Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Motor tanker

Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage6,355 tons
Completed1928 - A/B Götaverken, Gothenburg 
OwnerHagb. Waage, Oslo 
Date of attack17 Mar 1942Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-71 (Walter Flachsenberg)
Position38° 00'N, 65° 20'W - Grid CB 4941
Complement34 (34 dead - no survivors)
RouteHouston - Halifax - UK 
History Completed in April 1928

On 23 Jan 1941, the Ranja (Master J. Nicolson, British) was one of five Norwegian ships that left Sweden to escape to Great Britain (Operation Rubble). The tanker was attacked by German aircraft one day after leaving Gothenburg in 58°45N/04°10E, wounding the Swedish first mate Nils Rydberg who died of wounds in a hospital after all ships arrivied in Kirkwall on 25 January. He was post humously awarded Order of the British Empire. The ship carried a crew of 26 men, 15 of whom were British mostly from ships that had been lost in the Battle of Narvik, among them three able seamen from HMS Hunter (H 35) (LtCdr L. De Villiers, RN) 
Notes on event

At 18.58 hours on 17 March 1942 the unescorted Ranja (Master Andreas Mossin) was hit near the bridge by two torpedoes from U-71 about 450 miles east-southeast of Philadelphia. The tanker caught fire in the foreship and developed a list to port. At 19.54 hours, a coup de grâce (surface runner) hit underneath the forward mast and stopped the vessel that was now on fire from stem to stern. The U-boat left the area at 20.00 hours when it became clear that the ship will sink. The master, 31 crew members and two gunners were lost.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 34 people who were on board

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