Ships hit by U-boats

Empire Blanda

British Steam merchant

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NameEmpire Blanda
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,693 tons
Completed1919 - Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow 
OwnerLarrinaga & Co Ltd, Liverpool 
Date of attack19 Feb 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-69 (Jost Metzler)
Position60° 45'N, 18° 36'W - Grid AL 3124
Complement40 (40 dead - no survivors)
ConvoyHX-107 (straggler)
RouteBaltimore - Halifax - Grangemouth 
CargoScrap iron and steel 
History Completed in November 1919 as Nile for Nile SS Co Ltd (Glen & Co Ltd), Glasgow. 1933 sold to Yugoslavia and renamed Sokol for Jugoslavenska Plovidba DD, Susak. 1939 sold to Panama and renamed Rio Grande for Compañía Panamena de Vapores Ltda, Panama. 1940 taken over by Britain and renamed Empire Blanda by Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). 
Notes on event

At 08.18 hours on 19 February 1941 the unescorted Empire Blanda (Master George Alan Duncan), a straggler from station #24 in convoy HX-107 since 18 February, was hit on starboard side amidships by one G7e torpedo from U-69 while steaming in rough seas about 160 miles south of Iceland. The ship had been missed with a spread of two torpedoes at 07.44 hours and a single torpedo at 08.01 hours, so the U-boat went closer to fire the fourth torpedo from a distance of only 400 meters and was almost hit by falling debris because the ship sank by the bow within 20 seconds after four heavy detonations that presumably were boiler explosions. The master, 37 crew members, one gunner and one passenger were lost.

On boardWe have details of 40 people who were on board

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