Ships hit by U-boats


Dutch Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Maritiem Museum, Rotterdam

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage7,051 tons
Completed1923 - NV Scheepswerf v/h Bonn & Mees, Rotterdam 
OwnerKoninklijke Rotterdamsche Lloyd NV (W. Ruys & Zonen), Rotterdam 
Date of attack27 Dec 1942Nationality:      Dutch
FateSunk by U-441 (Klaus Hartmann)
Position47° 25'N, 25° 20'W - Grid BD 66
Complement70 (1 dead and 69 survivors).
ConvoyONS-154 (straggler)
RouteGlasgow - Gourock (18 Dec) - Bahia - Bombay 
Cargo5000 tons of general cargo 
History Completed in September 1923 
Notes on event

About 02.40 hours on 27 Dec 1942 the Empire Union and Melrose Abbey in convoy ONS-154 were torpedoed and sunk north-northeast of the Azores. About 03.10 hours, the Soekaboemi and King Edward were also hit. All ships must have been torpedoed by U-356 (Ruppelt), which was herself lost after the attacks.

The Soekaboemi (Master H.A. van der Schoor de Boer) was hit on the starboard side in the foreship and settled immediately by the bow. After the 54 crew members, twelve gunners and four passengers abandoned ship in four lifeboats, they could observe how the propellers were visible over the water and that at least one man was still on board, flashing with his pocket light. Shortly thereafter, the British rescue ship Toward (Master Gordon K. Hudson) picked up the occupants of three lifeboats and landed them at Halifax on 9 January. The master first intended to return to his ship to assess the damage, but soon realized that his attempt is futile. The man still on board left the ship by a raft and was later rescued by HMCS Napanee (K 118) (T/Lt S. Henderson, RCNR) near wreckage of the King Edward. The 17 survivors in the fourth lifeboat were also picked up by the corvette and brought to St. John’s. One crew member was lost.

At 19.37 hours on 27 December, the wreck of Soekaboemi was sunk by a coup de grâce from U-441 behind convoy.

On boardWe have details of 70 people who were on board

Attack entries for Soekaboemi

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
27 Dec 1942U-356Oblt. Günther RuppeltDamaged7,051  
27 Dec 1942U-441Kptlt. Klaus HartmannSunk7,051  

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