Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Allan C. Green Collection

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage7,093 tons
Completed1921 - Vickers Ltd, Barrow-in-Furness 
OwnerDonaldson Brothers Ltd, Glasgow 
Date of attack12 Jul 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-201 (Adalbert Schnee)
Position32° 45'N, 24° 45'W - Grid DG 6311
Complement55 (32 dead and 23 survivors).
ConvoyOS-33 (dispersed)
RouteLiverpool (1 Jul) - Buenos Aires 
Cargo2100 tons of general cargo 
History Completed in March 1921 
Notes on event

At 00.22 hours on 12 July 1942 the unescorted Cortona (Master Matthew McKirdie Brown), dispersed from convoy OS-33, was hit on the port side in the foreship by one torpedo from U-116 (von Schmidt) about 383 miles west of Madeira. Three minutes later, the ship was hit on the starboard side by one G7e torpedo from U-201, which then fired two coups de grĂ¢ce at 00.33 and 00.41 hours. The first passed underneath the vessel, but the second hit amidships and caused her to sink on even keel after about one hour. The U-boats had seen each other during the chase, but U-116 reported the sinking as own success because a second detonation observed was interpreted as boiler explosion.

Three crew members were lost and one lifeboat in charge of the chief officer with 27 crew members and two gunners went missing. The master, 18 crew members and four gunners in a lifeboat were picked up after ten days by HMS Pathfinder (G 10) (Cdr E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN) and landed at Londonderry on 26 July.

On boardWe have details of 36 people who were on board

Attack entries for Cortona

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
12 Jul 1942U-116KrvKpt. Werner von SchmidtDamaged7,093  
12 Jul 1942U-201Kptlt. Adalbert SchneeSunk7,093  

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