HMS Harvester (H 19)
|Name||HMS Harvester (H 19)|
|Completed||1940 - Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd, Barrow-in-Furness|
|Date of attack||11 Mar 1943||Nationality: British|
|Fate||Sunk by U-432 (Hermann Eckhardt)|
|Position||51° 23'N, 28° 40'W - Grid AK 98|
|Complement||243 officers and men (183 dead and 60 survivors).|
|History||Laid down as Jurua for the Brazilian Navy, requisitioned by the Royal Navy on 4 Sep 1939 and renamed HMS Handy (F 07), but commissioned in February 1940 as HMS Harvester (H 19). |
|Notes on event|
In the morning on 11 March 1943, HMS Harvester (H 19) (Cdr A.A. Tait, DSO, RN), flagship of the Escort Group B3, escorting convoy HX-228, picked up 51 survivors from the William C. Gorgas, which had been sunk by U-757 (Deetz). The destroyer then returned to the convoy and sighted U-444 (Langfeld). The U-boat dived, but was forced to the surface by the following depth-charge attack and rammed by the destroyer at full speed. The destroyer was locked into the U-boat with a propeller shaft and both ships were unable to manoeuvre for a while. U-444 was able to creep away but was shortly afterwards sighted by FFL Aconit (K 58), unable to dive, the U-boat was rammed for the second time and sunk.
The badly damaged HMS Harvester (H 19) managed to get one engine running and tried to catch up with the convoy, but around noon her machinery broke down again. In this helpless situation she was hit by one torpedo from U-432 and a few minutes later by a second and sank almost immediately. The commander, seven officers, 136 ratings and 39 survivors were lost. At this moment, FFL Aconit (K 58) returned to the scene and with depth charges, gunfire and ramming sank U-432. During the day, the corvette picked up four survivors from U-444, 20 survivors from U-432 and 60 survivors from the destroyer, including twelve survivors from William C. Gorgas.
|On board||We have details of 149 people who were on board.|
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