Ships hit by U-boats

HMS Penelope (97)

British Light cruiser

Photo from Imperial War Museum (IWM), FL-4822

NameHMS Penelope (97)
Type:Light cruiser (Arethusa)
Tonnage5,270 tons
Completed1936 - Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast 
OwnerThe Admiralty 
Date of attack18 Feb 1944Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-410 (Horst-Arno Fenski)
Position40° 55'N, 13° 25'E - Grid CJ 5934
Complement623 officers and men (417 dead and 206 survivors).
RouteAnzio - Naples 

HMS Penelope (97) was commissioned in November 1936.

At 16.54 hours on 22 Aug 1943, U-431 (Schöneboom) fired a spread of four torpedoes at HMS Penelope (97) and HMS Aurora (12) about 65 miles north-northwest of Palermo and observed one Aurora-class cruiser stopped after one hit and heard an additional detonation after five minutes, but in fact the torpedoes missed.

Notes on event

At 06.58 hours on 18 Feb 1944 the unescorted HMS Penelope (97) (Capt G.D. Belben, DSO, DSC, AM, RN) was hit in the after engine room by one torpedo from U-410 while en route at 26 knots 35 miles west of Naples. The cruiser sank immediately after being hit in the after boiler room by a coup de grâce at 07.16 hours. The commander, 24 officers, 368 ratings and 24 Marines were lost. The survivors were picked up by HMS LST-165 and HMS LST-430.

HMS Penelope (97) was returning from bombarding enemy positions during Operation Shingle, the landings at Anzio, in which she was part of the Gunfire Support Group TG 81.8, comprising of USS Brooklyn (CL 40), USS Woolsey (DD 437), USS Mayo (DD 422), USS Trippe (DD 403), USS Ludlow (DD 438) and USS Edison (DD 439).

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 419 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

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