Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam passenger ship

Photo courtesy of the Allen Collection

Type:Steam passenger ship
Tonnage14,118 tons
Completed1920 - Cammell Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead 
OwnerPacific Steam Navigation Co Ltd, Liverpool 
Date of attack16 Jan 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-96 (Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock)
Position56° 28'N, 12° 00'W - Grid AM 0185
Complement249 (106 dead and 143 survivors).
RouteMombasa (12 Dec) - Beira (19 Dec) - Capetown (25 Dec) - UK 
Cargo8252 tons of general cargo, including copper and maize 
History Completed in August 1920

The Oropesa was requisitioned in September 1939 as troopship. On 3 Dec 1939, she was en route in convoy HXF-11 and damaged in a collision with the British steam merchant Manchester Regiment (5989 GRT) about 70 miles from Halifax. The latter vessel was taken in tow but foundered the same day with nine casualties among her crew of 72. The survivors were picked up by Oropesa and taken to Halifax.

Notes on event

At 03.56 hours on 16 Jan 1941 the unescorted Oropesa (Master Harry E.H. Croft) was hit in the stern by one G7a torpedo from U-96 southeast of Rockall. A first coup de grĂ¢ce fired at 04.40 hours became a cirle runner, but the two others fired at 05.03 and 05.59 hours hit underneath the bridge and amidships and caused her to capsize and sink at 06.16 hours. The master, 98 crew members, one gunner and six passengers were lost. 109 crew members, one gunner and 33 passengers were picked up by HMS Superman (W 89), HMS Tenacity (W 18) and HMS Westcott (D 47) (LtCdr W.F.R. Segrave, RN) and landed at Liverpool.

On boardWe have details of 111 people who were on board

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