Ships hit by U-boats

Empire Statesman

British Motor merchant

Empire Statesman under her former name Ansaldo VIII. Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

NameEmpire Statesman
Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage5,306 tons
Completed1920 - Ansaldo SA, Genoa-Sestri 
OwnerWalter Runciman & Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
Date of attack11 Dec 1940Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-94 (Herbert Kuppisch)
Position53° 40'N, 17° 00'W - Grid AL 9616
Complement32 (32 dead - no survivors)
ConvoySLS-56 (straggler)
RoutePepel - Freetown (19 Nov) - Oban - Middlesbrough 
CargoIron ore 
History Completed in February 1920 as Italian steam merchant Ansaldo VIII for Societa Nazionale di Navigazione, Genoa. 1925 renamed Ansaldo Ottavo for the same owner. 1928 renamed Pellice for Tito Campanella, Genoa. 1928 converted to a motor merchant and sold to Società Commericale di Navigazione, Genoa. On 10 Jun 1940, the Pellice was seized by Britain at Newcastle-upon-Tyne and renamed Empire Statesman by Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). 
Notes on event

At 19.12 hours on 11 Dec 1940 the unescorted Empire Statesman (Master James Brown), a straggler from convoy SLS-56 due to engine troubles since 21 November, was torpedoed and sunk by U-94 west of Ireland. The master, 30 crew members and one gunner were lost.

On boardWe have details of 32 people who were on board

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