Ships hit by U-boats


Latvian Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Rudolfs Peksens

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,422 tons
Completed1911 - W. Gray & Co, West Hartlepool 
OwnerLatvijas Kugniecibas Sabiedriba, Riga 
Date of attack6 May 1942Nationality:      Latvian
FateSunk by U-108 (Klaus Scholtz)
Position20° 45'N, 72° 55'W - Grid DN 8190
Complement34 (0 dead and 34 survivors).
RouteSavanna la Mar, Jamaica - Kingston - Montreal 
History Completed in September 1911 as British Roselands for Wilson Shipping Co Ltd (J.F. Wilson & Co), West Hartlepool. 1920 renamed Bisley for Romney SS Co (Fawcett, Coverdale & Co), London. 1933 sold to Yugoslavia and renamed Vinodol for Parobrodarsko Akc. Drustvo Progres, Split. 1936 sold to Latvia and renamed Abgara. When Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940, she was one of eight ships that did not follow the orders to return home and continued to sail under the Latvian flag. U-boats sank five of these eight ships and damaged a sixth while another one was sunk by an Italian submarine. 
Notes on event

At 22.11 hours on 6 May 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Abgara (Master Axel Wilhelm Blome) was hit on the starboard side in the bow by one G7a torpedo from U-108 while steaming on a non-evasive course at 7 knots 15 miles southeast of Great Inagua Island, Bahamas. As the ship settled by the bow, the crew abandoned ship in the port lifeboat after sending distress signals on the emergency set without receiving a reply. At 22.23 hours, a first coup de grĂ¢ce malfunctioned, but the second fired 16 minutes later struck on the starboard side underneath the bridge and caused the ship to sink by the bow after two minutes. The survivors were questioned and photographed by the Germans and then set sail towards Cape Maisi, making landfall at Playa Blanca after 27 hours. On 8 May, the lifeboat left in tow of the Cuban schooner Fortuna and arrived the next at the naval station Guantanamo Bay.

On boardWe have details of 34 people who were on board

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