Ships hit by U-boats

Arthur W. Sewall

Norwegian Steam tanker

NameArthur W. Sewall
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage6,030 tons
Completed1926 - Sir W.G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
OwnerPrebensen & Blakstad, Risør 
Date of attack7 Aug 1942Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-109 (Heinrich Bleichrodt)
Position8° 28'N, 34° 21'W - Grid ER 1839
Complement36 (0 dead and 36 survivors).
RouteFreetown (1 Aug) - Trinidad 
History Completed in April 1926

On 12 Mar 1942, the Arthur W. Sewall saved one engineer from the Norwegian steam merchant Tønsbergfjord, which was sunk six days earlier by the Italian submarine Enrico Tazzoli 200 miles west of Bermuda. 
Notes on event

At 21.47 hours on 7 Aug 1942 the Arthur W. Sewall (Master Wilhelm K. Pallesen), dispersed from an unknown convoy the day before, was hit by two torpedoes from U-109 below the bridge and in #7 tank. The tanker developed a list to port and was missed by a coup de grâce at 21.57 hours. 19 crew members abandoned ship in the three intact lifeboats, followed by the remaining 17 survivors on a raft after they saw the third torpedo miss the stern by only a few yards. At 22.48 hours, the ship was hit amidships by a coup de grâce but still remained afloat so the U-boat surfaced and began to shell her for 30 minutes until 23.30 hours. 55 of 67 rounds from the deck gun were hits, while the 37mm and 20mm AA guns and MG34 fired at the bridge, stern and bow to prevent defensive fire. Arthur W. Sewall sank by the stern at 24.00 hours.

The survivors were not questioned by the Germans because they had rowed away in the darkness. Three days later all men were picked up by the Greek steam merchant Athina Livanos and landed in Port of Spain on 19 August.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 34 people who were on board

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