Ships hit by U-boats


Panamanian Steam merchant

Alcedo under her former name Tanja. Photo courtesy of Danish Maritime Museum, Elsinore

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage1,392 tons
Completed1937 - Fredriksstad Mekaniske Verksted A/S, Fredrikstad 
OwnerDanish Ship Operating Co, Panama 
Date of attack28 Feb 1945Nationality:      Panamanian
FateSunk by U-1022 (Hans-Joachim Ernst)
Position64° 07'N, 23° 17'W - Grid AE 4758
Complement38 (3 dead and 35 survivors).
RouteBoston (20 Jan) - Belfast (11 Feb) - Loch Ewe (22 Feb) - Reykjavik 
Cargo1767 tons of US Army and Navy supplies, including 4000 cases of beer, chocolate and mail 
History Completed in December 1937 as Danish Tanja for A/S D/S Vesterhavet (J. Lauritzen), Esbjerg. 1940 laid up in New York. On 21 Jul 1941, taken over by the US government, renamed Alcedo and registered in Panama by the US War Shipping Administration. On 17 Jan 1942, turned over to Marine Transport Line under GAA agreement. On 27 Dec 1942, turned over to Cosmopolitan Shipping and on 3 Feb 1944 turned over to Danish Ship Operating Co. 
Notes on event

At 23.00 hours on 28 Feb 1945, U-1022 fired a spread of three torpedoes at convoy UR-155 and heard detonations and sinking noises from two ships. In fact only the Alcedo (Master Marius A. Kolster) in position #22 was hit by one torpedo on the starboard side between #3 and #4 hatches. The force of the explosion sheared off the mainmast and it fell to port. The propeller shaft was broken stopping the engine and the #4 hold was immediately flooded. This caused the ship to sink by the stern after 25 minutes in 64°00N/22°46W. An Able Seaman had been caught in the safety net hanging over the starboard side, was trapped and drowned when the ship sank. Another AB fell into the hole on deck which was caused by the explosion. A Messman went down with the ship when he refused to jump overboard to be picked up by a lifeboat. In all three crew members died and eight were injured out of her complement of 32 crew members (three Americans and 15 other nationalities), five armed guards and passenger (US Navy security officer). The remaining survivors abandoned ship in two boats and two rafts and were picked up at 01.40 hours by HMS Home Guard (T 394) and landed in Reykjavik about four hours later.

On boardWe have details of 7 people who were on board

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