Ships hit by U-boats

Erling Brøvig

Norwegian Motor tanker

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

NameErling Brøvig
Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage9,970 tons
Completed1937 - Bremer Vulkan, Vegesack 
OwnerTh. Brøvig, Farsund 
Date of attack22 Feb 1944Nationality:      Norwegian
FateA total loss by U-510 (Alfred Eick)
Position13° 50'N, 48° 49'E - Grid MP 5511
Complement45 (0 dead and 45 survivors).
RouteAbadan - Aden - Suez 
History On 30 Jan 1942, the Erling Brøvig in ballast left Melbourne in convoy MS-3 (seven tankers) for Palembang to pick up as much oil as possible, because the Japanese attack on Sumatra around this time. Around 12 February, after loading oil in Palembang, she was ordered to leave like all other ships in the harbour, because the Japanese attack was imminent. The next day, the convoy, escorted by two British destroyers, had passed the Banka Straits during the night and headed for Batavia when they were attacked by at least eight Japanese aircraft. The Erling Brøvig was hit by one bomb and set on fire, one Chinese sailor died and a Norwegian was injured. The fire was extinguished and the tanker reached Batavia safely. Most of her cargo of 4500 tons fuel oil was transferred to another tanker. After the bomb damages were repaired, she joined a convoy, first to Ceylon, then Fremantle, where more repairs were carried out for six months. 
Notes on event

On 22 Feb 1944, U-510 made two attacks at convoy PA-69 off Majhada, about 200 miles from Aden and reported two tankers and one freighter sunk, one freighter was left burning and sinking and one other freighter was damaged by one torpedo. Three tankers were hit, the San Alvaro, E.G. Seubert and Erling Brøvig. It is not clear whether one ship was hit by two torpedoes.

The Erling Brøvig (Master Rudolf V. Jacobsen) broke almost in two after she was hit by one torpedo amidships, but was taken in tow and beached near Aden, where her cargo was transferred to lighters and she was temporarily repaired. The crew reached Aden in lifeboats and were later taken to Capetown on the Panamanian merchant Sewall (Master Sveen).
On 16 September, the tanker got underway to to Massawa, assisted by a tug, but after one day she broke in two behind amidships, both parts still floating. The tug continued with the forepart and the master sailed with the afterpart as far as Suez by her own power. A tug towed her through the canal and she arrived Italy safely, where she was subsequently laid up.

After the war, the tanker was repaired in Genoa and reentered service as Bramora in 1946/47. Sold to China in 1960/61 and eventually broken up.

On boardWe have details of 45 people who were on board

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