Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Motor tanker

Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage8,297 tons
Completed1937 - A/B Götaverken, Gothenburg 
OwnerO.T. Tønnevold & Co A/S, Grimstad 
Date of attack26 Aug 1942Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-162 (Jürgen Wattenberg)
Position13° 20'N, 58° 10'W - Grid EE 7312
Complement33 (2 dead and 31 survivors).
RouteMahe - Capetown (29 Jul) - Trinidad - USA 
History Since 1940 in Admiralty service as Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). 
Notes on event

At 04.23 hours on 26 Aug 1942 the unescorted Thelma (Master Olaf T. Larsen) was hit on the starboard side between #3 and #4 wing tank by a torpedo from U-162. The explosion destroyed the deck, the lower bridge and the starboard lifeboat amidships, causing her to list heavily to starboard. The crew stopped the engine and began to abandon ship in the three remaining lifeboats, but before this could be done a second torpedo hit the same side, a little behind midships and increased the list to about 65 to 70°. The master and nine men amidships gave up to launch the port motorboat and abandoned ship by jumping overboard after an unsuccessful attempt was made to sent an emergency message. 18 men on the stern managed to launch the port boat after it had to be lifted over the side, while four other men from the stern abandoned ship in the starboard boat. The boats picked up the men swimming in the water and then remained near the tanker to reboard her at daylight. About 20 minutes after the second attack, the U-boat fired a third torpedo into the port side and then commenced shelling the vessel from both sides and set her on fire (the survivors thought there were two U-boats, but this is not confirmed from German sources).

As the gun attack begun, the men in the boats rowed as fast as they could away from the scene and the next morning set sail to Barbados. On 28 August, the survivors were picked up by a British warship and landed at Bridgetown, Barbados the following morning. A crew member and a passenger were lost.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 33 people who were on board

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