British Steam tanker
|Tonnage||15,702 tons (one of the largest ships sunk).|
|Completed||1930 - Sir W.G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne|
|Owner||Christian Salvesen & Co, Edinburgh|
|Date of attack||8 Sep 1944||Nationality: British|
|Fate||Sunk by U-482 (Hartmut Graf von Matuschka, Freiherr von Toppolczan und Spaetgen)|
|Position||55° 27'N, 8° 01'W - Grid AM 5387|
|Complement||163 (112 dead and 51 survivors).|
|Route||New York - Liverpool - Glasgow|
|Cargo||16,000 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 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 convoy signalman, one army storekeeper and 52 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 board||We have details of 108 people who were on board.|
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