Ships hit by U-boats

Essex Lance

British Steam merchant

Essex Lance under her former name War Courage. Photo courtesy of Allan C. Green Collection

NameEssex Lance
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage6,625 tons
Completed1918 - Sir W.G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
OwnerMeldrum & Swinson Ltd, London 
Date of attack15 Oct 1943Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-426 (Christian Reich)
Position57° 53'N, 28° 00'W - Grid AK 3739
Complement52 (0 dead and 52 survivors).
ConvoyONS-20 (straggler)
RouteSwansea - Milford Haven (8 Oct) - Halifax 
Cargo4000 tons of anthracite 

Completed in October 1918 as War Courage for The Shipping Controller, managed by Lowden, Connell & Co, Liverpool. 1919 renamed Glensanda for Glen Line Ltd, London. 1928 renamed Essex Lance for Meldrum & Swinson Ltd, London.

At 12.00 hours on 16 Sep 1942, U-165 (Hoffmann) attacked the convoy SQ-36 in 49°03N/67°08W, sank the Joannis and damaged the Essex Lance and Pan York. The Essex Lance had been en route in ballast from London to Montreal. One crew member was lost. On 22 September, the ship arrived at Quebec in tow, was repaired and returned to service in May 1943.

Notes on event

At 22.48 hours on 15 Oct 1943 the unescorted Essex Lance (Master Arthur Henry Dean), a straggler from convoy ONS-20, was hit by one of three torpedoes from U-426 and sank in flames about 408 miles east of Cape Farewell. Earlier U-842 (Heller) reported that they had sighted the Essex Lance, but were unable to attack the ship. The master, 43 crew members and eight gunners were picked up by the British rescue ship Accrington and landed at Halifax on 26 October.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

Attack entries for Essex Lance

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
16 Sep 1942U-165FrgKpt. Eberhard HoffmannDamaged6,625  
15 Oct 1943U-426Kptlt. Christian ReichSunk6,625  

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