Ships hit by U-boats

Empire Shackleton

British Catapult armed merchant

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

NameEmpire Shackleton
Type:Catapult armed merchant (CAM)
Tonnage7,068 tons
Completed1941 - Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow 
OwnerHoulder Brothers & Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack29 Dec 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-435 (Siegfried Strelow)
Position43° 20'N, 27° 18'W - Grid BD 98
Complement62 (0 dead and 62 survivors).
ConvoyONS-154 (straggler)
RouteLiverpool (16 Dec) - Mersey (18 Dec) - Halifax 
Cargo2000 tons of general cargo, 1000 tons of ammunition and aircraft 
History Launched on 23 Jul 1941 and completed in October for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) and given to G. Heyn & Sons, Belfast, later transferred to Houlder Brothers & Co Ltd. 
Notes on event

Between 23.53 and 23.56 hours on 28 Dec 1942, U-225 (Leimkühler) fired four single torpedoes at convoy ONS-154 north of the Azores in 43°23N/27°14W (grid BD 9869). One torpedo damaged the President Francqui and two struck the ship of convoy commodore the Empire Shackleton. The fourth torpedo detonated after 2 minutes 15 seconds and Leimkühler thought that he had hit another ship, but this can not be confirmed by Allied sources.

At 02.55 hours and 02.59 hours on 29 December, U-435 missed the Empire Shackleton (Master Henry Ellington Jones) twice. At 05.00 hours, U-123 (Schroeter) fired a spread of three torpedoes of which one hit and stopped her in grid BD 9882. The wreck was finally sunk by gunfire by U-435 at 05.43 hours.

The master, the commodore (Vice-Admiral Wion de Malpas Egerton, DSO, RN), five naval staff members, 31 crew members and four gunners (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 12pdr, four 20mm and two machine guns) were picked up by the special service vessel HMS Fidelity (D 57) (Cdr C.A.M. Péri) in the evening of 29 December. However, the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-435 the following day and all 43 rescued men perished. Eleven crew members, one naval staff member and seven gunners survived the sinking of Empire Shackleton: Twelve men were picked up from a lifeboat by the British steam merchant Calgary and landed at Freetown on 14 Jan 1943. Seven men were rescued from a raft by HMCS Shediac (K 110) (T/Lt J.O. Every-Clayton, RCNR) and landed at Ponta Delgada, Azores.

On boardWe have details of 53 people who were on board

Attack entries for Empire Shackleton

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
28 Dec 1942U-225Oblt. Wolfgang LeimkühlerDamaged7,068  
29 Dec 1942U-123Oblt. Horst von SchroeterDamaged7,068  
29 Dec 1942U-435Kptlt. Siegfried StrelowSunk7,068  

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