Italian submarine fates

Ships hit by Italian submarines

John Drayton

TypeCargo ship
CountryAmerican American

Date of attack21 Apr 1943Time
1815Z (e)
FateSunk by submarine Leonardo da Vinci (T.V. Gianfranco Gazzana Priaroggia)
Position of attack33° 25'S, 34° 10'E
Complement56 (4 dead and 52 survivors)
Notes At 1815Z hours, Da Vinci fired four torpedoes at the American John Drayton (7,176 GRT, built 1942). She was travelling from Bahrein to Capetown. Two missed ahead and one astern, but one hit. The submarine finished her off with gunfire. About ten rounds are reported to have hit and the ship sank. Although the American ship was armed with a 5" gun and two 0.5 caliber machine guns, she did not fire on the submarine.

She had a crew of fifty-six. There was only one casualty during the attack. Eleven survivors were picked up by Oscar Gorthon and landed at Lourenco Marques. They claimed to have been attacked by two U-boats. The destroyer HMS Relentless picked up the master and thirteen survivors on 27th April 1943 in 33°39' S, 32°39' E. Eight survivors were found in a dinghy off Durban by the Greek Mount Rhodope, but three died in hospital on 20th May 1943.

Position of attack

Ships hit by Italian submarines