Ships hit by U-boats


French Steam merchant

Loire under her former name Irrawaddy

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,285 tons
Completed1928 - Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow 
OwnerCompagnie Générale Transatlantique, Paris 
HomeportLe Havre 
Date of attack13 Nov 1939Nationality:      French
FateSunk by U-26 (Klaus Ewerth)
Position36° 16'N, 2° 13'W - Grid CH 7537
Complement39 (39 dead - no survivors)
RouteOran (12 Nov) - Gibraltar - Nantes - Dunkirk 
Cargo5588 tons of pyrite, 416 tons of wine and general cargo 
History Completed in June 1928 as Irrawaddy for British & Burmese Steam Navigation Co Ltd (P. Henderson & Co), Glasgow. 1938 sold to France and renamed Loire
Notes on event

At 03.40 hours on 13 Nov 1939 the unescorted Loire (Master René Decrop) was hit by one stern torpedo from U-26 and sank within 30 seconds about 40 miles south-southeast of Almeira, Spain. The U-boat had hit the ship with a dud at 03.34 hours. The Loire was reported missing with a crew of 34 and five gunners (the ship was armed with two 90mm guns) after leaving Oran, only a life buoy from the ship and widely dispersed wooden debris was found by L’Alcyon on 17 November.

In November 1939 U-26 was the first German U-boat that operated in the Mediterranean in World War 2, she left the Mediterranean again after a few days through the Strait of Gibraltar.

On boardWe have details of 39 people who were on board

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