Ships hit by U-boats


Canadian Motor tanker

Photo courtesy of Donald A. Baker

Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage11,410 tons
Completed1928 - A. Stephen & Sons Ltd, Linthouse, Glasgow 
OwnerImperial Oil Shipping Co Ltd, Toronto 
Date of attack11 Feb 1942Nationality:      Canadian
FateSunk by U-564 (Reinhard Suhren)
Position36° 12'N, 67° 14'W - Grid CB 7455
Complement47 (47 dead - no survivors)
RouteHalifax - Las Piedras, Venezuela 
History Completed in March 1928 
Notes on event

At 03.28 hours on 11 Feb 1942 the unescorted Victolite (Master Peter McLean Smith) was hit amidships by one torpedo from U-564 about 260 miles north-northwest of Bermuda. The U-boat had first spotted the tanker seven hours earlier and missed with a first torpedo at 01.43 hours. The Germans observed how the crew abandoned ship in the lifeboats, identified the vessel from her distress signals and then began to shell the Victolite for a short time to ascertain that everyone had left. A boarding party in a rubber dinghy went to the abandoned tanker to search for secret documents and diesel oil that could be used to refuel the U-boat, but all safes were open and empty and the fuel found was unsuitable as it was too viscous. The boarding party left after placing four scuttling charges in the engine room. However, the ship still remained afloat after the explosions and U-564 began to shell her again. At 06.05 hours, the U-boat left the completely burning wreck behind after firing 98 rounds from the deck gun into the tanks and the superstructure. The survivors were never found: the master, 44 crew members and two gunners were lost.

On boardWe have details of 47 people who were on board

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