Ships hit by U-boats


Dutch Motor merchant

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage9,382 tons
Completed1922 - Forth Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Alloa 
OwnerNV Stoomvaart Mij ┬┤Nederland┬┤, Amsterdam 
Date of attack24 Feb 1943Nationality:      Dutch
FateDamaged by U-653 (Gerhard Feiler)
Position46° 02'N, 39° 20'W - Grid BC 6956
Complement86 (60 dead and 26 survivors).
RouteCardiff - Belfast (13 Feb) - New York 
History Completed in August 1922 as steam merchant 1933 converted to motor merchant and lenghtened.

1956 renamed Amstelwal for NV Reederij Amsterdam. Broken up in Ghent in March 1958.

Notes on event

At 01.16 hours on 24 Feb 1943, U-653 fired a spread of four torpedoes at convoy ON-166, observed two hits and heard two detonations. Feiler reported two ships sunk and another damaged. In fact, one torpedo detonated near the Delilian without damaging the vessel, while another torpedo struck the Madoera (Master J. Lassche) in station #13 at the bow. The crew quickly abandoned ship in several lifeboats, but the master decided at daylight to reboard the ship with 15 men. Together with the chief engineer he inspected the damage. The bow was now deeper in the water, while one boiler had remained operational. They managed to reduce the list to the bow and the water in #2 hold and in the engine room levelled. The ship got underway at 4 knots for St. Johns, but after several days, she ran into an icefield about 200 miles from Newfoundland. The master slowly navigated through the ice and managed to reach St. Johns on 1 March.

One lifeboat with three Lascar seamen came across a lifeboat with 23 survivors from the Jonathan Sturges, which had been sunk by U-707 (Gretschel) shortly before the Madoera herself was hit. The Dutch lifeboat had already picked up 12 survivors from the same ship from rafts and took over six others to equalize the number of survivors in each boat. The survivors in the Dutch boat were picked up by USS Belknap (DD 251) on 12 March and landed two days later in Argentia, Newfoundland.
Another lifeboat with the second engineer, two Dutch greasers and several natives was found by U-591 (Zetzsche), which took the second engineer G. van der Vuurst aboard. Three weeks later he was transferred to U-758 (Manseck) and arrived at Bordeaux on 30 March. On 27 February, a third lifeboat was found by U-753 (von Mannstein), which took six (white) men aboard and brought them to La Pallice, but left 29 natives adrift. The two lifeboats and its occupants were never found.

On boardWe have details of 66 people who were on board

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