Ships hit by U-boats

Empire Tower

British Steam merchant

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NameEmpire Tower
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,378 tons
Completed1935 - Burntisland Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Burntisland 
OwnerCounties Ship Management Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack5 Mar 1943Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-130 (Siegfried Keller)
Position43° 50'N, 14° 46'W - Grid BE 9495
Complement46 (40 dead and 6 survivors).
RouteHuelva - Middlesbrough 
Cargo6532 tons of iron ore 
History Completed in March 1935 as Roxburgh for B.J. Sutherland & Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 1937 renamed Tower Field for Counties Ship Management Co Ltd, London. On 10 May 1941, bombed and damaged by a German aircraft off Outer Dowsing Buoy, Thames Estuary, while en Route from London to Newcastle in ballast. Repaired.

On 19 October 1941, the Tower Field grounded on the North Bank when entering Workington Channel with a cargo of iron ore. Her hull was fractured and the vessel broke in two. After the cargo was discharged, she was refloated and repaired. The ship returned to service in December 1942 after being renamed Empire Tower by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). 
Notes on event

At 17.45 hours on 5 March 1943, U-130 attacked convoy XK-2 northwest of Lisbon and sank four ships, the Fidra, Empire Tower, Trefusis and Ger-y-Bryn.

The Empire Tower (Master David John Williams, OBE) sank within 60 seconds. The master, 35 crew members and four gunners were lost. Three crew members were picked up by HMS Loch Oskaig (FY 175) (T/Lt G.T.S. Clampitt, RNR) and landed at Londonderry. One crew member and two gunners were rescued by the Belgian steam merchant Carlier.

On boardWe have details of 44 people who were on board

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