British Steam passenger ship
|Type:||Steam passenger ship|
|Completed||1911 - John Brown & Co Ltd, Clydebank|
|Owner||New Zealand Shipping Co Ltd, London|
|Date of attack||11 Dec 1940||Nationality: British|
|Fate||Sunk by U-96 (Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock)|
|Position||58.56N, 11.20W - Grid AM 2376|
|Complement||132 (22 dead and 110 survivors).|
|Route||Lyttelton - Panama - Halifax (29 Nov) - Avonmouth|
|Cargo||10,803 tons of general cargo, including refrigerated foodstuffs|
Completed in September 1911 as Shropshire for Federal Steam Navigation Co Ltd, London. 1917 requisitioned by the Admiralty as troop transport and returned to owner after First World War ended. 1922 renamed Rotorua for New Zealand Shipping Co Ltd, London. In September 1939 again requisitoned by the Admiralty as troop transport but soon thereafter returned to the owner.
|Notes on event|
At 15.12 hours on 11 Dec, 1940, the Rotorua (Master Edgar Reginald Harrison Kemp) in convoy HX-92 was hit by one G7e torpedo from U-96 and sank by the stern after 20 minutes about 100 miles west of St. Kilda. She was the ship of the convoy commodore (Rear-Admiral J.U.P. Fitzgerald, CB, RN) and had 27 service personnel on board as passengers. Two crew members were taken prisoner by the U-boat and landed at Lorient on 29 December. The master, the commodore, 15 crew members, two gunners and three passengers were lost. 25 survivors were picked up by HMS Varanga (FY 1625) (T/Lt G.C. Crowley, RNVR), 34 survivors by the British minelayer HMS Alsey (M 51) (Lt H.A. Inglis, RNR) and 49 survivors by HMS Ebor Wyke (FY 1601) (T/A/Skipper T.E. Olgeirsson, RNR) and landed at Stornoway.
|On board||We have details of 24 people who were on board.|
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