Ships hit by U-boats

British Colony

British Steam tanker

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

NameBritish Colony
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage6,917 tons
Completed1927 - Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Walker-on-Tyne 
OwnerBritish Tanker Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack14 May 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-162 (Jürgen Wattenberg)
Position13° 12'N, 58° 10'W - Grid EE 7331
Complement47 (4 dead and 43 survivors).
RouteTrinidad (12 May) - Gibraltar 
Cargo9800 tons of Admiralty fuel oil 
History Completed in May 1927 
Notes on event

At 01.38 hours on 14 May 1942 the unescorted British Colony (Master R. Wood-Thorburn) was hit in the bow by one torpedo from U-162 90 miles northeast of Bridgetown, Barbados. The hit had not much effect as the tanker managed to evade a second torpedo fired at 02.02 hours. Wattenberg then decided to distract the enemy by leaving on the surface, but overtook the fleeing British Colony on the horizon. At 05.45 hours, the tanker was hit aft by one of two torpedoes and caught fire. After the crew abandoned ship, she was hit by a first coup de grâce at 06.54 hours, but only sank after being hit underneath the funnel by a second at 07.39 hours. Four crew members were lost. The master, 39 crew members and three gunners were questioned by the Germans and later made landfall 13 miles north of Bridgetown.

On boardWe have details of 44 people who were on board

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