Ships hit by U-boats


Belgian Steam merchant

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,382 tons
Completed1918 - Northumberland Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Howden-on-Tyne 
OwnerCompagnie Maritime Belge (Lloyd Royal) SA, Antwerp 
Date of attack11 Feb 1945Nationality:      Belgian
FateSunk by U-1017 (Werner Riecken)
Position50° 14'N, 4° 20'W - Grid BF 2295
Complement63 (20 dead and 43 survivors).
RouteCardiff (8 Feb) – Barry (9 Feb) - Antwerp 
Cargo2400 tons of soup, 1400 tons of dried eggs, 1000 tons of meat and 20 tons of general cargo 
History Completed in June 1918 as British War Buffalo for The Shipping Controller, managed by Rankin, Gilmour & Co Ltd, London. 1919 sold to Belgium and renamed Persier for Compagnie Maritime Belge (Lloyd Royal) SA, Antwerp. On 28 Feb 1941, the Persier was severerly damaged when driven ashore by a strom off Myralladur, Iceland. She was refloated and towed to Reykjavik by the tug Aegir in Apri, but beached again after her back broke as she was insufficiently supported when taken to Kleppsvik Strand for repairs on 9 June. On 20 May 1942, the ship was refloated and subsequently towed by the tugs Empire Bascobel and Empire Larch to the Tyne where she was repaired and returned to service in February 1943. 
Notes on event

At 17.25 hours on 11 Feb 1945 the Persier (Master Emile S. Mathieu), the ship of convoy commodore in convoy BTC-65, was torpedoed by U-1017 four miles 340° from the Eddystone Lighthouse. A first torpedo prematurely exploded about 200 yards off the port beam, another was seen to pass her stem but the third struck on the port side in #2 hold and caused a heavy list. While she settled by the bow the crew abandoned ship in the lifeboats with some difficulties due to bad weather, the very rough sea and high swell swamped the first boat and another was smashed in the still turning propeller. 20 men were lost and eleven wounded from the complement of 48 Belgian crew members, four naval staff members, seven gunners (the ship was armed with one 4in and five 20mm guns) and four stowaways. 20 respectively seven survivors were rescued from Carley floats by the British coasters Gem and Birker Force which stood by the drifting ship. 16 more were found in two lifeboats awash by HMS Cornelian (T 15) (LtCdr S. Gorrell, RNR) and landed at Plymouth at midnight, they were all suffering from exposure and one of them was seriously injured. The Persier was taken in tow by HMS Allegiance (W 50), but sank during the night in the Bigbury Bay in position 50°17N/03°58W.

Revisions June 2006 by Dr. Axel Niesté:
The sinking of Persier was earlier credited to U-1018 (Burmeister), but no such attack was mentioned by the survivors from this U-boat. The success is now credited to U-1017 as they reported a successful attack in the position where this ship was lost. 
On boardWe have details of 62 people who were on board

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