Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Motor tanker

Photo Courtesy of Roger W. Jordan

Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage9,432 tons
Completed1938 - Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland 
OwnerA/S Westfal-Larsen & Co, Bergen 
Date of attack12 May 1943Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-221 (Hans-Hartwig Trojer)
Position46° 00'N, 21° 00'W - Grid BE 1934
Complement39 (20 dead and 19 survivors).
ConvoyHX-237 (straggler)
RouteNew York - Belfast Lough - Swansea 
Cargo7000 tons of gasoline and 7000 tons of paraffin 
History In October 1940, the Sandanger was in convoy HX-79 and in February 1941 in convoy OB-290, which both were attacked by U-boats but escaped unharmed from both battles. 
Notes on event

At 22.28 hours on 12 May 1943 the Sandanger (Master Sigurd Jamne), a straggler from convoy HX-237 due to thick fog, was hit amidships, in the pump room and in #6 tank by three torpedoes from U-221 and caught fire immediately. Some survivors tried to abandon ship in boats and rafts but they died in the burning sea. After the tanker broke in two, the stern sank while the burning forepart remained afloat. Because of the fast combustion, an area of low pressure was created, which caused a very strong wind to blow in along the water from the high pressure area outside of the flames, and this wind split the flames on the starboard side in two. This phenomenon saved the 19 survivors in the only intact lifeboat. They rowed for 40 minutes through this area away from the flames that burned just a few feet above their heads and behind them. The tanker sank completely about 90 minutes after the hits, but the fuel burned for several hours on the water surface. 20 crew members, including the master and all deck officers were lost.
The survivors set sail and were spotted several times by aircraft, one of them dropped a portable radio transmitter that made it possible that they were picked up on 22 May by HMCS Kootenay (H 75) and landed at Londonderry the next day.

On boardWe have details of 39 people who were on board

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