Ships hit by U-boats


Finnish Steam merchant

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage3,396 tons
Completed1914 - Robert Thompson & Sons Ltd, Bridge Dockyard, Sunderland 
OwnerO/Y Wipu (Antti Wihuri), Helsinki 
Date of attack17 Feb 1940Nationality:      Finnish
FateSunk by U-48 (Herbert Schultze)
Position49° 24'N, 7° 11'W - Grid BF 1678
Complement27 (0 dead and 27 survivors).
RouteSavannah - Norfolk - Antwerp - Rotterdam 
CargoGeneral cargo, including tobacco, gum rosin, wheat and turpentine 
History Completed in June 1914 as Norwegian Kongsfos for A/S Manchester (Thor Thoresen, Jr.), Kristiania. 1921 renamed Randsfjord for Den Norske Amerikalinje A/S, Oslo. In July 1934 sold to Finland and renamed Gertrud for Rederi A/B Getrud (Kristian Hansen A/B O/Y), Helsinki. In September 1939 renamed Wilja for O/Y Wipu (Antti Wihuri), Helsinki. 
Notes on event

At 20.36 hours on 17 February 1940 the unescorted and neutral Wilja (Master Martin J. Björkroth) was hit aft by a G7a torpedo from U-48, caught fire and sank after five minutes about 40 miles south-west of Bishop Rock. The U-boat had spotted an illuminated Dutch ship and a darkened vessel about 30 minutes earlier and attacked the latter. The other ship was Maasdam, which picked up the survivors and landed them in Havana, Cuba.

On boardWe have details of 27 people who were on board

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