Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Steam tanker

Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage7,350 tons
Completed1928 - Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend, Sunderland 
OwnerHalle & Peterson, Oslo 
Date of attack27 Oct 1942Nationality:      Norwegian
FateDamaged by U-436 (Günther Seibicke)
Position54° 20'N, 31° 40'W - Grid AK 6725
Complement? men (0 dead and ? survivors).
RouteCuraçao - Guantanamo - New York - UK 
Cargo10,500 tons of oil 
History Completed in February 1928

1951 sold to Panama and renamed Illustrious for Soc de Cargo Antilliana SA, Panama. 1953 sold to Mares Cia Armadora SA, Panama. In June 1955 broken up at Barrow-in-Furness. 
Notes on event

At 23.03 hours on 27 October 1942, U-436 fired a torpedo at convoy HX-212, heard a detonation after 59 seconds and observed the hit on the Frontenac. Five minutes later a spread of three torpedoes was fired and detonations were heard after 1 minute, 1 minute 16 seconds and 2 minutes 24 seconds. The third torpedo sank the Sourabaya and the fourth damaged the Gurney E. Newlin, both hits were observed by Seibicke. At 23.11 hours, U-436 fired the stern torpedo and reported another ship damaged, but this is not confirmed by Allied sources.

The Frontenac (Master William Thorsen) was torpedoed first, loosing a part of the foresection and evaded the Sourabaya, which was out of control after she had been torpedoed. The explosion caused a fire at the bow, which was extinguished by a big wave, but the bow settled so deep that the screw was out of the water and the tanker stopped in the rough seas. The mate Arntzen volunteered to going down in the foreward tanks to open the valves and start the pumps. Until the next afternoon they had lost about 1000 tons of oil, but she was able to continue the voyage alone at 4 knots. After the forward tanks were empty she could resume at her normal speed. When the Frontenac was about 50 miles west of Ireland with a extremely tired master on the bridge, who did not sleep in a bed for seven days and nights, a large convoy appeared in front of them and a destroyer came alongside to identify the vessel, but left later to continue with convoy, which was part of Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. On 4 November the badly damaged Frontenac reached Ramlash. The tanker was fitted with a new bow section and returned to service on 5 March 1943.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 19 people who were on board

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