Ships hit by U-boats


Canadian Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Charles E. Frohman Collection

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage3,388 tons
Completed1894 - Globe Iron Works, Cleveland OH 
OwnerUnited Towing & Salvage Co Ltd, Port Arthur, Ontario 
Date of attack6 Feb 1941Nationality:      Canadian
FateSunk by U-107 (Günter Hessler)
Position57° 33'N, 17° 24'W - Grid AL 3871
Complement38 (38 dead - no survivors)
ConvoySC-20 (straggler)
RouteMontreal - Sydney, CB - Preston 
Cargo3604 tons of general cargo, including 1540 tons of steel 
History Completed in January 1894 as Great Lakes steam passenger ship North West for Northern SS Co, Buffalo NY. On 3 Jun 1911, badly damaged by fire at Buffalo and not returned to passenger service. 1915 sold to Susquehanna Finance Corp, Buffalo NY. 1918 sold to Canada and owned by J.F. Darcy, Montreal. The ship was cut in two for transit to Montreal trough the Welland Canal, but the forward half foundered under tow near Scotch Bonnet in Lake Ontario on 29 Nov 1918. Two crew members were lost. The remaining half was bought by Davie Shipbuilding & Repair Co Ltd, Lauzon PQ and converted to the steam merchant Maplecourt fitted with a new bow. Returned to service in 1922 with Canada Steamship Lines Ltd, Montreal. 1927 stranded on Magnetic Reef in Georgian Bay and was then bought by Sin-Mac Lines Ltd, Montreal. 1937 sold to United Towing & Salvage Co Ltd, Port Arthur, Ontario. 
Notes on event

At 17.52 hours on 6 Feb 1941 the unescorted Maplecourt (Master Enrys Herbert Humphreys), a straggler from station #84 in convoy SC-20, was hit just aft of the engine room by one stern torpedo from U-107 and sank rapidly by the stern about 120 miles west of Rockall. The U-boat had chased the ship for about eight hours and missed with one torpedo during a first submerged attack at 13.53 hours. The Germans observed how the survivors managed to abandon ship in two lifeboats, but they were never seen again: the master, 35 crew members and three gunner were lost. The Maplecourt was reported missing and erroneously presumed sunk in 55°39N/15°56W.

On boardWe have details of 38 people who were on board

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