Ships hit by U-boats

Florence M. Douglas

British Sailing ship

NameFlorence M. Douglas
Type:Sailing ship
Tonnage119 tons
Completed1927 - Holetown, Barbados 
OwnerPeter S. Hassell, St. Michel, Barbados 
HomeportSt. Michel 
Date of attack4 May 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-162 (Jürgen Wattenberg)
Position7° 55'N, 58° 10'W - Grid EO 1999
Complement? men (0 dead and ? survivors).
RouteBonaire, Netherlands Antilles – Georgetown, British Guiana 
Notes on event

At 19.00 hours on 4 May 1942 the unescorted and unarmed schooner Florence M. Douglas (Master Herbert Rexford Every) was stopped by a shot across her bow by U-162 about 75 miles north of Georgetown, British Guiana. The Germans then ordered the crew to abandon ship and fired two more rounds when the men attempted to collect personal belongings instead of leaving the ship immediately in the lifeboat. After the men left, the U-boat opened fire with the deck gun from a distance of about 200 to 250 yards and fired 18 rounds, shooting away the rigging and halyards, felling the topmasts and destroying the superstructure until the schooner sank after being hit by a single round in the waterline at 19.35 hours. Shortly after the lifeboat began to row away in a southerly direction an aircraft approached the scene, but the U-boat evaded an attack by crash diving at 20.20 hours. The survivors later made landfall at Anna Regina and were then transported to Georgetown, where they arrived on 7 May.

After the Florence M. Douglas sank, a small black pig swam towards U-162 and was taken aboard by the Germans. Shortly afterwards the U-boat was forced to dive due to an aircraft and the crew members were amused by the animal that stood squeaking in the control room during the crash dive and regarded it as their lucky pig because no bombs were dropped. As the pig was too small to be slaughtered anyway it was adopted as mascot, named Douglas and kept in the engine room for the remaining duration of the war patrol. When the U-boat returned to Lorient the pig was presented formally as booty to Victor Schütze, the commander of the Second Flotilla.

Jürgen Wattenberg holding the mascot Douglas.
Photo courtesy of Erhart Wattenberg

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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