Ships hit by U-boats

Albert L. Ellsworth

Norwegian Motor tanker

NameAlbert L. Ellsworth
Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage8,309 tons
Completed1937 - A/B Götaverken, Gothenburg 
OwnerOnstad Shipping A/S, Oslo 
Date of attack8 Jan 1943Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-436 (Günther Seibicke)
Position27° 59'N, 28° 50'W - Grid DG 8565
Complement42 (0 dead and 42 survivors).
RouteCuraçao - Trinidad - Gibraltar 
Cargo11.473 tons of Admiralty furnace oil 
History Completed in February 1937

On 12 Feb 1940, the Albert L. Ellsworth rescued 34 survivors from the Snestad, which had been sunk by U-53 (Grosse) the day before west of the Hebrides and proceeded to Bergen. At 01.55 hours on 13 Feb 1940, U-50 (Bauer) fired one torpedo at the Albert L. Ellsworth which detonated prematurely near the bow without damaging the tanker. Nevertheless, all hands abandoned ship in the lifeboats in such a hurry that nine men were left behind and were forced to jump overboard after releasing a raft. Two of the survivors from Snestad were not able to reach the raft and drowned. At 02.05 hours, the U-boat fired a G7a torpedo that was a dud and claimed a hit amidships on the tanker after firing a G7e torpedo at 02.16 hours. However, the torpedo apparently passed underneath its target and detonated a few yards beyond the ship. Bauer thought that the tanker will sink and left. The survivors in the lifeboats remained nearby until dawn, then reboarded the undamaged Albert L. Ellsworth and safely arrived in Bergen.

Since 1941 in Admiralty service as Royal Fleet Auxiliary. 
Notes on event

At 22.37 hours on 8 Jan 1943, U-436 fired three single torpedoes on convoy TM-1 and two of them hit the Oltenia II, which exploded and sank. The third torpedo hit the Albert L. Ellsworth (Master Thorvald Solheim), which fell behind convoy and was abandoned by all hands. Her lifeboats picked up 20 survivors of the Oltenia II, but some of them died from their injuries. The survivors were picked up by HMS Havelock (H 88) (Cdr R.C. Boyle DSC, RN).

At 20.43 hours the next day, the wreck of the Albert L. Ellsworth was shelled and sunk by U-436 in 27°57N/28°50W.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 42 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