HMS Hecla (F 20)
British Destroyer tender
|Name||HMS Hecla (F 20)|
|Type:||Destroyer tender (Hecla)|
|Completed||1941 - John Brown & Co Ltd, Clydebank|
|Date of attack||12 Nov 1942||Nationality: British|
|Fate||Sunk by U-515 (Werner Henke)|
|Position||35° 43'N, 9° 54'W - Grid CG 8830|
|Complement||847 (279 dead and 568 survivors).|
|Route||Simonstown - North Africa|
|Cargo||Supplies for destroyers|
|History||Completed in January 1941. On 15 May 1942, HMS Hecla (F 20) (Capt E.F.B. Law, RN) struck a mine laid by Doggerbank off Capetown. The explosion hit amidships, put the steering gear out of action and caused a big leak. The ship was towed by HMS Gambia (48) (Capt M.J. Mansergh, RN) to Simonstown, where she was repaired for 18 weeks. 24 crew members were lost. |
|Notes on event|
At 00.15 hours on 12 Nov 1942, U-515 fired a spread of four torpedoes at HMS Hecla (F 20) (A/Capt G.V.B. Faulkner, RN), which was misidentified as a Birmingham-class cruiser and hit her in the engine room. Two torpedoes were surface-runner and the last also malfunctioned and was a circle-runner. The U-boat then hit the ship with three coups de grâce at 01.28, 01.49 and 02.06 hours, sinking the vessel west of Gibraltar.
At 02.11 hours, U-515 fired two torpedoes and badly damaged HMS Marne (G 35) (LtCdr H.N.A. Richardson, DSO, DSC, RN) which attempted to rescue the survivors. They were eventually picked up by HMS Venomous (D 75) (Cdr H.W. Falcon-Steward, RN) and landed at Casablanca.
|On board||We have details of 288 people who were on board.|
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