World War 2 (1939 - 1945)


Image reproduced by permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

William McMeechan

Service: Merchant Navy
Unit: SS Leadgate - Steam Merchant - 2,125 tons
Rank: First Radio Officer

William McMeechan was born in Newton Mearns on 11 March 1922, son of David and Catherine McMeechan, of 13 Main Street, Newton Mearns.

SS Leadgate left New York on 27 February 1943, carrying 2,700 tons of flour. She was part of Convoy SC-121 on the North Atlantic supply route. These convoys were under constant attack by German U-boats. Many of the escort vessels had problems with their equipment and needed urgent repairs or even dry-docking. Consequently, they had difficulty in keeping up and became separated from the main convoy.

At 23.03 hours on 8 March 1943, the unescorted Leadgate was hit by one torpedo from U-642, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Brünning, and sank about 450 miles west of Rockall. The Master, Ernest Hay Halliday, 25 crew members and 4 gunners were lost. There were no survivors. William was 21 years of age and is commemorated on Tower Hill Memorial - Panel 64 and also on Newton Mearns Parish Church and Allan Glen War Memorials.

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