Ships hit by U-boats

HMS Broadwater (H 81)

British Destroyer

Photo courtesy of Robert Hurst

NameHMS Broadwater (H 81)
Type:Destroyer (Town)
Tonnage1,190 tons
Completed1920 - Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Newport News VA 
OwnerThe Admiralty 
Date of attack18 Oct 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-101 (Ernst Mengersen)
Position57° 01'N, 19° 08'W - Grid AL 3951
Complement141 officers and men (56 dead and 85 survivors).
History Completed in February 1920 as USS Mason (DD 191) for the US Navy. On 8 Oct 1940 transferred to the Royal Navy and renamed HMS Broadwater (H 81)
Notes on event

During the night of 17/18 Oct 1941, U-101 tried for three hours to overtake convoy SC-48 south of Iceland and after several approaches were frustrated by the escorts fired a spread of four torpedoes at HMS Broadwater (H 81) (Cdr W.M.L. Astwood, RN (rtd)) astern of convoy at 04.20 hours. After 2 minutes 30 seconds, the destroyer was hit by a torpedo on the starboard side forward of the bridge and lost its complete bow. The three A/S trawlers of EG 3 were sent to her assistance with HMS Angle (FY 201) (T/Lt E. Playne, RNVR) going alongside to rescue the survivors and HMS Cape Warwick (FY 167) (T/Lt W.E. Goggin, RNR) and HMS St. Apollo (T/Lt R.H. Marchington, RNVR) screening the area but they did not notice U-77 (Schonder) which investigated the scene. At 06.33 hours, the U-boat even unsuccessfully fired a torpedo at one of the shadows and then left the area after recognizing the vessels as small escorts.

The rescue work proved to be difficult due to increasing sea and wind and the lifeboats and whalers became more and more waterlogged. Some of the men of HMS Broadwater remained behind because they thought that the ship could be saved. However, at daylight a crack became visible on the deck abaft the fourth funnel confirming that the back had been broken and the ship was beyond salvage. HMS Angle rescued 60 survivors and transferred seven of them, including the commander and chief engineer, to HMS Cape Warwick which had picked up 28 men and at 14.20 hours they both left to land the survivors at Londonderry but en route one officer and two ratings died of wounds. HMS St. Apollo stood by the abandoned wreck of HMS Broadwater until she sank by the bow with a slight starboard list in 56°52N/18°25W at 15.41 hours, hastened by 4in gunfire from the armed trawler. Five officers, 40 ratings and eleven survivors rescued from W.C. Teagle and Erviken the night before were lost.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 47 people who were on board

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Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

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