Ships hit by U-boats

Start Point

British Steam merchant

Photo from City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 447-2711

NameStart Point
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,293 tons
Completed1919 - Sunderland Shipbuilding Co, Sunderland 
OwnerCereal Trade & Shipping Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack10 Nov 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-128 (Ulrich Heyse)
Position13° 12'N, 27° 27'W - Grid EJ 4787
Complement47 (2 dead and 45 survivors).
ConvoyON-141 (dispersed)
RouteBarry - Milford Haven (22 Oct) - Freetown 
Cargo6280 tons of coal 
History Launched as War Warbler for The Shipping Controller, completed in June 1919 as Bretwalda for Hall Brothers SS Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 1935 renamed Start Point for Gowan Shipping Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 1937 sold to Cereal Trade & Shipping Co Ltd, London. 
Notes on event

At 14.02 hours on 10 Nov 1942 the unescorted Start Point (Master David George Evans), dispersed from convoy ON-141, was hit amidships by one of two stern torpedoes from U-128 and sank by the bow southwest of the Cape Verde Islands after being hit near the bridge by a coup de grĂ¢ce at 14.21 hours. The Germans questioned the survivors in two lifeboats and were told that the master went down with the ship. The chief officer George S. Johnson and chief engineer J.O. Jones were taken prisoner, transferred to U-462 (Vowe) the same day, landed at St. Nazaire on 7 December and taken to the POW camp Milag Nord. One crewman died in one of the lifeboats. 38 crew members and seven gunners were picked up after 12 days by the British steam merchant Eskdalegate and landed at Pernambuco.

According to the second officer, the master and the chief officer were raving drunk and obnoxious most of the time and the conditions on board appalling. Apparently the master fell overboard when leaving the ship and drowned. He also claims that the chief officer was responsible for losing the motor lifeboat through his incompetency and that he tried to convince the other survivors to tell the Germans that the second officer is the chief officer.

On boardWe have details of 12 people who were on board

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