Ships hit by U-boats


Dutch Steam passenger ship

Photo courtesy of the Allen Collection

Type:Steam passenger ship
Tonnage15,434 tons
Completed1922 - Harland & Wolff Ltd, Govan, Glasgow 
OwnerNederlandsche-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Mij NV, Rotterdam 
Date of attack31 Aug 1940Nationality:      Dutch
FateDamaged by U-60 (Adalbert Schnee)
Position56° 04'N, 9° 52'W - Grid AM 5217
Complement879 (1 dead and 878 survivors).
RouteLiverpool (29 Aug) - Halifax - New York 
CargoGeneral cargo 
History Completed in October 1922 at Belfast.

In 1946 the Volendam carried Dutch troops to the Netherlands East Indies and was then returned to her owner which used her in Europe - Australia emigrant voyages. Broken up at Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht in February 1952. 
Notes on event

The Volendam (Master Wepster) had been assigned to the child evacuation programme and was carrying 879 people, 273 crew members, 320 children with their leaders and 286 other passengers. She was also the ship of the commodore in convoy OB-205 with Admiral G.H. Knowles on board.

At 00.00 hours on 31 Aug 1940 the Volendam was hit by one torpedo from U-60 about 200 miles west of the Bloody Foreland. The torpedo struck in #1 hold and opened a hole of 16 by 10 metres that caused the flooding of #1 and #2 hold. Soon it was necessary to abandon ship, but this was no problem because this had been practiced in port and the children sang Roll out the Barrel until they were rescued by three other ships of convoy (British steam merchant Bassethound, British steam tanker Valldemosa and Olaf Fostenes) and brought back to Britain. The only casualty was a crewman, who drowned when he fell overboard.

The Volendam was taken in tow by HMS Salvonia (W 43) and beached on the Isle of Bute. Later she was refloated and repaired at Cammell, Laird. As she was docked a second unexploded torpedo was found embedded in the bow. The U-boat had fired a spread of two torpedoes with a short interval, the detonation of the first must have blown off the warhead from the second torpedo. The ship was converted to a troop transport and returned to service in July 1941. Until July 1945 she carried over 100.000 troops.

On boardWe have details of 276 people who were on board

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