Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam passenger ship

Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

Type:Steam passenger ship
Tonnage3,442 tons
Completed1923 - Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Dundee 
OwnerYeoward Line Ltd, Liverpool 
Date of attack26 Sep 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-203 (Rolf Mützelburg)
Position47° 57'N, 24° 05'W - Grid BE 4156
Complement166 (123 dead and 43 survivors).
RouteLisbon - Liverpool 
Cargo469 tons of general cargo and mail 
History Completed in January 1923 
Notes on event

At 00.31 hours on 26 Sep 1941, U-203 fired a spread of four torpedoes at convoy HG-73 north of the Azores and heard four detonations, but made no observations because they had to dive to evade an attack by HMS Larkspur (K 82) (Lt S.C.B. Hickman, RNR). Two ships were hit and sunk in this attack: Varangberg in station #52 and Avoceta, the ship of convoy commodore in station #51.

The Avoceta (Master Harold Martin) was the ship of convoy commodore Rear-Admiral K.E.L. Creighton, MVO, RN. The ship was hit on the port side close to the engine room by one torpedo and sank quickly. 43 crew members, four gunners and 76 passengers were lost. The master, the commodore, five naval staff members 19 crew members, two gunners and 12 passengers were picked up by HMS Periwinkle (K 55) (LtCdr P.G. MacIver, RNR) and HMS Jasmine (K 23) (LtCdr C.D.B. Coventry, RNR) and landed at Milford Haven on 30 September. Three crew members were picked up by the Cervantes, which was sunk by U-201 (Schnee) the next night. The men survived the second sinking, were picked up by the British steam merchant Starling and landed at Liverpool on 1 October.

On boardWe have details of 126 people who were on board

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