Ships hit by U-boats

HMS Avenger (D 14)

British Escort carrier

NameHMS Avenger (D 14)
Type:Escort carrier (Avenger)
Tonnage13,785 tons
Completed1942 - Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Chester PA 
OwnerThe Admiralty 
Date of attack15 Nov 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-155 (Adolf Cornelius Piening)
Position36° 15'N, 7° 45'W - Grid CG 8665
Complement526 officers and men (514 dead and 12 survivors).
RouteGibraltar (14 Nov) - Clyde 

Launched as motor merchant Rio Hudson of the C-3 type for Moore-McCormack Lines Inc, New York NY. In July 1941, delivered incomplete to the US Navy for conversion to the escort carrier USS Avenger (CVE 2), fitted with 15 aircraft. On 26 Dec 1941, sold to the Royal Navy and commissioned as HMS Avenger (D 14).

At 09.55 hours on 13 Sep 1942, U-589 (Horrer) fired a spread of two torpedoes at HMS Avenger (D 14) (Cdr A.P. Colthurst, RN), escorting the convoy PQ-18 and after 3 minutes 35 seconds two detonations were heard. It is likely that Horrer made his claims as a result of hearing detonations caused by torpedoes from U-408 (von Hymmen), which was attacking the convoy almost simultaneously.

Notes on event

At 04.14 hours on 15 Nov 1942, U-155 fired a spread of four torpedoes at convoy MKF-1Y about 120 miles northwest of Gibraltar and heard three detonations, but was not able to made visual observations. The Ettrick and HMS Avenger (D 14) were sunk and USS Almaack (AK 27) was damaged.

HMS Avenger (D 14) (Cdr A.P. Colthurst, RN) was hit by one torpedo, which ignited her bomb load and blew out the centre section of the ship. She sank within two minutes. The survivors were rescued by HNoMS Glaisdale (L 44) (LtCdr T. Horve) - further search for more survivors proved fruitless.

On boardWe have details of 526 people who were on board

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Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

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