Ships hit by U-boats


British Motor merchant

Photo courtesy of the Allen Collection

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage5,445 tons
Completed1939 - ScottĀ“s Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Greenock 
OwnerElder Dempster Lines Ltd, Liverpool 
Date of attack31 May 1941Nationality:      British
FateA total loss by U-69 (Jost Metzler)
Position5° 32'N, 0° 12'W - Grid EV 5760
Complement? men (1 dead and ? survivors).
RouteLiverpool - Accra - Lagos 
CargoGeneral cargo 
History Completed in June 1939

Elder Dempster re-purchased the wreck of the Sangara and towed her back to Lagos where a berth had been prepared just above Wilmot Point. The engines were overhauled, all woodwork fittings were renewed and the torpedo damage repaired. In 1946 the Sangara (Master John J. Smith) was towed from Lagos to the Middle Docks, South Shields by the tug Seaman. At a speed of 2.5 knots they were underway for 62 days. After permanent repairs the ship returned to service in 1947. On 14 September 1960 she was sold to British Iron & Steel Corporation and arrived three days later at Preston to be broken up. 
Notes on event

At 00.25 hours on 31 May 1941 U-69 fired one torpedo at the Sangara (Master Sidney Themans) lying at anchor in the roads of Accra after arriving there on 30 May. She sank by the stern in 33 feet of water with her bow still visible above the water. One crew member was lost. The master died in an accident on 13 June 1941, apparently drowning while examining the wreck of his ship.

At 21.10 hours on 12 August 1941 the Italian submarine Enrico Tazzoli (Capitan-Fregatta Carlo Fecia di Cossato) fired a torpedo at the bow of Sangara but missed.

On 1 April 1943 the wreck of Sangara was sold to two locally based engineers for the sum of 500 pounds stirling, was refloated and towed to Lagos roads, but it was not clear what should happen with her and she was then towed to Douala at the mouth of the Cameroon River where the cargo was salvaged and sold.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

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