Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Richard Cox

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,491 tons
Completed1925 - Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend, Sunderland 
OwnerFrank S. Dawson Ltd, Cardiff 
Date of attack31 May 1941Nationality:      British
FateA total loss by U-147 (Eberhard Wetjen)
Position56° 00'N, 11° 13'W
Complement36 (11 dead and 25 survivors).
ConvoyHX-127 (straggler)
RouteSt.John, New Brunswick - Halifax - London 
Cargo1101 standards of timber 
History Completed in April 1925 as Belgian Roi Albert for Ocean Société Anonyme Belge d’Armement & de Navigation (L. Dens & Co), Antwerp. 1938 sold to France and renamed Gravelines for Compagnie France-Navigation Société Anonyme, Dunkirk. On 17 July 1940 seized by Britain and taken over by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). 
Notes on event

On 31 May 1941 the unescorted Gravelines (Master Jean Soulé), a straggler from convoy HX-127, was torpedoed by U-147 northwest of Bloody Foreland and broke in two. The master and ten crew members died. 23 crew members and two gunners were picked up by HMS Deptford (L 53) (LtCdr H.R. White, RN) and landed at Liverpool. The afterpart of the Gravelines sank and the forepart was towed to the Clyde and beached at Kames Bay on 3 June. The vessel was declared a total loss and broken up at Rothesay in 1942.

On boardWe have details of 11 people who were on board

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