Ships hit by U-boats

Canadian Star

British Motor merchant

Photo from City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 447-3771

NameCanadian Star
Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage8,293 tons
Completed1939 - Burmeister & Wain´s Maskin & Skibsbyggeri A/S, Copenhagen 
OwnerBlue Star Line Ltd, London 
Date of attack18 Mar 1943Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-221 (Hans-Hartwig Trojer)
Position53° 24'N, 28° 34'W - Grid AK 6897
Complement88 (34 dead and 54 survivors).
RouteSydney, NSW - Cristobal - Key West - New York (8 Mar) - Liverpool 
Cargo7806 tons of refrigerated cargo, including meat, cheese and butter 
History Completed in February 1939

At 01.00 hours on 20 Jul 1941, U-126 (Bauer) sighted the unescorted and zig-zagging Canadian Star (Master Charles James Whatley Jones) and followed her until 02.42 hours, when two G7e torpedoes were fired at the ship in 49°15N/21°00W about 650 miles west of Lands End. Both were avoided by the ship because their tracks could be seen due to phosphorescence and Bauer decided to attack with the gun. The U-boat shelled its victim for about 10 minutes and scored three hits but accurate return fire forced them to break off the attack. Bauer finally gave up the attack about one hour later when it became clear that the ship was escaping too fast for the U-boat, at a speed well over 16 knots. The ship had been en route from Liverpool to Auckland with passengers and general cargo, goverment stores and mail. She arrived at Curaçao on 30 July and was repaired. 
Notes on event

At 16.43 hours on 18 March 1943, U-221 hit the Walter Q. Gresham in station #21 of convoy HX-229 with a stern torpedo and sank her southeast of Cape Farewell. At 16.49 hours, one FAT and two standard torpedoes were fired. The FAT missed and detonated at the end of its run, while the other two struck the Canadian Star in station #23.

The Canadian Star (Master Robert David Miller) was hit simultaneously on the port side in the engine room and #5 hold. The explosions stopped the engines, blew the #5 hatch off and destroyed two lifeboats. She settled fast by the bow and finally sank by the stern at 17.10 hours. The crew and 22 passengers had difficulties to abandon ship in the bad weather, many drowning due to high seas that swamped lifeboats and rafts and others dying from exposure in the two hours before HMS Anemone (K 48) (LtCdr P.G.A. King, RNR) and HMS Pennywort (K 111) (Lt O.G. Stuart, RCNVR) picked up the survivors, but two of them died soon after being rescued. 33 crew members, six gunners and 15 passengers were landed at Gourock on 22 March. The master, 22 crew members, 2 gunners and nine passengers were lost.

The master Robert David Miller was posthumously awarded the Lloyds War Medal for bravery at sea.

On boardWe have details of 42 people who were on board

Attack entries for Canadian Star

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
20 Jul 1941U-126Kptlt. Ernst BauerDamaged8,293  
18 Mar 1943U-221Oblt. Hans-Hartwig TrojerSunk8,293  

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