Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam tanker

Myriel under her former name Wieldrecht

Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage3,560 tons
Completed1913 - NV Rotterdamsche Droogdok Mij, Rotterdam 
OwnerEuxine Shipping Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack13 Dec 1941Nationality:      British
FateDamaged by U-431 (Wilhelm Dommes)
Position31° 03'N, 29° 00'E - Grid CP 7432
Complement36 (0 dead and 36 survivors).
RouteAlexandria (13 Dec) – Mersa Matruh 

Completed in November 1913 as Dutch Wieldrecht for NV Phs. van Ommeren’s Scheepvaartbedrijf, Rotterdam. In March 1918 seized at New York by the US Government, acquired by the US Navy and commissioned as USS Wieldrecht (ID # 2519) for the Naval Overseas Transportation Service on 4 Apr 1918. She made four transatlantic crossings until being turned over to the US Shipping Board (USSB) in April 1919 and subsequently returned to the Dutch owner. 1930 renamed Myriel for Reederij W. Hendrik van der Zee, Rotterdam. 1932 registered in Britain for Euxine Shipping Co Ltd, London.

1947 sold to Italy and renamed Miriella for Compagnia Italiana Transporti Marittima (Citmar) SA, Genoa. Laid up in 1954 and broken up at La Spezia in 1955.

Notes on event

At 19.15 hours on 13 Dec 1941, U-431 fired a spread of three torpedoes at the Myriel (Master George Mordaunt) and observed one hit after three minutes and a 100 meters high column of fire about 14 miles north of El Alamein, Egypt. The tanker was used as naval water carrier and steamed on a non-evasive course at 8 knots, escorted by the South African armed trawlers HMSAS Southern Isles (T 29) and HMSAS Southern Sea (T 30) on either side, when she was hit forward by a torpedo that opened a large hole in the side. Myriel stopped after the hit and the crew and gunners (the ship was armed with one 20mm and three machine guns) tried to abandon ship in panic, but the master managed to calm them down when the tanker did not sink, restarted the engines and returned under own power to Alexandria at 3 knots. The U-boat could not intervene as the Germans had no torpedoes left and an attack with the deck gun was not possible due to the escorts. Myriel began to settle by the bow before reaching Alexandria, but was taken in tow by a tug sent from the harbor and safely arrived on 14 December. The tanker was later repaired and returned to service in October 1943.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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