British Whale factory ship
|Type:||Whale factory ship|
|Completed||1914 - William Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland|
|Owner||Christian Salvesen & Co, Edinburgh|
|Date of attack||14 Oct 1942||Nationality: British|
|Fate||Sunk by U-221 (Hans-Hartwig Trojer)|
|Position||53° 40'N, 40° 40'W - Grid AJ 9327|
|Complement||125 (48 dead and 77 survivors).|
|Route||New Orleans - New York (3 Oct) - Glasgow|
|Cargo||11700 tons of fuel oil and a deck cargo of 21 landing craft|
|History||Built as steam tanker San Jeronimo 1928 converted to the whale factory ship Southern Empress for Southern Whaling & Sealing Co Ltd, London. |
|Notes on event|
At 00.04, 00.12 and 00.13 hours on 14 Oct 1942, U-221 fired torpedoes at ships in the convoy SC-104 northeast of St. Johns and claimed the sinking of three ships with 13.000 grt. Trojer observed how the first ship broke in two and sank after 10 minutes, a second ship developed a list and sinking noises were heard from a third. However, only the Susana was hit during these attacks. At 00.32 hours, a fourth attack was made in which the Southern Empress was hit and later sunk by a coup de grâce at 03.21 hours.
The master, 23 crew members, 20 DBS and four gunners from Southern Empress (Master Olaf Hansen) were lost. 44 crew members, 31 DBS and two gunners were picked up by HMS Potentilla (K 214) (LtCdr Monsson), transferred to the Norwegian whale factory ship Suderøy and landed at Liverpool.
Eleven small British landing craft and the following bigger vessels were lost aboard the Southern Empress: HMS LCM-508, HMS LCM-509, HMS LCM-519, HMS LCM-522, HMS LCM-523, HMS LCM-532, HMS LCM-537, HMS LCM-547, HMS LCM-620 (each 52 tons) and HMS LCT-2006 (291 tons).
|On board||We have details of 50 people who were on board.|
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