Ships hit by U-boats


British Motor merchant

Photo from City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 447-2689

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage5,319 tons
Completed1926 - Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland 
OwnerSilver Line Ltd (Stanley & John Thompson Ltd), London 
Date of attack28 Mar 1943Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-159 (Helmut Friedrich Witte)
Position25° 30'N, 15° 55'W - Grid DU 2555
Complement67 (59 dead and 8 survivors).
RouteLiverpool - Gibraltar - Freetown - Lagos 
Cargo5053 tons of general cargo, including ammunition and high explosives 
History Completed in November 1926. On 13 Mar 1943, the Silverbeech was damaged in a collision in convoy OS-44 with the Dutch motor merchant Djambi (6984 grt), which sank without casualties in approx. 39°N/10°W. She was the ship of the vice-commodore in station #81 and had to leave the convoy for repairs in Gibraltar. 
Notes on event

At 14.48 hours on 28 March 1943 the Silverbeech (Master Thomas George Hyem) in convoy RS-3 was torpedoed and sunk by U-159 southeast of the Canary Islands. The U-boat dived after firing a spread of four torpedoes and heard several detonations, but U-172 (Emmermann) was chasing the same convoy and was badly shaken when the ship blew up in a distance of about 2000 metres. Witte later surfaced and passed a large field of debris, they also found several pieces of twisted metal on deck.

The master, 50 crew members, five gunners and three passengers were lost. Two crew members and six gunners were picked up by the British tug Empire Ace and landed at Bathurst, Gambia.

On boardWe have details of 60 people who were on board

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