Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Motor merchant

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage7,229 tons
Completed1936 - F. Schichau GmbH, Elbing, Danzig 
OwnerWilh. Wilhelmsen, Oslo 
Date of attack7 Mar 1944Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-510 (Alfred Eick)
Position12° 48'N, 58° 44'E - Grid MQ 6751
Complement149 (3 dead and 146 survivors).
RouteEl-Quseir - Suez - Aden (2 Mar) - Melbourne 
CargoGeneral cargo, including 8240 tons of phosphate, 1290 tons of crude oil and 500 bags of mail 
History Completed in November 1936 
Notes on event

On 7 March 1944 the unescorted Tarifa (Master Hans Bjønness) was hit between #3 and #4 holds and near #5 hold by two torpedoes from U-510 about 250 miles east of Socotra. The ship had joined a convoy on 3 March, but continued alone on a zigzag course three days later near Ras al Hadd. The explosions destroyed the radio station and a lifeboat, so the master, 46 crew members, 101 military personnel from Australia and New Zealand (Capt A.I.F.S.R. Dawson) and one passenger on board abandoned ship in five lifeboats within 5 minutes and a few minutes before the ship sank. An Australian soldier and a gunner had been killed and another gunner fatally injured who was later buried at sea. The survivors were distributed between the boats that each took a raft in tow and then set sail for Socotra. The boat of the master with 22 men went ahead and made landfall at the RAF base on Socotra in the evening on 12 March. The next day, aircraft were sent out and located the remaining survivors within an hour. They were picked up by HMS Avon (K 97) (LtCdr P.G.A. King, DSC, RD, RNR) on 14 March and landed at Aden.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 48 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