Ships hit by U-boats


Canadian Steam merchant

Cornwallis under her former name Canadian Transporter. Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,458 tons
Completed1921 - J. Coughlan & Sons Ltd, Vancouver BC 
OwnerCanadian National Steamships Ltd, Montreal 
Date of attack3 Dec 1944Nationality:      Canadian
FateSunk by U-1230 (Hans Hilbig)
Position43° 59'N, 68° 20'W - Grid BA 9572
Complement48 (43 dead and 5 survivors).
RouteBarbados (20 Nov) - Sandwich, Massachusetts - St. John, New Brunswick 
CargoBagged sugar and molasses in barrels 
History Completed in October 1921 as Canadian Transporter for the Canadian Government. 1932 renamed Cornwallis for Canadian National Steamships Ltd, Montreal.

On 11 Sep 1942, U-514 (Auffermann) fired a total of six torpedoes at Cornwallis and the Norwegian motor merchant Betancuria (2696 grt) in the harbour of Bridgetown, Barbados. At 22.37 hours, two G7e bow torpedoes were fired, one on each target from a distance of about 3500 meters, followed by single G7e bow torpedoes on each ship at 22.43 and 22.55 hours. The U-boat then turned around and fired both G7e stern torpedoes from a distance of about 2200 metres at 23.02 hours, again at both targets. Auffermann claimed the sinking of two ships with 7500 grt and 4500 grt, but he was not aware of the torpedo net off Carlisle Bay that caught most of the shots. Only the last torpedo fired at Cornwallis apparently passed a hole in the net made by a previous shot and hit the ship abreast of #2 hold, causing her to sink in shallow waters at 13°05N/59°36W. She was raised and after temporary repairs towed to Trinidad in December 1942 and later towed to Mobile, arriving on 24 Jan 1943. The ship was repaired and returned to service in August 1943. 
Notes on event

At 10.00 hours on 3 Dec 1944 the unescorted Cornwallis (Master Emerson Horace Robinson) was torpedoed and sunk by a Gnat from U-1230 10 miles southwest of Mount Desert Rock in the Gulf of Maine. The master, 35 crew members and seven gunners were lost. Five survivors were picked up by the fishing vessel Notre Dame and landed at Rockland, Maine.

On boardWe have details of 44 people who were on board

Attack entries for Cornwallis

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
11 Sep 1942U-514Kptlt. Hans-Jürgen AuffermannDamaged5,458  
3 Dec 1944U-1230Kptlt. Hans HilbigSunk5,458  

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats