Ships hit by U-boats

HMS Hecla (F 20)

British Destroyer tender

Photo from Imperial War Museum (IWM), FL-22892

NameHMS Hecla (F 20)
Type:Destroyer tender (Hecla)
Tonnage10,850 tons
Completed1941 - John Brown & Co Ltd, Clydebank 
OwnerThe Admiralty 
Date of attack12 Nov 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-515 (Werner Henke)
Position35° 43'N, 9° 54'W - Grid CG 8830
Complement847 (279 dead and 568 survivors).
RouteSimonstown - North Africa 
CargoSupplies for destroyers 
History Completed in January 1941. On 15 May 1942, HMS Hecla (F 20) (Capt E.F.B. Law, RN) struck a mine laid by Doggerbank off Capetown. The explosion hit amidships, put the steering gear out of action and caused a big leak. The ship was towed by HMS Gambia (48) (Capt M.J. Mansergh, RN) to Simonstown, where she was repaired for 18 weeks. 24 crew members were lost. 
Notes on event

At 00.15 hours on 12 Nov 1942, U-515 fired a spread of four torpedoes at HMS Hecla (F 20) (A/Capt G.V.B. Faulkner, RN), which was misidentified as a Birmingham-class cruiser and hit her in the engine room. Two torpedoes were surface-runner and the last also malfunctioned and was a circle-runner. The U-boat then hit the ship with three coups de grĂ¢ce at 01.28, 01.49 and 02.06 hours, sinking the vessel west of Gibraltar.

At 02.11 hours, U-515 fired two torpedoes and badly damaged HMS Marne (G 35) (LtCdr H.N.A. Richardson, DSO, DSC, RN) which attempted to rescue the survivors. They were eventually picked up by HMS Venomous (D 75) (Cdr H.W. Falcon-Steward, RN) and landed at Casablanca.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 290 people who were on board

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