Ships hit by U-boats


British Motor tanker

Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage8,106 tons
Completed1938 - Bremer Vulkan, Vegesack 
OwnerAnglo-Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack23 Mar 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-587 (Ulrich Borcherdt)
Position47° 00'N, 37° 00'W - Grid BD 4226
Complement65 (57 dead and 8 survivors).
ConvoyON-52 (dispersed)
RouteStanlow - Panama - Los Angeles 
History Completed in November 1938. In the early morning on 26 February 1941 U-47 (Prien) attacked the convoy OB-290 in position 55°50N/14°00W and reported four ships of 22,000 grt sunk. In fact, the Kasongo, Rydboholm and Borgland were sunk and the Diala was damaged. One crew member from Diala was lost. 
Notes on event

At 23.17 hours on 15 January 1942 the unescorted Diala (Master Herbert John Adler Peters) was torpedoed and damaged by U-553 (Thurmann) about 300 miles east-southeast of Cape Race in 44°50N/46°50W. The vessel was proceeding at maximal speed (12 knots) after convoy ON-52 was dispersed on 11 January. The bow was blown off and the superstructure was extensively damaged. The tanker was abandoned by most of the crew in lifeboats and on rafts but remained afloat and drifted northeast in a heavy gale. The master, six crew members and one gunner who had aboard were eventually taken off by the British steam merchant Telesfora de Larrinaga and landed at New York on 29 January. However, none of the lifeboats or rafts were ever found: 49 crew members and nine gunners were lost.

Twelve survivors from the Athelcrown, which had been sunk by U-82 (Rollmann) on 22 January, boarded the abandoned and drifting wreck of the Diala. They remained on board for eight days before they were rescued by the Swedish motor tanker Saturnus. On 19 March, the drifting wreck was last seen by Allied ships in position 47°N/37°W, after attempts to tow her were unsuccessful. The wreck of the Diala was finally sunk by U-587 on 23 March.

On boardWe have details of 66 people who were on board

Attack entries for Diala

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
26 Feb 1941U-47Kptlt. Günther PrienDamaged8,106  
15 Jan 1942U-553Kptlt. Karl ThurmannDamaged8,106  
23 Mar 1942U-587KrvKpt. Ulrich BorcherdtSunk8,106  

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