Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam tanker

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage6,018 tons
Completed1928 - Sir W.G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
OwnerBaltic Trading Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack16 Apr 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-81 (Friedrich Guggenberger)
Position33° 45'N, 35° 14'E - Grid CP 5636
Complement37 (26 dead and 11 survivors).
RouteHaifa (16 Apr) - Tripoli, Lebanon 
Cargo7000 tons of light benzine 
History Completed in August 1928 
Notes on event

At 19.54 hours on 16 April 1942 U-81 spotted a tanker and one escort vessel off the coast of Lebanon and fired at 20.38 and 20.39 hours two torpedoes each at both ships. FFL Vikings (P 41) exploded and sank 23 miles 240° from Beirut after being hit by a torpedo. At 21.48 hours, the U-boat fired two torpedoes at the Caspia and hit her with one torpedo in the bow. The tanker sank in flames 10 miles south of Beirut after being hit by a coup de grâce at 22.10 hours.

The master, 23 crew members and two gunners from the Caspia (Master Cecil Henry Humphries) were lost. Ten crew members and one gunner were picked up by the British motor launches HMS ML-1023 (Lt C.S. Roberts) and HMS ML-1032 (Lt C.D. Searle) and landed at Beirut.

On boardWe have details of 28 people who were on board

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