Ships hit by U-boats

City of Bombay

British Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of the Allen Collection

NameCity of Bombay
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage7,140 tons
Completed1937 - Barclay, Curle & Co, Whiteinch, Glasgow 
OwnerEllerman Lines Ltd, London 
Date of attack13 Dec 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-159 (Helmut Friedrich Witte)
Position2° 43'N, 29° 06'W - Grid FC 6863
Complement150 (20 dead and 130 survivors).
RouteLiverpool - Trinidad (5 Dec) - Saldanha Bay, South Africa - Karachi 
Cargo6500 tons of military stores, including weapons, ammunition and 10 aircraft 
History Completed in October 1937 
Notes on event

At 22.05 hours on 13 December 1942 the unescorted City of Bombay (Master Forbes Wyse Pemberthy) was hit by two torpedoes from U-159 south of St. Paul Rocks. The ship had been first spotted 19 hours earlier and missed with a spread of three torpedoes at 06.35 hours. After the torpedo hits the U-boat waited one hour for the ship to sink and then surfaced and fired 30 rounds from the deck gun, setting the vessel on fire. After 4 hours the fire went out and the City of Bombay had to be sunk by a coup de grĂ¢ce at 03.11 hours on 14 December. The torpedo hit amidships and caused her to sink in a short time.

19 crew members and one gunner were lost. The master, 122 crew members and seven gunners were rescued. 24 survivors were picked up by the Egyptian steam merchant Star of Cairo and landed at Capetown. 92 survivors were picked on 19 December by the British steam merchant Cape Breton and landed at Recife ten days later. 14 survivors were rescued by USS Tenacity (PG 71) and landed at Pernambuco.

On boardWe have details of 26 people who were on board

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