Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage8,141 tons
Completed1935 - Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Walker-on-Tyne 
OwnerBullard King & Co Ltd (Natal Line), London 
Date of attack7 Jul 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-571 (Helmut Möhlmann)
Position25° 35'N, 80° 02'W - Grid DM 2646
Complement92 (0 dead and 92 survivors).
RoutePort Castries, St. Lucia - San Juan, Puerto Rico - Key West - Port Everglades 
Cargo2000 tons of mineral ore 
History Completed in November 1935

At 04.49 hours on 10 March 1942 U-161 fired two torpedoes into the harbour of Port Castries, St. Lucia. The first torpedo hit the Lady Nelson which caught fire and sank by the stern in shallow waters. The second torpedo struck the Umtata which also sank by the stern. However, both vessels were later salvaged and repaired. Four persons of the 140 crew members, four gunners and 33 passengers aboard the Umtata were lost. The ship had been en route from Durban to New York with a cargo of chrome ore, asbestos and meat. On 2 May, she was salvaged, temporarily repaired and then sunk by another U-boat while under tow to Port Everglades for permanent repairs. 
Notes on event

At 09.02 hours on 7 July 1942 the Umtata (Master R. Owen Jones) was torpedoed and sunk by U-571 northeast of Key West in the Florida Strait, while under tow by the American tug Edmund J. Moran. The master and 91 crew members were picked up by the tug, transferred to USCGC Thetis (WPC 115) and landed at Miami.

On boardWe have details of 5 people who were on board

Attack entries for Umtata

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
10 Mar 1942U-161Kptlt. Albrecht AchillesDamaged8,141  
7 Jul 1942U-571Kptlt. Helmut MöhlmannSunk8,141  

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