Ships hit by U-boats

HMS Salopian (F 94)

British Armed Merchant Cruiser

Shropshire before conversion into HMS Salopian (F 94). Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

NameHMS Salopian (F 94)
Type:Armed Merchant Cruiser
Tonnage10,549 tons
Completed1926 - Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Govan, Glasgow 
OwnerThe Admiralty 
Date of attack13 May 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-98 (Robert Gysae)
Position59° 04'N, 38° 15'W - Grid AJ 3825
Complement281 (3 dead and 278 survivors).
History Completed in October 1926 as motor passenger ship Shropshire for Bibby Brothers & Co, Liverpool. In September 1939 requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to the armed merchant cruiser HMS Salopian (F 94)
Notes on event

At 04.00 hours on 13 May 1941, HMS Salopian (F 94) (Capt Sir John Meynell Alleyne, DSO, DSC, Rtd, RN) was spotted by U-98 while escorting convoy SC-30 about 400 miles southeast of Cape Farewell and missed with a first spread of two torpedoes because the ship zigzagged every 7 to 12 minutes. The next two torpedoes at 06.19 and 06.22 hours also missed and Gysae had to reload two bow tubes at the surface while running at high speed to search the vessel in the fog. At 07.20 hours, the heavy armed ship came in sight again and five minutes later both reloaded bow torpedoes were fired like in a motor torpedo boat on the surface. The torpedoes hit amidships and in the bow but the U-boat had to dive because the ship opened fire. At 08.00 and 08.50 hours, two torpedoes were fired that both hit in the engine room, but the ship remained afloat. The U-boat then reloaded the tubes and observed how more than ten boats were launched and a motor boat tried to cover the ship by laying a smoke screen. At 10.43 hours, a coup de grâce was fired that struck amidships and caused the ship to break in two and sink in two minutes in 56°43N/38°57W.

Early on 14 May, HMS Inglefield (D 02) (Capt P. Todd, DSO, RN), HMS Intrepid (D 10) (Cdr R.C. Gordon, RN), HMS Impulsive (D 11) (LtCdr W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN) and HMS Escapade (H 17) (Cdr E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN) arrived in the area and unsuccessfully searched for the U-boat. The commander and 277 officers and ratings were picked up by HMS Impulsive (D 11) and taken to Hvalfjord. One officer and two ratings were lost.

On boardWe have details of 16 people who were on board

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