Ships hit by U-boats

Clan Macwhirter

British Steam merchant

NameClan Macwhirter
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,941 tons
Completed1918 - Lloyd Royal Belge (Great Britain) Ltd, Whiteinch, Glasgow 
OwnerThe Clan Line Steamers Ltd (Cayzer, Irvine & Co Ltd), London 
Date of attack27 Aug 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-156 (Werner Hartenstein)
Position35° 45'N, 18° 45'W - Grid CF 8913
Complement86 (12 dead and 74 survivors).
ConvoySL-119 (straggler)
RouteBombay - Durban – Freetown - Bathurst, Gambia (14 Aug) – Loch Ewe - Hull 
Cargo2000 tons of manganese ore, 3500 tons of linseed, 2200 tons of pig iron and general cargo and six bags of mail 
History Completed in July 1918 as Ypresville for The Shipping Controller, managed by James Gardiner & Co. 1918 renamed Halizones for British & South American Steam Navigation Co Ltd (R.P. Houston & Co), Liverpool. 1920 renamed Willcasino for Convoy SS Co Ltd (H.D. Kempt), Halifax. 1923 renamed Clan Macwhirter for The Clan Line Steamers Ltd (Cayzer, Irvine & Co Ltd), London. 
Notes on event

At 01.00 hours on 27 Aug 1942 the unescorted Clan Macwhirter (Master Roderick Sutherland Masters), a straggler from station #11 in convoy SL-119 due to engine troubles since 20 August, was hit on the port side by two torpedoes from U-156 about 190 miles north-northwest of Madeira. The first struck in the after end of #2 hold and the second between #4 and #5 bulkhead, blowing off the hatch covers and causing the ship to settle fast with a heavy list to port. She sank by the stern after about 10 minutes while the crew was still abandoning ship, but three of the six lifeboats could be launched. The master, nine crew members and two gunners (the ship was armed with one 4in and five machine guns) were lost. The U-boat surfaced, questioned the survivors and gave them the course and distance to the nearest land before leaving the area.

The lifeboats remained at the sinking position until daylight, picking up the men swimming in the water and clinging to wreckage or rafts. Then they set sail to Madeira together until being separated in a gale on 28 August. When the boats closed the island on 30 August, the second mate sent a radio message with an emergency transmitter. This was heard by the Portuguese authorities who sent the sloop Pedro Nunes (A 528) to search for them. All three boats were located during the next days and all 67 crew members and seven gunners landed at Funchal until 2 September. The survivors were taken to Lisbon after five weeks from where they were repatriated via Gibraltar.

On boardWe have details of 21 people who were on board

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