Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Photo from City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 447-2323

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,086 tons
Completed1925 - A. Stephen & Sons Ltd, Linthouse, Glasgow 
OwnerMaclay & McIntyre Ltd, Glasgow 
Date of attack30 Mar 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-376 (Friedrich-Karl Marks)
Position70° 55'N, 37° 18'E - Grid AC 8533
Complement66 (38 dead and 28 survivors).
ConvoyPQ-13 (straggler)
RouteNew York - Reykjavik (20 Mar) - Murmansk 
Cargo2700 tons of war material and gasoline 
History Completed in May 1925 
Notes on event

At 08.07 hours on 30 March 1942 the unescorted Induna (Master William Norman Collins), a straggler from convoy PQ-13 due to bad weather, was hit by one of three torpedoes from U-376 and caught fire northeast of the Kola Inlet. The ship was hit aft by a coup de grâce at 09.32 hours, but only sank by the bow after being missed by a second coup de grâce at 09.40 hours. The U-boat did not question the survivors because a periscope had been sighted, unknown to them it was U-209 (Brodda) which had chased the same ship after missing it with a spread of two torpedoes at 05.52 hours and witnessed the sinking.

The Induna was the ship of the vice commodore and formed a new convoy of six ships after the gale had separated the ships of convoy PQ-13, escorted by HMS Silja (FY 301). On 28 March, the Panamanian steam merchant Ballot (Master Henry Bejer), a ship of this group, was bombed and damaged by a German aircraft in 72°40N/27°35E. 16 men abandoned ship in a lifeboat for unknown reasons, according to the master they had demanded to leave Ballot, while the remaining crew stayed to repair the ship and brought her safely to Murmansk on 30 March. The men in the lifeboat were picked up by the escorting armed trawler and later transferred to Induna when these two ships got stuck in ice the next day after the group headed north to evade the U-boats reported in the area. The other ships of the group continued to Murmansk, while the crews worked several hours to free the vessels from the ice and the Induna then took HMS Silja in tow because she was low on fuel. The next night the tow parted in heavy seas and they were unable to find the trawler in snow squalls, so Induna continued alone until being torpedoed by U-376.

41 survivors abandoned ship in two lifeboats, but when they were picked up by a Russian minesweeper on 2 April only 30 were still alive and two of them later died of exposure in a hospital in Murmansk. The weather had been horrible with temperatures around 20° below zero and freezing winds, the survivors were sprayed by ice cold water and most of them lost limbs. The master, 20 crew members, six gunners and eleven men from Ballot were lost. 19 crew members, four gunners and five men from Ballot survived.

On boardWe have details of 56 people who were on board

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