Ships hit by U-boats

Empire Hail

British Steam merchant

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NameEmpire Hail
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage7,005 tons
Completed1941 - Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow 
OwnerLarrinaga & Co Ltd, Liverpool 
Date of attack24 Feb 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-94 (Otto Ites)
Position44° 48'N, 40° 21'W - Grid BC 9296
Complement49 (49 dead - no survivors)
ConvoyON-66 (dispersed)
RouteLeith - Baltimore 
History Completed in February 1941 for Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) 
Notes on event

At 01.45 hours on 24 February 1942 the unescorted Empire Hail (Master Robert Jones), dispersed from convoy ON-66, was hit on port side amidships by one G7e torpedo from U-94 that was a surface runner about 540 miles east-southeast of St. John’s, Newfoundland. The U-boat had chased the ship for eight hours and missed with a first torpedo at 00.15 hours. The Germans waited for the crew to abandon ship in the lifeboats after sending a distress signal and then opened fire with the deck gun, scoring eleven hits with 22 rounds. However, the shelling did not have much effect so a coup de grâce was fired from the stern torpedo tube at 02.20 hours. It struck the Empire Hail aft of amidships and caused her to quickly sink by the stern. No survivors were ever found: the master, 41 crew members and seven gunners were lost.

On boardWe have details of 49 people who were on board

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