Ships hit by U-boats

Prins Harald

Norwegian Motor merchant

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NamePrins Harald
Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage7,244 tons
Completed1942 - William Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland 
Date of attack20 Nov 1942Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-263 (Kurt Nölke)
Position35° 55'N, 10° 14'W - Grid CG 8731
Complement? men (3 dead and ? survivors).
RouteSwansea (3 Nov) - North Africa 
CargoWar material 
History Launched as British Empire Field on 23 Sep 1941 for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT), completed in January 1942 and assigned to Haldin & Philipps Ltd (Court Line), London. On 15 Oct 1942, she was taken over by the Norwegian goverment at Cardiff and renamed Prins Harald
Notes on event

At 10.12 and 10.13 hours on 20 Nov 1942, U-263 fired torpedoes at convoy KMS-3 west of Gibraltar and observed hits after 13 seconds, 47 seconds, 1 minute 27 seconds and 1 minute 47 seconds. Nölke observed two ships sinking and one burning. In fact, the Prins Harald and Grangepark were sunk and one torpedo exploded in the net defences of the British steam merchant Ocean Pilgrim (7173 tons).

The Prins Harald (Master Westbye Foss-Sørensen) was hit by one torpedo that started a fire in a hold where some ammunition was stored. The crew launched the lifeboats and rowed away to a safe distance, while the motorboat remained near the ship to wait for the master and the first mate who attempted to extinguish the fire. After 30 minutes, the ship blew up and sank, spreading flames across the water. The two officers were killed and the men in the motorboat were blown into the sea by the pressure of the explosion. A British gunner was killed, while all the others had varying degrees of injuries. Eight survivors rescued themselves on a raft and two clung to some debris until a lifeboat came to assist. All survivors were picked up by the rescue vessel of convoy and landed in Gibraltar after two days.

On boardWe have details of 39 people who were on board

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