Ships hit by U-boats


British Motor tanker

Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage10,389 tons
Completed1936 - Blohm & Voss, Hamburg 
OwnerBritish Mexican Petroleum Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack27 Feb 1943Nationality:      British
FateDamaged by U-565 (Wilhelm Franken)
Position35° 33'N, 2° 33'W - Grid CH 7684
Complement51 (1 dead and 50 survivors).
RouteNew York - Algiers 
Cargo8000 tons of aviation spirit 
History Completed in April 1936

1950 renamed Esso Hull for Esso Petroleum Co Ltd, London. Broken up at Trieste in December 1958. 
Notes on event

At 09.10 hours on 27 February 1943 U-565 fired a spread of three torpedoes at convoy TE-16 and heard one hit after 2 minutes 2 seconds, but could not observe the result due to the escorts. The torpedo struck Seminole in station #52 well aft in the starboard quarter in the engine room. Due to her highly flammable cargo the crew immediately abandoned ship and were quickly picked up by the Merchant Prince, which acted as rescue ship of convoy. At 11.12 hours, the U-boat fired a coup de grĂ¢ce at the damaged tanker that struck well aft in the port quarter, but the Seminole remained afloat. HMS Liddesdale (L 100) (LtCdr A.A. Mackenzie, RNR) chased away the U-boat, screened the disabled tanker and eventually placed a boarding party of 32 men aboard to assist the salvage after the ship was taken in tow to Oran by the French tug Forte. However, the tow convoy made no headway in worsening weather until HMS Restive (W 39) arrived on 1 March and with the help of the escort destroyer managed to anchor the tanker in Camerata Bay the next day. After temporary repairs in Oran the Seminole was towed to Gibraltar in April 1943 and a month later to North Shields, where the tanker was repaired, transferred to Anglo-American Oil Co Ltd and returned to service in June 1944.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

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