Ships hit by U-boats

HNoMS Montbretia (K 208)

Norwegian Corvette

Photo courtesy of Marinemuseet

NameHNoMS Montbretia (K 208)
Type:Corvette (Flower)
Tonnage925 tons
Completed1941 - Fleming & Ferguson, Paisley 
OwnerRoyal Norwegian Navy 
Date of attack18 Nov 1942Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-262 (Rudolf Heinz Franke)
Position53° 37'N, 38° 15'W - Grid AK 4877
Complement70 officers and men (47 dead and 23 survivors).
RouteLiverpool (7 Nov) 

Laid down as HMS Montbretia (K 208), commissioned in September 1941 as HNoMS Montbretia (K 208)

On 21 January 1942 HNoMS Montbretia (K 208) was one of four vessels in an outward bound convoy that ran aground in a storm near Ballyquintin Light, south of Belfast. The corvette was refloated and towed to Belfast 12 days later. The corvette was assigned to the Escort Group B6 and took part in the following convoy battles: ON-122, SC-104 and ONS-144.

Notes on event

At 08.51 hours on 18 November 1942 HNoMS Montbretia (K 208) (LtCdr H. Søiland, RNoN) was hit in the starboard bow by one of three torpedoes fired from U-262, while she was investigating a radar contact near convoy ONS-144. The corvette had already been missed earlier that night by a torpedo from U-624 (Soden-Fraunhofen) at 06.03 hours. The torpedo explosion opened a large hole in the bow, the forecastle deck twisted upwards and caused the ammunition of the 4in gun to explode, sending debris of the gun platform over the after deck killing three men. The roof of the Asdic deck came down, the bridge distorted and the bulkheads in the wheelhouse stowed in, killing the helmsman. The commander gave order to abandon ship and three carley floats were launched until a second torpedo struck on the port side in the boiler room, breaking the ship in two and caused the ship to sink rapidly. First it was thought that the corvette was hit by two different U-boats, but U-262 had fired a single torpedo at 08.57 hours on a second escort vessel (as Franke wrong assumed), apparently the corvette turned around after the first hit and was hit by the same U-boat.HNoMS Potentilla (K 214) (LtCdr C.A. Monsen, RNoN) picked up 20 survivors from two Carley floats and five from a cork net. Some of them were badly injured and two later died and were buried at sea that same afternoon.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 51 people who were on board

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Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

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