Ships hit by U-boats

Ville de Hasselt

Belgian Steam passenger ship

Ville de Hasselt under her former name American Trader. Photo courtesy of Belgian ships archive vzw

NameVille de Hasselt
Type:Steam passenger ship
Tonnage7,461 tons
Completed1920 - American International Shipbuilding Corp, Hog Island PA 
OwnerSociété Maritime Anversoise, Antwerp 
Date of attack31 Aug 1940Nationality:      Belgian
FateSunk by U-46 (Engelbert Endrass)
Position56° 30'N, 13° 00'W - Grid AM 0211
Complement53 (0 dead and 53 survivors).
RouteLiverpool (30 Aug) – Boston 
Cargo800 tons of general cargo 
History Laid down as Sitkum, completed in October 1920 as Marne for US Shipping Board (USSB), Philadelphia. 1924 renamed American Trader for US Lines Co, New York. In February 1940 sold to Belgium and renamed Ville de Hasselt
Notes on event

At 16.01 hours on 31 Aug 1940 the unescorted and unarmed Ville de Hasselt (Master G. Foy) was hit on the port side in hold #6 by one stern torpedo from U-46 while steaming on a non-evasive course at 13.5 knots about 100 miles northwest of Barra Head. The crew abandoned ship in four lifeboats and due to high seas were soon separated. The U-boat was observed to surface, circled the ship to identify her and then left without questioning the crew after the ship sank by the stern. The master and 13 crew members in one boat were picked up by the Belgian steam trawler Transport about 12 miles west of St. Kilda the next day and landed at Stornoway on 2 September. The survivors in the remaining lifeboats were picked up by the Icelandic steam trawlers Egill Skallagrímsson and Hilmir (Master Sigurdsson) northwest of Barra Head in the morning on 2 September. They were en route with fresh fish to Fleetwood and landed them there later that day.

On boardWe have details of 18 people who were on board

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