Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

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Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage3,136 tons
Completed1937 - W. Gray & Co Ltd, West Hartlepool 
OwnerEllerman & Papayanni Lines Ltd, Liverpool 
Date of attack5 Aug 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-372 (Heinz-Joachim Neumann)
Position53° 03'N, 15° 54'W - Grid AL 9392
Complement50 (3 dead and 47 survivors).
RoutePort Harcourt - Freetown (15 Jul) - Hull 
Cargo3946 tons of kernels, groundnuts and tin ore 
History Completed in September 1937 
Notes on event

Between 01.50 and 01.59 hours on 5 Aug 1941, U-372 fired four single torpedoes at ships in convoy SL-81 west of Ireland. First the stern torpedo struck the Belgravian, which burned out and sank the next day. Neumann reported that the second torpedo missed the intended target but exploded on a ship beyond, the third torpedo was a dud and the fourth hit an ammunition freighter, which exploded and sank by the bow in 50 seconds. The ship missed was the British steam merchant Volturno, but a hit on another ship is not confirmed. The ship sunk was the Swiftpool.

Three crew members from the Belgravian (Master Reginald Sanderson Kearon, OBE) were lost. The master, 40 crew members and six gunners were picked up by HMS Bluebell (K 80) (LtCdr Robert E. Sherwood, RNR) and landed at Gourock.

On boardWe have details of 4 people who were on board

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