Ships hit by U-boats


British Motor merchant

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage5,178 tons
Completed1937 - Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend, Sunderland 
OwnerStott, Mann & Fleming Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
Date of attack29 Oct 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-203 (Hermann Kottmann)
Position31° 39'N, 19° 35'W - Grid DH 5142
Complement45 (1 dead and 44 survivors).
ConvoySL-125 (straggler)
RouteCochin - Freetown (16 Oct) - Mersey 
Cargo2500 tons of magnesite and ilmenite (black ore of titanium) and 3000 tons of general cargo, including tea 
History Completed in May 1937 
Notes on event

Between 22.00 and 22.09 hours on 28 October 1942 U-509 (Witte) fired five torpedoes at convoy SL-125 northwest of the Canary Islands in position 31°39N/19°23W and heard two detonations on unintended targets within convoy and then observed two hits on two ships. Another torpedo fired at 22.10 hours missed. In fact, the Nagpore was sunk and the Hopecastle damaged.

At 04.52 and 04.58 hours on 29 October, the abandoned Hopecastle (Master Dugald McGilp) was hit by one torpedo from U-203, but the ship stayed afloat and had to be sunk by 20mm gunfire at 10.10 hours.

One crew member was lost when Hopecastle was abandoned. The master, 30 crew members and 13 gunners were picked up by Tasmania, which was herself torpedoed two days later. The master, one crew member and two gunners were lost in the second sinking. 20 survivors were picked up by the British steam merchant Mano and landed at Greenock on 9 November. 19 survivors landed at Funchal.

On boardWe have details of 7 people who were on board

Attack entries for Hopecastle

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
28 Oct 1942U-509Oblt. Werner WitteDamaged5,178  
29 Oct 1942U-203Oblt. Hermann KottmannSunk5,178  

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