Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Motor merchant

Photo from City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 447-2322

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage5,041 tons
Completed1923 - Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw Mij NV, Amsterdam 
OwnerKnut Knutsen O.A.S., Haugesund 
Date of attack26 Nov 1942Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by UD-3 (Hermann Rigele)
Position2° 10'N, 28° 52'W - Grid ER 9833
Complement39 (0 dead and 39 survivors).
RouteCapetown (8 Nov) - Trinidad - New York 
Cargo2820 tons of chrome ore 
History Completed in May 1923 for Den Norske Russlandslinje A/S, Kristiania. In April 1929 sold to Knut Knutsen O.A.S., Haugesund.

On 6 Jun 1942, the Indra accidentally shot down a British Swordfish aircraft (814 Sqn FAA, pilot SubLt Andrew Moore, RNVR) northeast of Celyon. The aircraft had been circling the ship and was downed by AA fire as it began to dive towards the ship, all three crew members were lost. 
Notes on event

At 15.01 hours on 25 Nov 1942 the unescorted Indra (Master Thomas Nøkling) was spotted by U-159 (Witte), which was en route to meet UD-3 to receive new torpedoes after all had been used in her patrol area off South Africa. Witte reported the ship because she was heading towards the other U-boat and kept contact for the next 24 hours without being spotted. At 17.35 hours on 26 November, UD-3 fired two G7e torpedoes at the Indra, hitting her with one in the port bow. She settled by the head and the master, 33 crew members and five gunners (the ship was armed with one 3in, one 20mm and four machine guns) abandoned ship in two lifeboats. Only the radio operator remained behind and unsuccessfully tried to send distress signals for eight minutes. A first coup de grâce fired from her starboard side became a surface runner and missed at 17.50 hours. Rigele then waited for 50 minutes, but as the ship remained afloat fired a second coup de grâce that missed due to an unknown reason. At 18.48 hours, the third coup de grâce struck on port side amidships and caused the ship to sink by the bow within 30 seconds.

UD-3 then surfaced nearby to question the survivors, while U-159 surfaced in some distance. They soon left the area together to transfer the torpedoes. The two lifeboats set sail for the Brazilian coast and were spotted and evaded by U-172 (Emmermann) on 27 November. On 30 November, the survivors were picked up with their boats by the British motor merchant Eurybates after sailing about 320 miles in 00°34S/32°44W and landed at Port of Spain, Trinidad on 9 December.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 39 people who were on board

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