Some Background

Survivor Recollections

The Kerlogue commemorative exhibition was opened by the then President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, in 1994. A cadet rescued by the Kerlogue, W. D. Klueber, wrote a summary document for the occasion entitled 'The Story of the German Navy Personnel interned in Ireland 1944-1945'. This is an audio transcript of that document.

A Brief History of the Kerlogue

This video (2:40) gives a brief history of the Kerlogue with some fascinating images and graphics to enhance the story

The Rescue of 168 Sailors

This video (9:54) details the incredible true story of how 11 Irish merchant seamen aboard the tiny cargo ship, The Kerlogue, saved the lives of 168 enemy sailors from certain death.

Play Video

The Lonely Sea and Sky

The story of a ballad which was inspired by the Irish Mercantile Marine during the second world war and in particular the small coaster MV Kerlogue. The Irish Mercantile Marine during World War II continued essential overseas trade in the conflict, a period referred to as The Long Watch by Irish mariners. Much of the information and images for this song and video were gathered from the book 'The Long Watch' by Frank Forde.

The Long Watch Men

Author Dermot Bolger reads an extract from his book “The Lonely Sea and Sky”. His novel, based on a real life rescue in 1943, when the crew of the Wexford ship Kerlogue risked their lives to save 168 German sailors. Forced to choose who to save and who to leave behind, the Kerlogue grows so dangerously overloaded that no one knows if it will survive amid the massive Biscay waves.

MV Kerlogue Timeline

Built in Rotterdam
She was 142 feet (43 m) long and measured 335 gross register tons
Rescues the Wild Rose

The Kerlogue altered course near the Tuscar rock to assist the Wild Rose which it took in tow and rescued the crew of thirteen.

Struck a mine in Cardigan Bay

On October 7th 1941, while sailing from Port Talbot in Wales to Rosslare, MV Kerlogue was damaged by a mine but survived.

Attacked by two unidentified aircraft

130 miles (ca. 209 km) south of Ireland, on passage to Lisbon with a cargo of coal, MV Kerlogue was circled by a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Sunderland flying boat. Three hours later, she was attacked by two unidentified aircraft for over twenty minutes. Badly damaged, the Kerlogue limped back to Cobh, where it was found that the cargo of coal had saved her; without it, the shells would have penetrated the hull.

Rescues 168

On 29 December 1943, following repairs in Cork, the Kerlogue was 360 miles (c579 km) south of Fastnet Rock, on passage from Lisbon to Dublin with a cargo of oranges, when she was circled by a German long range reconnaissance aircraft signalling “SOS” and heading southeast. The Kerlogue altered course to the southeast, where she came upon an appalling scene. The German Narvik-class destroyer Z27 and two Elbing class torpedo boats, T25 and T26, had been sunk. More than 700 men, most of them dead, were in the water.
The Kerlogue spent ten hours plucking survivors from the water. 168 were rescued, although four died on board. This was remarkable, given that the Kerlogue was only 142 feet (43 m) long. The cargo of oranges saved the rescued from dehydration.

The rescued Germans remained at the Curragh internment camp until the war was over. Two are buried in Glencree German War Cemetery.

Sold to Norway
Wrecked off Tromsø
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The National Maritime Museum of Ireland, Haigh Terrace, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland. A96 C8X7


00 353 (0)1 280 0969
00 353 (0)1 2143 964

MV Kerlogue Exhibition


Exhibition Now Open

Exhibition Information: Ireland’s National Maritime Museum is housed in Dun Laoghaire’s 180-year-old Mariner's Church, directly opposite the new DLR Lexicon library and easily accessible by DART suburban train and several bus services.
The museum’s greatest artefact is probably the building itself, as it is one of a few custom-built places of worship for seafarers remaining intact in the world today.