Ships hit by U-boats


British Fleet oiler

Photo courtesy of Historical RFA

Type:Fleet oiler
Tonnage8,145 tons
Completed1940 - Blythswood Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Glasgow 
OwnerThe Admiralty (Royal Fleet Auxiliary), London 
Date of attack22 Oct 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-68 (Karl-Friedrich Merten)
Position15° 55'S, 5° 43'W - Grid FU 7350
Complement50 (41 dead and 9 survivors).
RouteDurban - St. Helena 
Cargo3000 tons of fuel oil, 850 tons of aviation gasoline, 500 tons of diesel oil and lubricating oil 
History Launched as motor tanker Empire Oil for Ministry of War Transport (MoWT), completed in November 1940 as fleet oiler Darkdale for the Admiralty (Royal Fleet Auxiliary). 
Notes on event

At 01.42 hours on 22 October 1941 the Darkdale (Master Thomas H. Card) was torpedoed and sunk by U-68 while anchored as a storage ship in Jamestown harbour, St. Helena. The tanker caught fire after being hit by a torpedo, exploded and sank. 38 crew members and three gunners were lost. The master, five crew members and three gunners survived the sinking, but only two of the men had actually been aboard when the ship was hit and were rescued by harbour craft after jumping overboard.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 45 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats