Ships hit by U-boats

Star of Suez

Egyptian Steam merchant

Star of Suez under her former name Marthara

NameStar of Suez
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,999 tons
Completed1926 - D. & W. Henderson & Co Ltd, Glasgow 
OwnerAlexandria Navigation Co Ltd (Red Rose Line), Alexandria 
Date of attack15 Dec 1942Nationality:      Egyptian
FateSunk by U-159 (Helmut Friedrich Witte)
Position0° 42'S, 29° 34'W - Grid FC 3725
Complement42 (2 dead and 40 survivors).
RouteNew York - Trinidad - Table Bay - Suez 
Cargo6000 tons of war materials, including 1200 tons of explosives, 50 tons of paper and replacement parts for aircraft and trucks 
History Completed in January 1926 as British Marthara for Maclay & McIntyre, Glasgow. 1938 sold to Egpyt and renamed Star of Suez for Alexandria Navigation Co Ltd (Red Rose Line), Alexandria. 
Notes on event

At 14.20 hours on 15 Dec 1942 the unescorted Star of Suez was hit amidships by one torpedo from U-159 and sank after 17 minutes about 100 miles south of St. Pauls Rocks. One crew member was killed. The U-boat had spotted the ship at 12.07 hours and almost at the same time U-134 (Schendel), which also tried to get into a firing position since 10.55 hours. Witte questioned the survivors in the two lifeboats and recovered 45 aircraft tires, a 20 hp electric motor and 120 grapefruits from the flotsam. The other U-boat joined them at the sinking position and took also aircraft tires and replacement parts for cars on board. The boat in charge of the master with eleven occupants made landfall 23 miles southeast of Fortaleza at night on 23 December, but the second officer died of exhaustion after reaching land. 30 survivors in the boat in charge of the chief officer reached Fortaleza on 26 December.


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