Ships hit by U-boats

Prins Willem II

Dutch Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Albert Heino Collection

NamePrins Willem II
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage1,304 tons
Completed1939 - Fredriksstad Mekaniske Verksted A/S, Fredrikstad 
OwnerNV Mij. Zeetransport (Anthony Veder), Rotterdam 
Date of attack9 Apr 1941Nationality:      Dutch
FateSunk by U-98 (Robert Gysae)
Position59° 50'N, 24° 25'W - Grid AL 1443
Complement25 (3 dead and 22 survivors).
ConvoyHX-117 (straggler)
RouteDemerara - Halifax - London 
Cargo2020 tons of sugar 
History Completed in January 1939 
Notes on event

At 02.16 hours on 9 April 1941 the unescorted Prins Willem II (Master Christiaan Anthony van der Eijk) was hit amidships by one torpedo from U-98 and sank by the stern within three minutes. The ship was straggling from convoy HX-117 since the night of 7/8 April due to thick mist and heavy weather. Three crew members were lost. The survivors abandoned ship in both lifeboats and were questioned by the Germans, but this proved to be difficult due to the strong winds. They apparently misunderstood the name of the vessel and reported their victim as Dutch merchant Willemsplein (5500 grt).

The master and eleven men abandoned ship in the starboard lifeboat and rescued one man swimming in the water. They were picked up on 11 April by the Swedish motor merchant Klipparen which unsuccessfully searched for the other boat and eventually landed the survivors in Thorshavn, Faroe Islands. The port lifeboat was launched with seven men and rescued two more from the water. The occupants of this boat were rescued by Tuscan Star on 15 April and taken to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

On boardWe have details of 25 people who were on board

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