Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,389 tons
Completed1929 - Cammell Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead 
OwnerElders & Fyffes Ltd, London 
Date of attack29 Oct 1940Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-31 (Wilfried Prellberg)
Position57° 30'N, 16° 31'W - Grid AL 3880
Complement71 (71 dead - no survivors)
RoutePort Antonio, Jamaica - Garston 
Cargo1500 tons of bananas 
History Completed in March 1929 
Notes on event

At 04.32 hours on 26 Oct 1940 the unescorted Matina (Master David Alexander Jack) was hit in the stern by one torpedo from U-28 (Kuhnke) about 100 miles west of Rockall, after the ship had been missed by a first torpedo at 21.50 hours the day before. The U-boat then surfaced and fired 28 rounds with her deck gun, achieved 15 hits and left the vessel in a sinking condition.

At 22.00 hours on 29 October, U-31 reported the sinking of a drifting wreck by a coup de grâce, this must have been the Matina. The first U-boat had observed that some survivors abandoned ship in lifeboats, but they were never seen again. The master, 67 crew members, two gunners and one passenger were lost.

On boardWe have details of 71 people who were on board

Attack entries for Matina

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
26 Oct 1940U-28Kptlt. Günter KuhnkeDamaged5,389  
29 Oct 1940U-31Kptlt. Wilfried PrellbergSunk5,389  

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