Ships hit by U-boats


Swedish Motor tanker

Photo courtesy of Sjöhistoriska Museet, Stockholm

Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage9,583 tons
Completed1930 - William Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland 
OwnerRederi-A/B Transoil (Rolf Sörman), Gothenburg 
Date of attack24 Jul 1943Nationality:      Swedish
FateSunk by U-197 (Robert Bartels)
Position28° 05'S, 37° 40'E - Grid KQ 4770
Complement38 (0 dead and 38 survivors).
RouteAbadan (1 Jul) - Khasab Bay - Lourenço Marques - Durban 
Cargo12,855 tons of motor spirit 
History Completed in May 1930. On 26 Oct 1940, the Pegasus was damaged by a mine one mile south of Bar Lightvessel, River Mersey. 
Notes on event

At 20.00 hours on 23 July 1943 the unescorted and unarmed Pegasus (Master T. Andersson) was hit by two dud torpedoes from U-197 southwest of Madagascar. The tanker immediately increased speed to the maximum of 11 knots and tried to escape on a zigzag course, but then a torpedo track was seen to cross ahead of the ship from port to starboard at 00.30 hours on 24 July. Shortly thereafter the lookouts spotted the U-boat about 100 yards away in the bright moonlit night and the master decided to stop the engines and to abandon ship, because the tanker was not armed, not fast enough to escape and the crew in great danger as she carried a highly flammable cargo. After the crew left the ship in two lifeboats, the abandoned Pegasus was hit on the port side between tanks #2 and #3 by torpedo at 00.55 hours. The survivors remained nearby during the night and some men reboarded the ship at daylight to examine the damage. Apparently the torpedo had been a surface runner as the explosion had torn open the side plates from the deck to the bottom. The men discovered that they could not save the ship as all pipes to the engine room were destroyed, abandoned her again after half an hour and set sail towards South Africa. At 22.05 hours, the tanker exploded and sank in flames after being hit by a coup de grâce. This explosion was observed as gigantic flash on the horizon by the survivors in the lifeboats. The men were rescued after about one week by HMS Virginia (FY 031) and the SAAF crash launch R-2 and taken to Durban.

On boardWe have details of 3 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