Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Richard Roos

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,701 tons
Completed1920 - Charles Hill & Sons, Bristol 
OwnerK.Th. Einersen, Oslo 
Date of attack12 Feb 1942Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-108 (Klaus Scholtz)
Position35° 00'N, 72° 27'W - Grid DC 2139
Complement30 (24 dead and 6 survivors).
RouteTampa - Charleston (9 Feb) - Halifax - Ipswich 
Cargo3600 tons of phosphate 
History Completed in June 1920 as Arlette for Compagnie Auxiliaire de Navigation, Paris. 1933 sold to Norway and renamed Blink
Notes on event

At 02.40 hours on 12 Feb 1942 the unescorted Blink (Master Sigvart Ulvestad) was hit on the port side by one G7e torpedo from U-108 about 160 miles east of Cape Hatteras. The torpedo went straight through the hull at hold #2 without detonating, so another torpedo was fired one minute later that hit amidships in the engine room, destroyed the radio station and caused the vessel to sink at 03.34 hours. The ship had been sighted at 14.49 hours the day before and was attacked the first time at 16.11 hours, but the G7e stern torpedo was a dud and a second G7e missed. The U-boat then had difficulties to overtake Blink again due to heavy seas and four hours later almost collided with her during a second attack attempt, avoiding by diving underneath the ship when only 50 metres from her.

The torpedo explosion apparently killed four crewmen and a gunner and two men that were seen to abandon ship by a raft were never seen again. The starboard lifeboat was launched with 23 survivors, but it capsized the next morning in bad weather. One crewman drowned and they lost all bread and water. They managed to right the boat, which capsized several times during the following hours. The survivors were forced to sit in it with cold water up to their chests and on the next day, only 11 men were left. One by one the others had died, including the master and a gunner. On 14 February, only six survivors were picked up by the American steam merchant Monroe (Master W.W. Clendaniels) in position 33°34N/71°41W and taken to a hospital in Baltimore on 17 February.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 30 people who were on board

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