Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,747 tons
Completed1929 - Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland 
OwnerAllan, Black & Co, Sunderland 
Date of attack15 Oct 1940Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-103 (Viktor Schütze)
Position58° 43'N, 15° 00'W - Grid AL 3639
Complement39 (30 dead and 9 survivors).
ConvoyOA-228 (straggler)
RouteScapa Flow (13 Oct) - Father Point, New Brunswick 
History Completed in September 1929 
Notes on event

At 19.33 hours on 15 October 1940 the unescorted Thistlegarth (Master Donald Plummer, MM), a straggler from convoy OA-228, was hit on port side amidships by one G7e torpedo from U-103 45 miles west-northwest of Rockall. Initially the crew abandoned ship due to the list, but reboarded the vessel when it remained afloat. The U-boat surfaced and opened fire with the deck gun, but had to cease fire after three rounds and crash dive due to return fire. The ship broke in two and sank within two minutes after being hit on starboard side under the aft mast by a coup de grâce at 21.42 hours. Nine crew members in one lifeboat were picked up by HMS Heartsease (K 15) (LtCdr E.J.R. North, RNR) in position 58°45’N, 13°27’W on 18 October. The other lifeboat containing 30 survivors was never found: the master, 28 crew members and one gunner were lost.

On boardWe have details of 31 people who were on board

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