Ships hit by U-boats

Empire Conveyor

British Steam merchant

Empire Conveyor under her former name Mount Pentelikon. Photo courtesy of Ron Mapplebeck Collection

NameEmpire Conveyor
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,911 tons
Completed1917 - Richardson, Duck & Co Ltd, Stockton-on-Tees 
OwnerH. Hogarth & Sons Ltd, Glasgow 
Date of attack20 Jun 1940Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-122 (Hans-Günther Looff)
Position56° 16'N, 8° 10'W - Grid AM 5331
Complement41 (3 dead and 38 survivors).
RouteMontreal (6 Jun) - Manchester 
Cargo7966 tons of wheat 
History Completed in June 1917 as British Farnworth for R. S. Dalgliesh Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 1924 renamed Illinois for Harlem SS Co, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 1926 sold to France for Cie Générale Transatlantique, Le Havre. 1934 sold to Greece and renamed Mount Pentelikon for Kulukundis Shipping Co SA, Piræus. 1939 sold to Germany and renamed Gloria for Orion Schiffahrts GmbH, Rostock.

On 21 October 1939 the Gloria was captured by HMS Sheffield (24) (Capt E. de F. Renouf, CVO, RN) on Northern Patrol in the Denmark Strait in 65°30N/22°05W. The ship had left Buenos Aires on 6 October and was taken by a prize crew (SubLt S. Phillips) to Kirkwall and later to Leith. Three German crew members tried to escape in a lifeboat, but were later captured and landed at Methil on 28 October. The vessel was renamed Empire Conveyor by the Ministry of Shipping (MOS). 
Notes on event

At 13.15 hours on 20 June 1940, U-61 (Oesten) observed how the unescorted and zigzagging Empire Conveyor (Master Finlay Black MacIntyre) was hit on the port side forward by a torpedo about 50 miles south of Barra Head, Hebrides. The attacker must have been U-122, which was lost shortly afterwards but reported sinking a large freighter in a radio message at 00.30 hours on 21 June.

The Empire Conveyor did not sink immediately, but because the aerials had been damaged the radio operator was unable to call for help. Luckily a flying boat on patrol in the area arrived, dropped bombs to keep the U-boat down and alerted the Admiralty. The tug HMS Amsterdam was sent out, escorted by HMS Atherstone (L 05) (Cdr H.W.S. Browning, RN) and HMS Campbell (D 60) (LtCdr R.M. Aubrey, RN), but at 16.00 hours she suddenly sank before the ships arrived. The crew had abandoned ship in three lifeboats and several rafts, but one boat swamped during launch. The master, the second engineer and the cook were lost. 38 crew members were picked up by HMS Campbell (D 60) after six hours and landed at Liverpool the next day.

On boardWe have details of 5 people who were on board

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