Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Motor tanker

Photo courtesy of Risør Sjømannsforening

Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage7,595 tons
Completed1925 - Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Dundee 
OwnerPrebensen & Blakstad, Risør 
Date of attack5 Nov 1942Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-129 (Hans-Ludwig Witt)
Position12° 21'N, 69° 21'W - Grid EC 9296
Complement43 (1 dead and 42 survivors).
RouteTrinidad - Curaçao (4 Nov) - New York - UK 
Cargo10.500 tons of fuel oil 
History Completed in August 1925 as Athelchief for United Molasses Co Ltd, Liverpool. 1938 sold to Norway and renamed Astrell for Prebensen & Blakstad, Risør. 
Notes on event

At 08.11 hours on 5 Nov 1942, U-129 fired two stern torpedoes at two tankers in convoy TAG-18 and claimed both as sunk, but the torpedoes both struck the Astrell (Master Nils C. Taraldsen) on the starboard side. The tanker immediately caught fire and broke in two, the crew abandoned ship in three lifeboats and one raft. One British gunner died in the attack. After three hours, 20 survivors were picked up by the Dutch MTB HNMS TM-23 and 22 others by the US Coast Guard vessel USCGC CG-475. They were taken to Aruba and Curaçao the same day. After about 11 hours the burnt out wreck was shelled and scuttled by HNMS Van Kinsbergen (Capt C. Hellingman) about 15 miles off North Point, Curaçao.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 42 people who were on board

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