Ships hit by U-boats

Royal Sceptre

British Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Rick Cox Collection

NameRoyal Sceptre
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,853 tons
Completed1937 - J.L. Thompson & Sons Ltd, North Sands, Sunderland 
OwnerHall Brothers SS Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
Date of attack5 Sep 1939Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-48 (Herbert Schultze)
Position46° 23'N, 14° 59'W - Grid BE 6473
Complement33 (1 dead and 32 survivors).
RouteRosario - Belfast 
CargoWheat and maize 
History Completed in December 1937 
Notes on event

At 12.00 hours on 5 Sep 1939, U-48 opened fire with the deck gun for 25 minutes at the unescorted Royal Sceptre (Master James William Gair) about 300 miles northwest of Cape Finisterre. The ship had sent distress signals when the U-boat was sighted and tried to escape. She was sunk by a coup de grĂ¢ce at 13.38 hours after the crew had abandoned ship in the lifeboats. The master was killed and nine crew members were wounded by gunfire. The Petrofina and the Danish motor ship Erria heard the distress signals and searched for survivors, but they had been picked up by the Browning and landed at Bahia, Brazil on 26 September. The ship had been stopped by the U-boat at 15.05 hours the same day. The crew first abandoned ship in panic, but they were ordered to reboard their vessel and to pick up the survivors of Royal Sceptre.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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