Ships hit by U-boats

HMS Cossack (G 03)

British Destroyer

HMS Cossack (L 03) as completed

NameHMS Cossack (G 03)
Type:Destroyer (Tribal)
Tonnage1,870 tons
Completed1938 - Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd, High Walker Yard, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
OwnerThe Admiralty 
Date of attack24 Oct 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-563 (Klaus Heinrich Bargsten)
Position35° 56'N, 10° 04'W - Grid CG 8813
Complement219 officers and men (159 dead and 60 survivors).
RouteGibraltar - UK 
History Completed in June 1938 
Notes on event

At 00.30 hours on 24 Oct 1941, U-563 fired one torpedo at a steamer in convoy HG-75 which seemed to hit after a running time of 4 minutes 44 seconds. Eight minutes later, a spread of two torpedoes was fired against a turning destroyer which missed, but detonations were heard behind. In fact, HMS Cossack (G 03) (Capt E.L. Berthon, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) was struck by one torpedo forward of the bridge, when she was at the rear of convoy. The explosion blew off the bow section and destroyed most of the forward section, killing the commander. The survivors (29 of them wounded) on Carley floats were picked up by HMS Legion (F 74) (Cdr R.F. Jessel, RN) and HMS Carnation (K 00) (LtCdr G.W. Houchen, OBE, RNR). The next morning, some volunteers reboarded the wrecked ship and got the engines running. The tug HMS Thames arrived from Gibraltar and took the destroyer in tow, escorted by HMS Jonquil (K 68) (LtCdr R.E.H. Partington, RNR). On 27 October, the weather worsened and prevented the salvage, so the tow was slipped and the corvette took off the skeleton crew. HMS Cossack (G 03) sank shortly afterwards in 35°12N/08°17W.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 161 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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