Ships hit by U-boats

Erna III

British Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Danish Maritime Museum, Elsinore

NameErna III
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage1,590 tons
Completed1930 - Helsingørs Jernskibs-og Maskinbyggeri A/S, Elsinore 
OwnerConstantine Shipping Co Ltd, Middlesbrough 
Date of attack22 Sep 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-562 (Horst Hamm)
Position61° 45'N, 35° 15'W - Grid AD 7853
Complement27 (27 dead - no survivors)
ConvoyON-16 (straggler)
RouteSwansea (11 Sep) - Milford Haven (12 Sep) - Montreal 
History Completed in October 1930 as Danish Erna for A/S D/S Vesterhavet (J. Lauritzen), Esbjerg. On 26 Jun 1940, taken over by Britain and renamed Erna III by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT).  
Notes on event

At 02.44 hours on 22 Sep 1941 the unescorted Erna III (Master Knud Christian Sørensen) was hit amidships by one G7e torpedo from U-562 and sank by the bow within 14 minutes about 275 miles east-northeast of Cape Farewell. The U-boat had first sighted the ship about 18 hours earlier and had to overtake it three times after missing with a spread of two G7e torpedoes at 15.45 hours on 21 September and one G7e torpedo at 01.06 hours on 22 September. The fourth torpedo eventually struck after a running time of just 18 seconds respectively a distance of only 270 meters. The Germans observed that two lifeboats were launched, but did not question the survivors who were never found: the master, 22 crew members and four gunners were lost. The Erna III was reported missing after straggling from station #12 in convoy ON-16 due to heavy weather on 21 September and was presumed lost about 25 September.

On boardWe have details of 27 people who were on board

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