Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

We don't have a picture of this vessel at this time.

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,986 tons
Completed1938 - Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland 
OwnerAmbrose, Davies & Matthews Ltd, Swansea 
Date of attack11 Mar 1943Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-160 (Georg Lassen)
Position29° 08'S, 34° 05'E - Grid KP 9178
Complement41 (9 dead and 32 survivors).
RouteCalcutta - Cochin - Durban - UK 
Cargo7935 tons of general cargo 
History Completed in April 1938

At 04.42 hours on 10 May 1941, U-556 (Wohlfarth) attacked the convoy OB-318 southeast of Cape Farewell in 59°23N/35°25W and reported two ships with 10.000 grt sunk. The xB-Dienst assumed from a SOS message that one of the ships was the Dutch steam merchant Hercules, but in fact the torpedo missed the British steam merchant Chaucer.
In fact, only the Aelybryn (Master Harold William Brockwell) was hit and damaged. The ship was towed to Reykjavik by HMS Hollyhock (K 64) (Lt T.E. Davies, OBE, RNR), arriving on 17 May. One crew member was killed. The master and 43 crew members were picked up by HMS Daneman (FY 123) (Lt. A.H. Ballard, RNR).

Notes on event

At 23.10 hours on 11 March 1943 the unescorted Aelybryn (Master Harold William Brockwell) was hit by two G7a torpedoes from U-160 east-northeast of Durban. The ship sank by the stern after being hit by a G7a coup de grâce at 20.32 hours. The Germans questioned the survivors and apparently misunderstood the name, reporting the vessel as the American steam merchant Arian. Nine crew members were lost. The master, 27 crew members and four gunners were picked up by the Portuguese steam passenger ship Lourenço Marques and landed at Capetown.

On boardWe have details of 11 people who were on board

Attack entries for Aelybryn

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
10 May 1941U-556Kptlt. Herbert WohlfarthDamaged4,986  
11 Mar 1943U-160Kptlt. Georg LassenSunk4,986  

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