Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam tanker

Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage6,768 tons
Completed1937 - Howaldtswerke AG, Kiel 
OwnerSocony Vacuum Transportation Co Ltd, Montreal 
Date of attack15 Jan 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-123 (Reinhard Hardegen)
Position40° 25'N, 72° 21'W - Grid CA 2896
Complement46 (36 dead and 10 survivors).
RouteNew York - UK 
Cargo9000 tons of lubricating oil 
History Completed in July 1937 for Standard Transportation Co Ltd, Hong Kong. 1940 sold to Socony Vacuum Transportation Co Ltd, Montreal. 
Notes on event

At 09.41 hours on 15 Jan 1942 the unescorted Coimbra (Master John Patrick Barnard) was hit by one G7e torpedo from U-123, which had spotted the lights of the tanker astern while the U-boat was proceeding eastbound following the southern shore of Long Island. The torpedo struck on the starboard side just aft of the superstructure. A huge towering explosion lit up the night sky and the cargo of oil quickly caught fire and spread across the water. Residents from the Hamptons on Long Island could see the fire at sea 27 miles away and alerted the authorities. At 09.59 hours, a coup de grĂ¢ce hit the tanker underneath the funnel and her stern settled fast, striking the sea floor after five minutes. Like his previous victim, the Norness, the bow of the Coimbra was sticking out of the water. Hardegen commented: These are some pretty buoys we are leaving for the Yankees in the harbor approaches as replacement for the lightships. The tanker later sank completely.

The master, 29 crew members and six gunners were lost. Ten survivors, six of them wounded were rescued from the rough seas. Two crew members were picked up by USS Rowan (DD 405) and landed at Argentia, Newfoundland. The remaining survivors were rescued by another American destroyer and landed at St. Johns.

On boardWe have details of 46 people who were on board

Location of attack on Coimbra.

ship sunk.

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