Ships hit by U-boats


British Motor tanker

We don't have a picture of this vessel at this time.

Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage6,825 tons
Completed1940 - Sir James Laing & Sons, Sunderland 
OwnerUnited Molasses Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack25 Aug 1940Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-48 (Hans Rudolf Rösing)
Position58° 24'N, 11° 25'W - Grid AM 2583
Complement36 (30 dead and 6 survivors).
RouteAruba - Bermuda - Methil - London 
Cargo10,125 tons of diesel oil 
History Completed in April 1940 
Notes on event

At 02.45 hours on 25 Aug 1940, U-48 attacked convoy HX-65A 90 miles east by north of Flannan Isles and hit the Athelcrest in station #13 and the Empire Merlin in station #15 with one torpedo each, claiming two ships totaling 14,000 grt sunk.

The Athelcrest (Master Llewellyn V.F. Evans) was struck on the port side between bunker and boiler room by one G7e torpedo and caught fire after an internal explosion with flames enveloping the poop, the main deck and bridge. The ship stopped at once and slowly settled by the stern until only 20 feet of her bow was visible over the water. 29 crew members and one gunner (the ship was armed with one 12pdr and one 4in gun) were lost. The master and five crew members managed to launch two lifeboats in the heavy swell, but suffered from oil and sulphur fumes from Empire Merlin. They were picked up after 4 hours by HMS Godetia (K 72) (LtCdr G.V. Legassick, RNR), which scuttled the wreck of the tanker with gunfire and later landed the survivors at Rosyth.

On boardWe have details of 31 people who were on board

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

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats