Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Broompark off Le Verdon in June 1940. Photo courtesy of Dr. Don Cody and Denholm Shipping Lines, Glasgow.

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,136 tons
Completed1939 - Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow 
OwnerJ. & J. Denholm Ltd, Glasgow 
Date of attack25 Jul 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-552 (Erich Topp)
Position49° 02'N, 40° 26'W - Grid BC 3829
Complement49 (4 dead and 45 survivors).
RouteTyne - Loch Ewe - New York 

Completed in October 1939. On 19 Jun 1940, the Broompark (Master Olaf Paulsen) left Bordeaux as part of Operation Aerial, the evacuation of Allied troops from north western France and safely arrived in Falmouth on 21 June. Aboard were 101 passengers, mainly French scientists and a cargo of rare machine tools, some $10 million worth of industrial diamonds and 26 cans of heavy water (165 kg), which were the largest stocks of this material in the world at that time and had been transported by the French military intelligence to France from the Norsk Hydro plant in Norway prior to the German invasion of that country in April 1940.

At 23.38 hours on 21 Sep 1940, the Broompark (Master Olaf Paulsen) in convoy HX-72 was torpedoed and damaged by U-48 in 55°08N/18°30W. One crew member was lost in the attack. The ship had been en route from Vancouver to Glasgow with 5130 tons of lumber and metal and remained afloat on her cargo. Most of the 40 crew members had abandoned ship, but returned when the master and eight crew members managed to bring her on an even keel by shifting ballast and restarted the engines. She eventually reached port, was repaired and returned to service. The master was later awarded the OBE and Lloyds War Medal for Bravery at Sea.

Notes on event

At 03.52 hours on 25 July 1942, U-552 attacked convoy ON-113 east of Newfoundland and damaged the British Merit. At 04.09 hours, the U-boat attacked again and damaged the Broompark.

The Broompark (Master John Leask Sinclair) was taken in tow by the tug USS Cherokee (AT 66), but sank at 06.00 hours on 28 July about 50 miles southwest of St. Johns in 47°41N/51°50W. The master and three crew members were lost. 38 crew members and seven gunners were picked up by HMCS Brandon (K 149) (Lt J.C. Littler, RCNR) and landed at St. Johns.

On boardWe have details of 3 people who were on board

Attack entries for Broompark

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
21 Sep 1940U-48Kptlt. Heinrich BleichrodtDamaged5,136  
25 Jul 1942U-552Kptlt. Erich ToppSunk5,136  

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