Ships hit by U-boats

San Florentino

British Steam tanker

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

NameSan Florentino
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage12,842 tons
Completed1919 - Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend, Sunderland 
OwnerEagle Oil & Shipping Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack1 Oct 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-94 (Otto Ites)
Position52° 50'N, 34° 40'W - Grid AK 8168
Complement58 (23 dead and 35 survivors).
ConvoyON-19 (straggler)
RouteGlasgow - Halifax - Curaçao 
History At 12.08 and 12.09 hours on 4 Mar 1940, U-29 (Schuhart) fired one torpedo each at two ships in a group of three dispersed from convoy HX-19 in grid BF 2135 and observed a hit on the Pacific Reliance and a small detonation near the second (the xB-Dienst reported the sinking of the San Florentino, but the vessel was in fact not hit). 
Notes on event

At 23.57 hours on 1 Oct 1941 the San Florentino (Master Robert William Davis), a straggler from convoy ON-19, was hit amidships by one torpedo from U-94 southeast of Cape Farewell. The tanker had been spotted at 18.10 hours and missed by a first torpedo at 23.36 hours, but continued after being hit while firing into the direction of the U-boat.
At 02.49 hours on 2 October, the San Florentino was hit in the bow by a torpedo in grid AK 8194, radioed the position 52°42N/34°51W, dropped fog buoys and continued. She even proceeded after being hit in the bow by a third torpedo in grid AK 8434 at 04.26 hours and evaded another torpedo 25 minutes later, but broke in two at 05.02 hours. The wreck was hit by a coup de grâce at 05.52 hours, that caused a boiler explosion. The bow remained afloat upright and the stern only sank slowly, so the U-boat fired 34 rounds from the deck gun into it and then left the area. Parts of the wreck were scuttled by gunfire by HMCS Alberni (K 103) (LtCdr G.O. Baugh) on 2 October.

The master, 21 crew members and one gunner from San Florentino were lost. 31 crew members and four gunners were picked up by HMCS Mayflower (K 191) (LtCdr George Stephen) and landed at St. Johns.

On boardWe have details of 33 people who were on board

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