Ships hit by U-boats


Dutch Motor merchant

Photo courtesy of Allan C. Green Collection

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage8,159 tons
Completed1931 - Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw Mij NV, Amsterdam 
OwnerNV Stoomvaart Mij ´Nederland´, Amsterdam 
Date of attack7 Dec 1939Nationality:      Dutch
FateSunk by U-47 (Günther Prien)
Position49° 09'N, 4° 51'W - Grid BF 2819
Complement68 (6 dead and 62 survivors).
RouteAmsterdam - Antwerp - Batavia 
CargoGeneral cargo, including cement, iron, steel and glass 
History Completed in October 1931 
Notes on event

At 05.24 hours on 7 Dec 1939 the unescorted and neutral Tajandoen (Master J.B. Roederink) was hit amidships by one torpedo from U-47 and sank in flames after a heavy detonation, only a few minutes after the hit. Six crew members were lost. The U-boat had spotted the ship only four minutes before firing and misidentified the type as tanker. The master, 47 crew members and 14 passengers abandoned ship in the lifeboats and had to avoid burning fuel on the water surface.

The Belgian steam merchant Louis Scheid witnessed the attack and picked up the survivors, despite of the fear of her master of also being torpedoed. After the men were picked up, the ship immediately headed on full speed for the nearest land and by dusk she found herself off the Devon coast in heavy rainfall and a gale. Louis Scheid (6057 grt) struck a hidden rock near Warren Point in the early hours of 8 December and was destroyed by the seas. The Salcombe lifeboat made several dangerous trips and rescued all survivors from both ships.

On boardWe have details of 54 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats