Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Motor tanker

Photo courtesy of Arne Gundersen

Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage9,973 tons
Completed1939 - Deutsche Werft AG, Betrieb Finkenwärder, Hamburg 
OwnerThe Texas Co (Norway) A/S, Oslo 
Date of attack15 Jun 1940Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-38 (Heinrich Liebe)
Position50° 37'N, 8° 44'W - Grid BF 1347
Complement35 (19 dead and 16 survivors).
RoutePort Arthur - Manchester 
Cargo13,000 tons of aviation spirit 
History Completed in July 1939 
Notes on event

At 01.01 and 01.05 hours on 15 June 1940, U-38 fired torpedoes at convoy HX-47 about 60 miles west of the Scilly Isles and sank the Italia and Erik Boye.

The Italia (Master Johan Karsten Hallén) was struck by a torpedo between hold #10 and the engine room, setting the afterpart on fire immediately, with the flames spreading forward and across the water at a tremendous speed and killing almost the entire engine crew. Eight men jumped overboard and another managed to get out through the porthole of his cabin. Boats were lowered and lifebelts thrown out from the bridge to those in the water. The officers amidships waited as long as they could in the hope that more people from the afterpart would be able to come forward, but had to abandon ship when the seas started to wash over the main afterdeck. The ship finally sank in 50°41N/08°52’30W in shallow waters with the bow visible over the water. In the afternoon the survivors were picked up by HMS Fowey (L 15) (Cdr H.B. Ellison, RN) and taken to Plymouth.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 35 people who were on board

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