Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam tanker

The burning Gretafield

Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage10,191 tons
Completed1928 - Cammell Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead 
OwnerHunting & Son Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
Date of attack14 Feb 1940Nationality:      British
FateA total loss by U-57 (Claus Korth)
Position58° 27'N, 2° 33'W - Grid AN 1671
Complement41 (11 dead and 30 survivors).
ConvoyHX-18 (straggler)
RouteCuraçao (18 Jan) - Halifax (31 Jan) - Invergordon 
Cargo13,000 tons of fuel oil 
History Completed in May 1928 
Notes on event

At 01.35 hours on 14 Feb 1940 the unescorted Gretafield (Master Ernst Derricks), a straggler from convoy HX-18, was hit by one G7a torpedo from U-57 southeast of Noss Head. The tanker caught fire after being hit aft by one G7e torpedo at 01.48 hours. Ten crew members and one gunner were lost. The master and 29 crew members were picked up by the British armed trawlers HMS Peggy Nutten (4.450) (Skipper J.C. Taylor) and HMS Strathalladale (4.458) and landed at Wick.

The burning Gretafield drifted ashore at Dunbeath, Caithnesshire in 58°14´15N/03°25´45W. On 19 March, the tanker broke in two and was declared a total loss.

On boardWe have details of 14 people who were on board

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