Ships hit by U-boats

HMS Springbank

British Fighter catapult ship

Photo courtesy of Rick Cox Collection

NameHMS Springbank
Type:Fighter catapult ship (Pegasus)
Tonnage5,155 tons
Completed1926 - Harland & Wolff Ltd, Govan, Glasgow 
OwnerThe Admiralty 
Date of attack27 Sep 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-201 (Adalbert Schnee)
Position49° 09'N, 20° 10'W - Grid BE 1939
Complement233 (32 dead and 201 survivors).
RouteGibraltar - Liverpool 
History Completed in May 1926 as motor merchant Springbank for Andrew Weir & Co, London. In November 1939 requisitioned by the Admiralty, converted until October 1940 to the auxiliary anti-aircraft vessel HMS Springbank and commissioned on 25 November. The armament consisted of four twin 4in gun turrets and two 2pdr Quadruple (Pom Pom) guns. In March 1941 converted to a fighter catapult ship (FCS) of the Pegasus-class, a predecessor of the CAM-ships and carried a Fulmar fighter (804 Sqn FAA) on a cordite powered catapult amidships. 
Notes on event

At 02.09 hours on 27 Sep 1941, U-201 fired the stern torpedo at a steamer in convoy HG-73 but missed, so the U-boat turned around and fired a spread of two torpedoes at the same ship at 02.11 hours. Lookouts on HMS Springbank (Capt C.H. Godwin, DSO, RN) on station in the fifth column observed a torpedo passing between her and the Leadgate in station #41, shortly before the fighter catapult ship was hit on the port side by two torpedoes about 430 miles west-southwest of Cape Clear. Most survivors from the vessel were rescued by HMS Jasmine (K 23) (LtCdr C.D.B. Coventry, RNR), which went alongside to take off survivors and later scuttled her by gunfire after an attempt to sink her with depth charges failed. One officer and 31 ratings were lost. Other survivors were picked up by HMS Hibiscus (K 24) (LtCdr C.G. Cuthbertson, RNR), which landed them at Gibraltar and by HMS Periwinkle (K 55) (LtCdr P.G. MacIver, RNR) which landed them at Milford Haven.

On 18 September, HMS Springbank had launched the Fulmar fighter, which chased away a German Fw200 Condor aircraft and landed at Gibraltar where it was discovered that faulty ammunition had caused all but one of the guns to jam. The next day her AA armament was used to keep a shadowing Fw200 at distance to convoy.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 40 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats