Ships hit by U-boats

River Afton

British Steam merchant

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NameRiver Afton
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,479 tons
Completed1935 - Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow 
OwnerCampbell Brothers & Co, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
Date of attack5 Jul 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-703 (Heinz Bielfeld)
Position75° 57'N, 43° 00'E - Grid AC 3568
Complement56 (23 dead and 33 survivors).
ConvoyPQ-17 (dispersed)
RouteMiddlesbrough - Reykjavik - Archangel 
Cargo2314 tons of military stores, 36 tanks, 12 vehicles and 7 aircraft 
History Completed in October 1935 
Notes on event

At 21.02 hours on 5 July 1942 the River Afton (Master Harold William Charlton), dispersed from convoy PQ-17, was torpedoed by U-703 northeast of Kola. She was the ship of convoy commodore John Charles Keith Dowding, CBE, DSO, RD, RNR. The vessel exploded, broke in two and sank after being hit by two coups de grĂ¢ce at 21.05 and 21.22 hours. Twelve crew members, eight gunners, two naval staff members and one passenger were lost. The master, the commodore, 26 crew members, one gunner, three naval staff members and one passenger were picked up by HMS Lotus (K 93) (Lt H.J. Hall, RNR) and landed at Matochkin, Novaya Zemlya.

Three crew members from River Afton were lost during repatriation aboard HMS Leda (J 93) (LtCdr A.H. Wynne-Edwards, RN) when the vessel was torpedoed and sunk by U-435 (Strelow) in convoy QP-14 on 20 September 1942.

On boardWe have details of 33 people who were on board

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