Ships hit by U-boats


British Motor merchant

Photo courtesy of

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage12,823 tons
Completed1939 - Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast 
OwnerShaw, Savill & Albion Co Ltd, London 
Date of attack27 Dec 1940Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-38 (Heinrich Liebe)
Position58° 10'N, 16° 56'W - Grid AL 3687
Complement90 (1 dead and 89 survivors).
RouteSydney, NSW - Panama - UK 
Cargo7000 tons of refrigerated and general cargo 
History Completed in November 1939 
Notes on event

At 20.03 hours on 26 Dec 1940 the unescorted Waiotira (Master Arthur V. Richardson) was hit in the bow by one torpedo from U-95 (Schreiber) when steaming at about 16 knots 124 miles west by north of Rockall in 58°05N/17°10W. The ship was missed by a second torpedo at 20.07 hours, but hit aft by a third torpedo at 20.18 hours. The U-boat then left the area because three destroyers had been spotted during the attack.

The stopped Waiotira was located by U-38 during the night and hit underneath the bridge by a coup de grâce at 01.46 hours on 27 December. Also this U-boat left the area before the ship sank because a destroyer was approaching, but the vessel sank a few hours later. One passenger was lost. The master, 78 crew members and ten passengers were picked up by HMS Mashona (F 59) (Cdr W.H. Selby, RN) and landed at Greenock on 28 December.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

Attack entries for Waiotira

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
26 Dec 1940U-95Kptlt. Gerd SchreiberDamaged12,823  
27 Dec 1940U-38Kptlt. Heinrich LiebeSunk12,823  

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

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats