Ships hit by U-boats


Swedish Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Sjöhistoriska Museet, Stockholm

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,619 tons
Completed1918 - Fredriksstad Mekaniske Verksted A/S, Fredrikstad 
OwnerA/B Transmarin (Sven Redig), Helsingborg 
Date of attack14 Dec 1942Nationality:      Swedish
FateSunk by U-217 (Kurt Reichenbach-Klinke)
Position17° 43'N, 46° 15'W - Grid EF 3517
Complement27 (0 dead and 27 survivors).
RouteNew York (28 Nov) – Rio de Janeiro – Santos – Montevideo 
Cargo3400 tons of general cargo and 71 bags of diplomatic mail 
History Completed in June 1918 as Swedish Arcturus for Ångfartygs A/B Gefle (E. Brodin), Torö. 1921 renamed Etna for A/B Transmarin (Sven Redig), Helsingborg. 
Notes on event

At 03.25 hours on 14 Dec 1942 the unescorted and neutral Etna (Master Oscar Ullfors) was stopped by U-217 at night in bad visibility and the crew was ordered to abandon ship within 30 minutes after it was discovered that the vessel was carrying contraband. The master protested the order, but to no avail. The crew then abandoned ship in two lifeboats which proved to be difficult due to heavy swell. At 04.51 hours, the U-boat fired a stern torpedo at the stopped vessel that hit between engine room and #3 hold and caused her to sink by the stern with a list to port after 8 minutes. The explosion occurred on the other side of the ship when the master was just leaving her as last man, throwing him from the ladder into the lifeboat. Both boats set sail towards Barbados and were towed into Port Castries by a US Army launch after arriving off St. Lucia on 22 December. One day earlier, the survivors had been spotted by the British steam merchant Colister about 28 miles from St. Lucia, but they refused to be taken aboard.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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