Ships hit by U-boats

B.P. Newton

Norwegian Motor tanker

Photo courtesy of Sjöhistoriska Museet, Stockholm

NameB.P. Newton
Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage10,324 tons
Completed1940 - Kockums Mekaniska Verksteds A/B, Malm√∂ 
OwnerTschudi & Eitzen, Oslo 
Date of attack8 Jul 1943Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-510 (Alfred Eick)
Position5° 50'N, 50° 20'W - Grid EP 4679
Complement47 (23 dead and 24 survivors).
RouteTrinidad (3 Jul) - East London 
Cargo14,700 tons of aviation fuel 
History Completed in March 1940

The B.P. Newton (Master J.W. Calvert) was one of the Kvarstad-ships held back in Sweden in 1941. On 1 Apr 1941, ten of those ships tried to reach Leith (Operation Performance), but only two managed to get through the German controlled waters safely, one of them was the B.P. Newton with 71 people on board which reached Leith on 3 April, despite of being attacked twice by planes and an encounter with a small German convoy. 
Notes on event

At 05.20 hours on 8 July 1943, U-510 fired three torpedoes in one minute intervals at convoy TJ-1 and reported hits on three ships. At 07.19 hours, the U-boat fired five more torpedoes and claimed hits on two further ships. At 13.07 hours, U-510 attacked convoy again and reported another ship of 6000 tons sunk. However, Allied sources only confirm hits on three ships: B.P. Newton, Eldena and Everagra, which was only damaged. It seems that the U-boat attacked the same targets several times.

At 05.20 hours, the B.P. Newton (Master Einar Andersen) was hit on the port side aft by one torpedo. Her cargo was ignited by the explosion and flaming fuel sprayed over stern and bridge, destroying all lifeboats apart of one on starboard. The men on watch below were killed before they were able to stop the engines. Many of the crew on the stern jumped overboard and perished in the burning sea. The remaining crew members stayed on the forecastle. The master and the second mate remained for 40 minutes on the bridge to consider if anything could be done to save the tanker, but they were chased off by the flames and were able to launch the damaged lifeboat on starboard. Four men from the forecastle jumped into the water and were picked up by the lifeboat, which was then rowed away from the burning ship. 24 survivors, twelve of them badly burned, were picked up by the escort vessels, which searched the whole day for more survivors, but there was no attempt to reboard the B.P. Newton because the side plates were glowing red and no one was expected to be alive onboard. She sank about 150 miles northeast of Cayenne, French Guiana. All survivors were landed at Pernambuco on 17 July.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 47 people who were on board

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