Ships hit by U-boats

Helen Forsey

British Sailing ship

Photo courtesy of Paul Harmon

NameHelen Forsey
Type:Sailing ship
Tonnage167 tons
Completed1929 - Smith & Rhuland Shipbuilding Ltd, Lunenburg NS 
OwnerWilliam Forsey Ltd, Lunenburg NS 
Date of attack6 Sep 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-514 (Hans-Jürgen Auffermann)
Position28° 35'N, 57° 35'W - Grid DD 9282
Complement6 (2 dead and 4 survivors).
RouteMartinique - Bridgetown, Barbados (28 Aug) - Bermuda - St. Johns, Newfoundland 
Cargo180 tons of molasses and rum 

Built as J. Smith 1936 renamed Helen Forsey

The Helen Forsey picked up 44 survivors from the Loch Don, which had been sunk by U-202 (Linder) on 1 April and landed them at Burin, Newfoundland.

Notes on event

At 11.00 hours on 6 Sep 1942, U-514 sighted the unescorted and unarmed schooner Helen Forsey (Master John Ralph) about 500 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and began to shell her from the port bow without warning. The first two rounds from the deck gun missed from a distance of about 2.5 miles, but the remaining rounds fired during the approach of the U-boat hit until the last one was fired into the waterline from point blank range. The sailing vessel caught fire and subsequently sank at 12.16 hours. Two crew members were killed by a shell that struck the vessel just after its lifeboat was launched. The master and three crew members abandoned ship in the boat and were questioned by the Germans, who asked if they had enough food and a razor and promised to send a radio message with their position. The survivors arrived off Bermuda during the night of 17/18 September, but were unable to attract the attention of aircraft and warships patrolling the area. The lifeboat was eventually towed into St. George’s by a fishing boat manned by Gilbert Lamb during the afternoon on 18 September.

On boardWe have details of 6 people who were on board

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