British Troop transport
|Completed||1929 - Harland & Wolff Ltd, Govan, Glasgow|
|Owner||Union-Castle Mail SS Co Ltd, London|
|Date of attack||16 Jan 1942||Nationality: British|
|Fate||Damaged by U-402 (Siegfried von Forstner)|
|Position||46.04N, 19.06W - Grid BE 5716|
|Complement||? men (26 dead and ? survivors).|
|Route||Clyde - Singapore|
|Cargo||1400 troops and war material|
Completed in November 1929 as motor passenger ship Llangibby Castle for Union-Castle Mail SS Co Ltd, London. In July 1940 requisitioned as troop transport after a voyage from Capetown to Falmouth and carried troops to South and East Africa. In the night on 21/22 Dec, 1940, damaged during an air raid in Liverpool.
|Notes on event|
At 11.15 hours on 16 Jan, 1942, the Llangibby Castle (Master Bayer) in convoy WS-15 was torpedoed by U-402 north of the Azores. One torpedo hit the stern and blew away the after gun and the rudder, but the propellers remained intact. The ship limped to Horta in the Azores at 9 knots, fighting off attacks by German Fw200 aircraft on the way. The neutral Portugal allowed only 14 days for repairs and on 2 February, the ship had to left with the troops still on board and set course to Gibraltar, assisted by an Admiralty tug and escorted by three British destroyers.
On 6 April, the Llangibby Castle left Gibraltar under escort after temporary repairs, but still without rudder, for the UK, arriving on 13 April. Altogether she sailed 3400 miles without a rudder and with a badly damaged stern, only using her engines for steering, a feat for which her master was awarded the OBE.
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