Ships hit by U-boats


South African Whale factory ship

Uniwaleco under her former name Fraternitas. Photo courtesy of Danish Maritime Museum, Elsinore

Type:Whale factory ship
Tonnage9,755 tons
Completed1905 - Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast 
OwnerUnion Whaling Co Ltd, Durban 
Date of attack7 Mar 1942Nationality:      South African
FateSunk by U-161 (Albrecht Achilles)
Position13° 23'N, 62° 04'W - Grid ED 6891
Complement51 (18 dead and 33 survivors).
RouteCuraçao - Trinidad - Freetown 
Cargo8800 tons of fuel oil 
History Completed in August 1905 as British steam merchant Mahronda for T. & J. Brocklebank Ltd, Liverpool. 1922 sold to Norway and 1923 converted by Framnæs Mek. Værksted, Sandefjord, to the whale factory ship Sir James Clark Ross for Hvalfanger-A/S Rosshavet (Johan Rasmussen & M. Konow), Sandefjord. 1930 sold to Denmark and renamed Fraternitas for Fraternitaskompagniet A/S (A.P. Møller), Copenhagen. 1936 fitted with a stern ramp at Gøtaverken A/B, Gothenborg. 1937 sold to South Africa and renamed Uniwaleco for Union Whaling Co Ltd (A.E. Larsen), Durban. 
Notes on event

At 17.59 hours on 7 March 1942 the unescorted Uniwaleco (Master Johannes Marins Bernard Rosvik) was hit by one of two torpedoes from U-161 45 miles west of St. Vincent Passage. The ship apparently went out of control because she ran in circles and settled but did not sink. At 18.14 hours, the U-boat fired a coup de grâce which hit aft and caused her to sink within 3 minutes after breaking in two. 18 crew members were lost. The master and 32 crew members landed on St. Vincent.

On boardWe have details of 21 people who were on board

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