Ships hit by U-boats


British Motor merchant

Photo courtesy of Paul Johnson Collection

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage7,417 tons
Completed1922 - A. McMillan & Son Ltd, Dumbarton 
OwnerLamport & Holt Ltd, Liverpool 
Date of attack30 Apr 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-107 (Günter Hessler)
Position12° 55'N, 28° 56'W - Grid EH 9315
Complement53 (2 dead and 51 survivors).
ConvoyOB-309 (dispersed)
RouteLiverpool - Rio de Janeiro - Buenos Aires 
Cargo7000 tons of general cargo 
History Completed in June 1922 
Notes on event

At 21.55 hours on 30 April 1941 the unescorted Lassell (Master Alfred Ryder Bibby) was hit on the port side in the engine room by one torpedo from U-107 about 250 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. The ship had been in convoy OB-309, which was dispersed on 19 April in 50°00N/23°50W. Her engines stopped immediately and the ship sank by the stern after about 8 minutes. Two crew members on watch below were lost. One lifeboat had been destroyed by the explosion and another was damaged during launching, so the survivors had to be distributed between the two remaining boats, which lost contact to each other after 3 days. The master, second officer, 22 crew members and one lady passenger were picked up from their lifeboat on 9 May by the Benvrackie, which was herself sunk four days later by U-105 (Schewe). 15 survivors from Lassell were lost. The master, nine others and the survivors of Benvrackie were rescued after 13 days in lifeboats by the British hospital ship HMHS Oxfordshire and landed at Freetown. The chief officer H.W. Underhill, four officers, 13 crew members and eight gunners in the other lifeboat were picked up on 10 May in position 10°57N/29°13W by the British steam merchant Egba (Master G.D. Simpson, OBE) and landed at Freetown five days later.

On boardWe have details of 19 people who were on board

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

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats