Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

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Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,956 tons
Completed1940 - J.L. Thompson & Sons Ltd, North Sands, Sunderland 
OwnerE.J. Sutton & Co, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
Date of attack8 Oct 1940Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-58 (Heinrich Schonder)
Position56° 48'N, 10° 17'W - Grid AM 2997
Complement37 (1 dead and 36 survivors).
ConvoyHX-76 (straggler)
RoutePort Alberni, BC (31 Aug) - Cristobal (16 Sep) - Kingston - Bermuda (24 Sep) - Portishead 
Cargo5800 tons of timber, 2000 tons of grain and 300 tons of lead 
History Completed in April 1940 
Notes on event

At 21.31 hours on 8 October 1940 the unescorted Confield (Master Walter Austin Sage) was hit on the starboard side in #2 hold by one torpedo from U-58 while steaming on a non-evasive course at 7 knots 88 miles west of Barra Head. The ship had been in convoy HX-76, but became a straggler after she had to heave to when her deck cargo of heavy logs began to shift in bad weather. At 21.39 hours, the U-boat fired a second torpedo which struck in the engine room and caused the boilers to explode. The ship settled slowly by the bow with an increasing list to starboard when the crew began to abandon ship in the lifeboats. Most survivors left in a lifeboat on the starboard side as another boat had been destroyed and the one on the port side was difficult to launch due to the list and left with only six crew members and one gunner (the ship was armed with one 4in and one 12pdr gun). The boats could not wait alongside for some missing men because more and more logs of timber from the deck cargo fell overboard. The U-boat left the area after missing with a third torpedo at 21.55 hours, assuming that their victim will sink anyway.

The next morning, HMS Weston (L 72) (Cdr J.G. Sutton, RN) picked up the master and four crew members from a raft and then scuttled the wreck by gunfire as the Confield was beyond salvage. One crew member was lost. The sloop then began a search for the lifeboats and met HMS Periwinkle (K 55) (LtCdr P.G. MacIver, RNR) which had been detached from convoy OB-225 to search for survivors. The corvette then first located the wreckage of the ship and at dusk sighted red flares from the boats, picking up the 31 occupants and landing them at Londonderry on 10 October.

On boardWe have details of 3 people who were on board

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