Ships hit by U-boats

Empire Engineer

British Steam merchant

Empire Engineer under her former name Gioacchino Lauro. Photo courtesy of Rick Cox Collection

NameEmpire Engineer
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,358 tons
Completed1921 - Canadian Vickers Ltd, Montreal, Quebec 
OwnerWeidner, Hopkins & Co, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
HomeportWest Hartlepool 
Date of attack4 Feb 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-123 (Karl-Heinz Moehle)
Position54° 21'N, 23° 15'W - Grid AL 5718
Complement40 (40 dead - no survivors)
ConvoySC-20 (straggler)
RouteSydney, CB - Newport, Monmouthshire 
Cargo7047 tons of steel ingots 
History Completed in April 1921 as Canadian Commander for the Canadian Government (Merchant Marine Ltd), Montreal. 1928 transferred to Canadian National Steamships Ltd, Montreal. 1932 sold to Italy and renamed Gioacchino Lauro for Achille Lauro, Naples. On 10 Jun 1940, seized by Britain at West Hartlepool and was renamed Empire Engineer by Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). 
Notes on event

At 16.44 hours on 4 Feb 1941 the unescorted Empire Engineer (Master John Whiteley), a straggler from convoy SC-20, was hit forward by one G7e torpedo from U-123 and sank by the bow within 4 minutes about 375 miles west-southeast of Rockall. The Germans observed some survivors on rafts at the sinking position, but the master, 38 crew members and one gunner were lost.

On boardWe have details of 40 people who were on board

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