Ships hit by U-boats

Empire Corporal

British Steam tanker

Empire Corporal under her former name British Corporal. Photo courtesy of John Crossland

NameEmpire Corporal
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage6,972 tons
Completed1922 - Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd, Hebburn-on-Tyne 
OwnerBritish Tanker Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack14 Aug 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-598 (Gottfried Holtorf)
Position21° 45'N, 76° 10'W - Grid DN 4781
Complement55 (6 dead and 49 survivors).
RouteCura├žao (9 Aug) - Key West 
Cargo4532 tons of motor spirit and 4745 tons of white spirit 
History Completed in May 1922 as British Corporal for British Tanker Co Ltd, London.

On 4 July 1940 the British Corporal was hit in the stern by a torpedo from the German Schnellboot S-26 in the English Channel and bombed by Ju87 dive bombers of StG 2 the same day. On 5 July, she was attacked again by StG 2 and badly damaged, but towed to port and repaired by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). In 1942 the tanker returned to service as Empire Corporal
Notes on event

At 11.54 and 11.55 hours on 14 August 1942, U-598 fired two spreads of two torpedoes at convoy TAW-12J northwest of Barlovento Point, Cuba and reported misses. At 11.57 hours, the stern torpedo was fired and a detonation was heard. No other U-boat attacked at this time, so the first spread must have hit the Michael Jebsen, which sank immediately. One torpedo of the second spread damaged the Standella, after missing the ship of convoy commodore, the Empire Corporal, which was then sunk by the stern torpedo.

The master, 39 crew members and nine gunners from the Empire Corporal (Master George Eric Hodgson) were picked up by USS SC-498, transferred to USS Fletcher (DD 445) (LtCdr W.M. Cole, USN) and landed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Five crew members and one gunner were lost.

On boardWe have details of 8 people who were on board

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