Ships hit by U-boats


Empire Heritage

British Steam tanker



Empire Heritage under her former name Tafelberg

NameEmpire Heritage
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage15,702 tons (one of the largest ships sunk).
Completed1930 - Sir W.G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
OwnerChristian Salvesen & Co, Edinburgh 
HomeportLondon 
Date of attack8 Sep 1944Nationality:      British
 
FateSunk by U-482 (Hartmut Graf von Matuschka, Freiherr von Toppolczan und Spaetgen)
Position55.27N, 08.01W - Grid AM 5387
Complement163 (112 dead and 51 survivors).
ConvoyHX-305
RouteNew York - Liverpool - Glasgow 
Cargo16,000 tons of fuel oil and 1942 tons of deck cargo, including tanks and trucks 
History Completed in July 1930 as South African whale factory ship Tafelberg (13,640 grt) for Kerguelen Sealing & Whaling Co Ltd, Capetown. On 28 Jan, 1941, the Tafelberg was damaged by a mine in 51°21N/03°16W and beached at Porthkerry. After about a year the ship was refloated and taken to Whitmore Bay. Rebuilt as steam tanker Empire Heritage by Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) and returned to service in February 1943. 
Notes on event

At 05.51 hours on 8 Sep, 1944, U-482 fired a torpedo spread at the convoy HX-305 north-northeast of Tory Island and heard a detonation and sinking noises. The same happened after firing a Gnat at 05.59 hours. Apparently both torpedoes hit the Empire Heritage. At 06.37 hours, the U-boat fired a Gnat at a stopped ship, which sank shortly after the hit. The stopped vessel was the rescue ship Pinto, which was rescuing the survivors of the torpedoed tanker when attacked.

The Empire Heritage (Master James Jamieson, OBE) was hit on the starboard side just abaft of the bridge and the stern. The ship settled by the stern and soon thereafter capsized before sinking. The master, 49 crew members, eight gunners, one army storekeeper and 53 passengers (DBS) were lost. Two crew members already picked up by the Pinto were lost when she was sunk. 25 crew members, three gunners, 20 passengers (DBS) and one signalman were picked up by HMS Northern Wave (FY 153) (T/Lt F.J.R. Storey, RNVR) and landed at Londonderry.

 
On boardWe have details of 104 people who were on board

Location of attack on Empire Heritage.

ship sunk.


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Media links


Darkest before dawn

John Peterson

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