Ships hit by U-boats


British Fleet oiler

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Fleet oiler (Leaf)
Tonnage5,917 tons
Completed1917 - Russell & Co, Port Glasgow 
OwnerThe Admiralty (Royal Fleet Auxiliary), London 
Date of attack10 Jun 1942Nationality:      British
FateA total loss by U-559 (Hans Heidtmann)
Position31° 12'N, 28° 10'E - Grid CP 7179
Complement60 (7 dead and 53 survivors).
RouteAlexandria - Tobruk 
CargoFuel oil, diesel oil and motor spirit 
History Laid down as Rumol, completed in April 1917 as Brambleleaf for the Admiralty. 
Notes on event

At 04.56 hours on 10 June 1942, U-559 fired a spread of three torpedoes at convoy AT-49 between Alexandria and Mersa Matruh, reported one hit on a tanker and one on a freighter and observed that the tanker burned for 24 hours and the freighter was towed away with the stern deeper in the water. The ships hit were Athene and Brambleleaf.

The Brambleleaf (Master Herbert Allister Shacklock) was struck by one torpedo near the bow. Two officers and five crewmen were lost. The master, 49 crew members and three gunners abandoned ship and were picked up by RHS Vasilissa Olga (D 15) and landed at Alexandria.
The badly damaged tanker was later reboarded and towed to Alexandria, where she was used as oil hulk. On 15 Sep 1944 the hulk sank suddenly over the stern and was declared a total loss. The wreck was later salvaged and broken up in La Spezia in April 1953.

On boardWe have details of 6 people who were on board

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