Ships hit by U-boats


Greek Steam merchant

Adelfotis under her former name Cape St. Columba. Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,838 tons
Completed1917 - Northumberland Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Howden-on-Tyne 
OwnerMichael J. Carras & others, Chios 
Date of attack1 May 1943Nationality:      Greek
FateSunk by U-182 (Asmus Nicolai Clausen)
Position3° 32'S, 21° 33'W - Grid FD 6884
Complement39 (1 dead and 38 survivors).
RouteSan Lorenzo, Argentina - Buenos Aires (17 Apr) - Freetown - UK 
Cargo6785 tons of linseed 
History Completed in February 1917 as British Carlow Castle for Union-Castle Mail SS Co Ltd, London. 1930 renamed Cape St. Columba for Mitchell, Cotts & Co Ltd, London. 1935 sold to Greece and renamed Adelfotis
Notes on event

At 14.50 hours on 1 May 1943 the unescorted Adelfotis (Master Elias Lyras) was hit on the port side by two torpedoes from U-182 while steaming on a non-evasive course at 8 knots about 540 miles southeast of St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks. The torpedoes were spotted too late to take evasive action and struck in #1 hold and between #3 and #4 holds. The crew immediately abandoned ship in three lifeboats, but one of the British gunners (the ship was armed with one 76mm Breda gun and two machine guns) fell overboard and drowned. Two crew members had been slightly injured by debris. The vessel took a heavy list to port after the port boiler exploded, but still remained afloat. The U-boat then surfaced and began shelling the wreck from a distance of about 400 yards at 15.20 hours. Three or four of the eight rounds fired hit and caused her to sink at 15.45 hours. The Germans then questioned the survivors, filmed them and took the master as prisoner aboard, who was lost when the U-boat was sunk two weeks later. On 8 May, 18 survivors in two lifeboats landed at Fernando de Noronha Island and were flown to Recife by Brazilian aircraft on 14 May. The 19 occupants in the boat in charge of the chief officer made landfall at Pitangui near Natal on 12 May.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

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