Ships hit by U-boats

Star of Scotland

American Sailing ship

Star of Scotland in 1931

NameStar of Scotland
Type:Sailing ship
Tonnage2,290 tons
Completed1887 - John Reid & Co, Glasgow 
OwnerEast Asiatic Co, Los Angeles CA 
HomeportLos Angeles 
Date of attack13 Nov 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-159 (Helmut Friedrich Witte)
Position26° 30'S, 0° 20'W - Grid GG 5811
Complement17 (1 dead and 16 survivors).
RouteCapetown - Paranaguá, Brazil 
Cargo800 tons of sand ballast 
History Launched in March 1887 as four-masted steel ship Kenilworth for the Waverley Line (Williamson & Milligam), Liverpool. On 26 Aug, 1889, she was damaged by a fire at Port Costa, San Franciso and was declared a constructional loss. 1889 the wreck was sold to A. Sewall & Co, New York and repaired at the Union Iron Works. 1908 the barque was sold to Alaska Packers´ Association, San Francisco and renamed Star of Scotland. Taken over by the US Shipping Board (USSB) in 1917, used between California and Hawaii during the war and thereafter returned to the owner. 1930 the vessel was sold to Arnold Pearce & Lew Lockhart, Los Angeles and used as a fishing barge. 1938 sold to A.C. Stralla, renamed Rex and used as a gambling ship off Santa Monica, California. 1941 the ship was bought by Frank A. Hellenthal, Santa Monica, re-rigged as a six-masted schooner and upon completion in 1942 renamed Star of Scotland
Notes on event

At 09.05 hours on 13 Nov 1942, U-159 began shelling the unescorted and unarmed Star of Scotland (Master Constantin Flink) from two miles abaft the port beam about 900 miles west of Luderitz Bay, Southwest Africa. The first shot went over the ship, the second fell short and the third hit the vessel and started a fire. The sails were struck immediately and the crew began to abandon ship in a lifeboat while the U-boat continued shelling the ship for 50 minutes with about 30 shells. The master remained behind to save the papers, a sextant, a chronometer and binoculars and then abandoned ship in a second boat.

The second mate fell overboard when launching the first boat and the U-boat assisted in searching him by towing a lifeboat around the area for two hours but he apparently drowned. While the survivors in the first boat were questioned, two men in a rubber boat from the U-boat boarded the burning ship for provisions (cigarettes, fruit, orange juice and soap) and also took clothing, accounts and instruments from the boat of the master, who was first taken prisoner but was allowed to return to his men after he explained that he was the only one able to navigate. The master was asked to promise he would not command another ship sailing against Germany and the survivors were given four cans with black bread and cigarettes. The ship settled on even keel and sank by the bow at 15.40 hours, after the U-boat had again fired some shells into the ship. The survivors set sail for Angola in one lifeboat and made landfall at Santa Maria Lighthouse on 1 December, having made a voyage of 1040 miles.

On boardWe have details of 4 people who were on board

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