Ships hit by U-boats

Empire Spenser

British Motor tanker

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NameEmpire Spenser
Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage8,194 tons
Completed1942 - Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast 
OwnerAnglo-Saxon Petroleum Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack8 Dec 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-524 (Walter von Steinaecker)
Position57° 04'N, 36° 01'W - Grid AK 1959
Complement58 (1 dead and 57 survivors).
RouteCuraçao - New York (27 Nov) - Stanlow 
Cargo10.000 tons of motor spirit 
History Completed in September 1942 for Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). 
Notes on event

At 02.17 and 02.19 hours on 8 Dec 1942, U-524 fired two spreads each of two torpedoes at convoy HX-217 southeast of Cape Farewell. A column of fire was observed on a freighter, which was later sunk by a coup de grâce at 05.53 hours. A column of black smoke was seen issuing from a destroyer, then a freighter exploded. Steinaecker reported two ships sunk, another freighter and a destroyer damaged.

The Empire Spenser (Master John Barlow Hodge) on her maiden voyage was hit in the first attack and was later sunk by the coup de grâce. The destroyer observed was HMS Fame (H 78) (Cdr R. Heathcote, RN), which had been missed. One crew member was lost. The master, 47 crew members and nine gunners were picked up by the British rescue ship Perth (Master Keith Williamson, OBE) and landed at Greenock on 13 December.

On boardWe have details of 9 people who were on board

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