Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage9,076 tons
Completed1906 - D. & W. Henderson & Co Ltd, Glasgow 
OwnerAlfred Holt & Co, Liverpool 
Date of attack12 Jan 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-123 (Reinhard Hardegen)
Position41° 51'N, 63° 48'W - Grid CB 2424
Complement181 (88 dead and 93 survivors).
RouteHong Kong - Auckland - Cristobal (2 Jan) - Halifax - UK 
Cargo6905 tons of general cargo 
History Completed in June 1906. During the First World War, Cyclops had two encounters with German U-boats from which she escaped without damage. On 11 Feb 1917, the ship was chased unsuccessfully by U-60 (Schuster) southwest of Ireland and on 11 April the same year, she evaded a torpedo fired from U-55 (Werner) west of the Isles of Scilly. 
Notes on event

At 01.49 hours on 12 January 1942 the unescorted Cyclops (Master Leslie Webber Kersley) was hit near the funnel by one G7a torpedo from U-123 about 125 miles southeast of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. The ship settled by the stern but did not sink, some crewmen were even seen to reboard her, so a G7a torpedo was fired from a stern tube as coup de grĂ¢ce at 02.18 hours. After the second hit the ship broke in two and sank within 5 minutes. The Cyclops had 78 Chinese sailors as passengers on board to man other British ships in Halifax and the UK. 39 crew members, 48 passengers and one gunner were lost. The master, 55 crew members, six gunners and 31 passengers (including one DBS) were picked up by HMCS Red Deer (J 255) (T/Lt A. Moorhouse, RCNR) and landed at Halifax.

This was the first ship sunk in Operation Paukenschlag, the U-boat offensive off the coasts of North America.

On boardWe have details of 93 people who were on board

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