Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Steam merchant

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,129 tons
Completed1917 - S.P. Austin & Son Ltd, Sunderland 
OwnerJacob Salvesen, Farsund 
Date of attack23 Aug 1941Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-552 (Erich Topp)
Position40° 43'N, 11° 39'W - Grid CG 5114
Complement25 (0 dead and 25 survivors).
ConvoyOG-71 (dispersed)
RouteBarry Dock (9 Aug) - Milford Haven (12 Aug) - Lisbon 
Cargo3000 tons of coal, coke and engine parts 
History Built as Haslemere 1920 renamed Homledal 1935 renamed Spind 
Notes on event

At 03.35 hours on 23 Aug 1941, U-564 (Suhren) fired four single torpedoes at ships from convoy OG-71 in grid CG 2772 and heard one definite and one possible detonation. Suhren reported on steamer damaged and another possibly damaged. However, the Spind (Master Johannes Berg Jonassen) was missed by a torpedo shortly after having left convoy to proceed to her destination alone and no other ship was hit during this time.

At 06.48 hours on 23 August, U-552 fired a spread of two torpedoes at the Spind, but both were surface runners and missed. After surfacing seven minutes later, the U-boat opened fire with all guns and fired 20 rounds of 8,8cm and 250 rounds of 2cm before the Germans were forced to dive at 07.15 hours because the HMS Boreas (H 77) was approaching the area and fired at the U-boat. The gun crew of Spind was able to fire two shots at the U-boat before all men abandoned ship in two lifeboats and by jumping overboard after about 20 minutes. The second mate was shot and severly injured while lowering himself down to the starboard boat. Topp then tried to sink the burning Spind with a coup de grâce, which was a dud. The destroyer first approached the lifeboats to tell the survivors that they will be picked up later and went on to drop depth charges, but U-552 managed to escape unharmed.

The Spind was burning in the accommodations amidships and the bunker coal in the ´tween deck and the destroyer tried to extinguish the fire before picking up the survivors. After a second attempt to extinguish the fire, the ship was shelled by the destroyer and sank within five minutes. All survivors were landed in Gibraltar on 25 August.

On boardWe have details of 23 people who were on board

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