Dutch Steam merchant
|Completed||1923 - Blohm & Voss, Hamburg|
|Owner||Koninklijke Rotterdamsche Lloyd NV (W. Ruys & Zonen), Rotterdam|
|Date of attack||17 Mar 1943||Nationality: Dutch|
|Fate||Sunk by U-631 (Jürgen Krueger)|
|Position||51° 45'N, 31° 15'W - Grid AK 8878|
|Complement||97 (36 dead and 61 survivors).|
|Route||Wallaroo - Cristobal - New York - Belfast Lough - Swansea|
|Cargo||Zinc, wheat and mail|
|History||Completed in February 1923 as German Essen for Deutsch-Australische DG, Hamburg. 1926 taken over by Hamburg-Amerika Linie (HAPAG), Hamburg. On 10 May 1940, the ship was seized at Sourabaya by the Netherlands and renamed Terkoelei. |
|Notes on event|
At 14.05 hours on 17 March 1943, U-384 (Rosenberg-Gruszcynski) fired three torpedoes at convoy HX-229 northeast of St. John’s, heard three detonations and claimed two ships sunk and another as damaged. At the same time U-631 reported the sinking of a tanker with one torpedo. It is unlikely that the Coracero in station #92 and the Terkoelei were hit by the same U-boat, apparently U-384 sank the first ship and U-631 the latter.
The Terkoelei had been in station #104, but in the morning on 17 March took over the station #91 as leading ship of the starboard column. At 14.06 hours, U-631 attacked convoy, heard a hit after 1 minute 18 seconds and then sinking noises. The crew, consisting of Dutch men, Lascars and British gunners, abandoned ship in four lifeboats but many Lascars were so shocked that two boats failed to clear the capsizing ship and were hit by the mainmast and the funnel, drowning many occupants. The survivors were picked up by HMS Mansfield (G 76) (LtCdr L.C. Hill, OBE, RNR) and landed at Gourock.
|On board||We have details of 97 people who were on board.|
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