Ships hit by U-boats


Greek Steam merchant

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,240 tons
Completed1917 - William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd, Sunderland 
OwnerVassilios J. Pateras, Chios 
Date of attack8 Jun 1941Nationality:      Greek
FateSunk by U-108 (Klaus Scholtz)
Position47° 44'N, 39° 02'W - Grid BC 6521
Complement25 (6 dead and 19 survivors).
ConvoyOB-328 (dispersed)
RouteSwansea (27 May) - Milford Haven (28 May) - Quebec City - Montreal 
Cargo6152 tons of anthracite 
History Completed in March 1917 as Swindon for Evan Thomas Radcliffe & Co Ltd, Cardiff. 1917 renamed Cottesmore for Furness, Withy & Co Ltd, Liverpool. 1920 renamed Avonmede for Mede Line Ltd (D. & T.G. Adams), Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 1925 renamed Harpalion for J. & C. Harrison Ltd, London. 1931 sold to Greece and renamed Theofano for Livanos Bros (N.G. Livanos), Chios. 1937 renamed Dirphys for V.J. Pateras, Chios. 
Notes on event

At 06.04 hours on 8 June 1941 the unescorted and unarmed Dirphys (Master Nicholas Zambelis), dispersed from convoy OB-328 on 2 June, was hit on starboard side amidships by one G7e torpedo from U-108 about 550 miles east of St. John’s, Newfoundland. The ship broke in two and sank after a boiler explosion. The Germans tried to question the survivors, but most of them were swimming in the water or clinging to debris and were picked up by the only lifeboat that could have been launched.

At 09.45 hours on 10 June, the U-boat encountered this lifeboat again and this time took a German speaking radio operator (Robert Coninx from Hasselt, Belgium) aboard for questioning. He told them that he had been three months in prison in Liverpool after the Secret Intelligence Service filed a charge against him because he had met a former crew member of Admiral Graf Spee in Rosario and asked to be taken home, but the commander refused. The Germans gave the radio operator the course to the nearest coast and sent him back to the boat, which was provided with water, bread, two bottles of rum, aspirin and a box of matches. Only four hours later the 19 survivors were picked up by HMCS Orillia (K 119) (T/LtCdr W.E.S. Briggs, RNCR) in position 47°34’30N/40°11’45W and taken to St. John’s, Newfoundland.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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