Ships hit by U-boats

Benjamin Franklin

Norwegian Motor merchant

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

NameBenjamin Franklin
Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage7,034 tons
Completed1927 - Ateliers & Chantiers de St.Nazaire (Penhoët) SA, St.Nazaire 
OwnerFred Olsen & Co, Oslo 
Date of attack19 Feb 1941Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-103 (Viktor Schütze)
Position58° 50'N, 16° 30'W - Grid AM 1377
Complement36 (0 dead and 36 survivors).
ConvoyHX-107 (straggler)
RouteSan Francisco - Bermuda (1 Feb) - Liverpool 
Cargo8400 tons of general cargo, including 300 tons of lead, explosives and aircraft parts 
Notes on event

At 22.22 hours on 19 Feb 1941 the Benjamin Franklin (Master Alf Anderssen), a straggler from convoy HX-107 due to bad weather, was struck by a torpedo from U-103 in the engine room and 20 minutes later by a second torpedo on the starboard side under hatch #4, where 1700 barrels of aceton were stowed. The ship disintegrated in an enormous explosion, but all crew members had already abandoned the ship after the first hit in the lifeboats, which were later separated.

On 26 February, seven sailors in one of them were picked up by the HMS Pimpernel (K 71) and taken to Liverpool (the only survivors as it later turned out). 20 Norwegians, three Swedes, two Canadians, one Irishman, one Dane and one Russian were picked up by the Egyptian steam merchant Memphis. On 28 February the engines of the Memphis were disabled in heavy weather and she foundered northwest of Ireland in 56°40N/10°30W. All on board were lost.

One of the crew, Oscar Bøe had apparently been picked up by a passing ship, but died when that was also torpedoed shortly thereafter.

On boardWe have details of 36 people who were on board

Location of attack on Benjamin Franklin.

ship sunk.

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