Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,379 tons
Completed1933 - Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow 
OwnerBooker Bros, McConnell & Co Ltd, Liverpool 
Date of attack22 Jun 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-77 (Heinrich Schonder)
Position47° 00'N, 41° 40'W - Grid BC 64
Complement40 (40 dead - no survivors)
Routeto St. John’s, Newfoundland 
History Completed in August 1933 
Notes on event

At 22.36 hours on 22 June 1941 the unescorted Arakaka (Master William Walker) was hit at the aft end of the engine room by one stern torpedo from U-77 and sank by the stern within one minute about 450 miles east of St. John’s, Newfoundland. The U-boat had spotted the slowly moving vessel about one hour earlier in heavy fog and had some troubles getting into a favorable attack position due to deteriorating visibility and high seas, losing contact momentarily until eventually carrying out a submerged torpedo attack from a distance of less than 600 meters. Surfacing after the attack, the U-boat investigated the sinking position and found a large oil slick, a wide field of debris and a few survivors clinging to an upturned lifeboat. They were questioned by the Germans, who apparently misunderstood the name of the ship as the Greek steam merchant Alexandra (4355 grt). The master, 35 crew members, one gunner and three meteorological office personnel were lost. The ship had been employed as a weather observation ship in the Atlantic since September 1940.

On boardWe have details of 40 people who were on board

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