Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Steam tanker

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage5,542 tons
Completed1918 - W. Gray & Co, West Hartlepool 
OwnerJørgen P. Jensen, Arendal 
Date of attack4 Oct 1943Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-596 (Victor-Wilhelm Nonn)
Position32° 57'N, 21° 11'E - Grid CO 5721
Complement54 (2 dead and 52 survivors).
RouteHaifa (19 Aug) – Port Said - Alexandria (1 Oct) - Tripoli, Libya 
Cargo7000 tons of fuel oil 

Completed in August 1918 as British War Subadar for Shipping Controller, managed by Hunting & Son. 1919 sold to Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co, London and 1921 renamed Crenatula. 1927 sold to Anglo-Colonial Shipping Co, London. 1930 sold Norway and renamed Marit.

Since 1940 in Admiralty Service as Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA).

Notes on event

At 13.47 hours on 4 Oct 1943, U-596 fired a spread of four torpedoes at four ships in convoy XT-4 about 75 miles west of Derna and claimed three ships probably sunk after hearing three detonations and sinking noises. In fact, only the Marit (Master Sverre Caspersen) in station #32 had been simultaneously hit on the port side by two torpedoes in #2 and #3 tanks. The explosions blew away side plates of the hull and buckled the deck, damaging the superstructure amidships and the port side of the bridge. One lifeboat on the port side was destroyed and one Indian crew member working on deck was killed, while the master and three other crew members were injured. Miraculously the cargo did not catch fire, but the tanker developed a heavy list to starboard when the oil ran out into the sea from the destroyed tanks. Trimming the vessel by letting out water from #1 tank on the starboard side proved to be useless and the master, 47 crew members and five British gunners (the ship was armed with one 12pdr, two 20mm and four machine guns) abandoned ship in the remaining three lifeboats until 16.30 hours. The ship sank by the bow about 30 minutes after the crew had left. The survivors were picked up by the British motor launch HMS ML-350 and taken to Benghazi, where the four injured men were brought to a hospital, but one of them later died of wounds.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 54 people who were on board

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