Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage6,725 tons
Completed1909 - Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Newport News VA 
OwnerDouglas & Ramsay, Glasgow 
Date of attack2 Dec 1940Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-94 (Herbert Kuppisch)
Position55° 43'N, 15° 06'W - Grid AM 4432
Complement39 (5 dead and 34 survivors).
RouteNew Westminster, British Columbia - Panama - Halifax (21 Nov) - Liverpool 
Cargo2612 tons of general cargo, 2303 tons of fish and 1450 tons of wood pulp 
History Completed in December 1909 as steam merchant Wilhelmina for Matson Navigation Co, San Francisco CA. In January 1918 requisitioned by the US Navy and commissioned as troop transport USS Wilhelmina (ID # 2168) to bring troops to France. After the war ended she made seven voyage to repatriate the troops and was returned to the owner in August 1919. After being laid up the ship was sold to Britain in 1940 and taken over by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). 
Notes on event

Between 22.16 and 22.17 hours on 2 Dec 1940, U-94 fired three single torpedoes at a tanker and two steamers in convoy HX-90 265 miles west of Bloody Foreland and observed two hits on the tanker and one on a steamer identified as W. Hendrik, which was missed by a coup de grĂ¢ce at 00.05 hours on 3 December. Only Wilhelmina (Master James Black Rue) in station #91 was hit and sunk in this attack. Four crew members and one gunner were lost. The master and 33 crew members were picked up by HMS Gentian (K 90) (LtCdr R.O. Yeomans, RNR) and landed at Gourock.

The British steam merchant W. Hendrik (4360 grt) in station #81 apparently thought that they had been hit when the other ship was torpedoed, sent a distress signal and stopped. She was in fact undamaged and continued with convoy, but was bombed and sunk by a German aircraft on 3 December.

On boardWe have details of 6 people who were on board

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