][3] The auxiliary cruiser sank in just five minutes and took the commander, Commander H. C. Carr, and 194[4] other crew members down with it. Most of the crew was asleep and only 26 men survived to be rescued by the British steamer Castlereagh.[3] Bayano's Lieutenant Commander Guy described Captain Carr on the bridge, standing without fear waving goodbye while shouting "Good luck to you boys" before the ship disappeared under the waves.[3]

Residents of the Isle of Man were greatly affected by the sinking as a number of bodies washed up on her shores.[5] The funeral procession for the Bayano victims numbered in the thousands even though the victims were not from the island.[5] Also hard hit was the Colony of Newfoundland, then a part of the British Empire. A dozen men from the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve were lost on the Bayano.[6]

Baralong incidents

SM U-27 (Germany) was attacked and sunk in the Western Approaches in position 50°43′N 07°22′W / 50.717°N 7.367°W / 50.717; -7.367 by gunfire from Q-ship HMS Baralong. Her entire crew, including Bernhard Wegener, was killed in the so-called Baralong incidents.[7]



  1. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit during WWI: HMS Bayano". German and Austrian U-boats of World War I - Kaiserliche Marine - Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Merseyside Roll of Honour 2010
  3. ^ a b c d Johnston 2015
  4. ^ Corkill, Adrian. Hostile Sea. p. 21. ISBN 9780954011529.
  5. ^ a b Smith 2015, p. 29
  6. ^ Hadley 1996, p. 251
  7. ^ Bridgland 1999, pp. 20–55


  • Bridgland, Tony (1999). Sea Killers in Disguise: The Story of the Q-ships and Decoy Ships in the First World War. Leo Cooper. ISBN 9780850526752. - Total pages: 274
  • Hadley, Michael L., Robert Neil Huebert & Fred W. Crickard (1996). Nation's Navy: In Quest of Canadian Naval Identity. McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 9780773515062. - Total pages: 460
  • Johnston, Willie (12 March 2015). "Centenary of HMS Bayano disaster off the Galloway coast". BBC News. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  • Merseyside Roll of Honour (2010). "H.M.S. Bayano". mroh. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  • Smith, Caroline (2015). Isle of Man in the Great War. Pen and Sword Books. ISBN 9781783831227. - Total pages: 112

Coordinates: 55°3.0348′N 05°26.0976′W / 55.0505800°N 5.4349600°W / 55.0505800; -5.4349600

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