Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage10,923 tons
Completed1920 - Bremer Vulkan, Vegesack 
OwnerFederal Steam Navigation Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack29 Mar 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-571 (Helmut Möhlmann)
Position40° 50'N, 63° 31'W - Grid CB 2753
Complement62 (4 dead and 58 survivors).
RouteSydney NSW - Brisbane - Wellington - Colon (21 Mar) - Halifax - UK 
Cargo12,103 tons of general cargo, including refrigerated meat 
History Launched in October 1917 as Rheinland, completed in June 1920 as Friesland for Hamburg-Amerika Linie (HAPAG), Hamburg. 1922 transferred to Britain as war reparation and renamed Hertford.

On 7 Dec 1940, the Hertford struck a mine laid by the German raider Pinguin at the entrance to Spencer Gulf off Liguana Island, South Australia. After temporary repairs at Port Lincoln she was eventually towed to Adelaide for further repairs, then to Sydney and returned to service on 20 Jan 1942. 
Notes on event

At 20.58 hours on 29 March 1942 the unescorted Hertford (Master John Collier Tuckett) was hit by two torpedoes from U-571 about 200 miles south of Halifax. The ship was hit at 21.31 hours by a coup de grâce and sank four minutes later by the stern. Four crew members were lost. The master and 18 crew members landed at Liverpool, Nova Scotia. 21 crew members were picked up by the British steam merchant Glenstrae. 16 crew members and two gunners were picked up by the British steam merchant Fort Townsend and landed at Halifax.

On boardWe have details of 8 people who were on board

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