Ships hit by U-boats


British Motor merchant

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage2,304 tons
Completed1922 - Charles Hill & Sons, Bristol 
OwnerBritish India Steam Navigation Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack5 Jun 1943Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-198 (Werner Hartmann)
Position28° 15'S, 33° 20'E - Grid KP 5989
Complement93 (26 dead and 67 survivors).
RouteTulear, Madagascar - Durban 
History Completed in August 1922 
Notes on event

At 07.50 hours on 5 June 1943 the unescorted Dumra (Master Wilfred Charles Cripps) was hit by two torpedoes from U-198 northeast of Durban. The ship lost its bow, but remained afloat and the master and some crew members remained aboard while the most men abandoned ship in the lifeboats. After 10 minutes, the U-boat fired a coup de grâce that hit amidships and caused the ship to sink immediately. The master was blown overboard and picked up by one of the boats but died shortly afterwards, 24 crew members and one gunner were also lost. The motorboat took the other lifeboats in tow for the Santa Lucia Lighthouse and 65 crew members and one gunner landed at Santa Lucia Bay, Natal.

The chief engineer Henry Townsend Graham was taken prisoner by the U-boat. On 26 June, he and Owen Reed, the master of William King, were transferred to the German supply tanker Charlotte Schliemann which landed them at Batavia on 15 July 1943. They were handed over to the Japanese and taken to a POW camp on Java. Both men were killed aboard the Japanese “hell ship” Junyo Maru, when she was torpedoed and sunk by HMS Tradewind (P 329) (LtCdr S.L.C. Maydon, DSO and Bar, RN) en route from Batavia to Padang, Sumatra on 18 Sep 1944. 5620 men of the 4200 Javanese slave labourers and 2300 Allied prisoners on board died.

On boardWe have details of 22 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats