Ships hit by U-boats

Mount Lycabettus

Greek Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

NameMount Lycabettus
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,292 tons
Completed1917 - Sir Raylton Dixon & Co Ltd, Middlesbrough 
OwnerKulukundis Shipping Co SA, Piræus 
Date of attack17 Mar 1942Nationality:      Greek
FateSunk by U-373 (Paul-Karl Loeser)
Position40° 51'N, 59° 18'W - Grid CB 3818
Complement30 (30 dead - no survivors)
RouteBaltimore (13 Mar) - Leixões, Portugal - Lisbon 
History Completed in November 1917 as British War Flower for The Shipping Controller, managed by G. Pyman & Co. 1919 renamed Turkestan for Hindustan Steam Shipping Co Ltd (Common Bros), Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 1935 sold to Greece and renamed Mount Lycabettus for Atlanticos SS Co (Kulukundis Bros), Syra. 
Notes on event

At 15.08 hours on 17 March 1942 the unescorted Mount Lycabettus (Master Michael Sophos) was hit on port side by two G7e torpedoes from U-373 about 320 miles south of Sydney, Nova Scotia. The U-boat had first spotted the ship two hours earlier in average visibility due to haze and dived to attack but had to surface again when contact was lost, only to dive immediately again when the ship appeared out of the haze at 14.17 hours. Loeser observed the ship through the periscope to ascertain that it wasn’t the announced neutral Swedish motor merchant Gullmaren and decided to attack as he did not see any flags or neutrality markings. In fact, the Mount Lycabettus was a neutral vessel as she was in charter of the Swiss War Transport Administration. The submerged U-boat had to act quickly when the ship changed course towards it, so it crossed ahead of her path, turned around to get into a more favorable position and fired the torpedoes from only 300 meters. The first struck underneath the bridge and the second hit too, but couldn’t be observed by Loeser as the periscope was obscured by water and when the vision became clear again the ship sank with a heavy list to port less than five minutes after being hit. At 15.23 hours, the U-boat surfaced and left without questioning the occupants of three lifeboats seen at the sinking position. The survivors in the boats were never found.

On boardWe have details of 30 people who were on board

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