British Steam merchant
|Completed||1929 - Robert Duncan & Co Ltd, Port Glasgow|
|Owner||Crest Shipping Co Ltd, London|
|Date of attack||23 Nov 1940||Nationality: British|
|Fate||Sunk by U-123 (Karl-Heinz Moehle)|
|Position||56° 39'N, 18° 36'W - Grid AL 3981|
|Complement||41 (35 dead and 6 survivors).|
|Route||Birkenhead (15 Nov) - Liverpool (17 Nov) - New York|
|History||Completed in March 1929 as Yugoslavian Korana for Prekomorska Plovidba DD, Susak. 1940 taken over by Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) and renamed Oakcrest for Crest Shipping Co Ltd, London. |
|Notes on event|
At 04.18 hours on 23 November 1940 the unescorted Oakcrest (Master Samuel Gordon Dyer), a straggler from convoy OB-244 due to steering gear trouble since the evening of 21 November, was hit on starboard side underneath the bridge by one G7e torpedo from U-123, immediately developed a heavy list until she capsized and sank after six minutes about 170 miles west-southwest of Rockall. The U-boat had first spotted the ship when she suddenly appeared out of a rain squall at 18.31 hours on 22 November, had to crash dive to avoid being seen and managed to find her again after a search of more than nine hours. The master, chief officer, chief engineer officer and nine crew members were lost in the sinking and a lifeboat with four young sailors drifted away never to be seen again. 24 crew members and one gunner (the ship was armed with one 4in gun) had abandoned ship in one lifeboat that began a long arduous journey with eleven of the occupants dying of exposure in the eight days until it reached the Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides on 1 December. Two more died when the boat capsized while trying to make landfall in a rocky gully near Tangasdale during a dark and stormy night and six others died ashore during the following night as they were too exhausted to get help immediately, one of them by drinking too much water from a nearby stream. When help arrived the following morning only six men, suffering badly from exposure, were left, none of the officers survived the ordeal.
|On board||We have details of 41 people who were on board.|
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