Convoy battles


Southend - Outward (N.-America) (North Atlantic and UK coastal waters)

30 Jun 1940 - 1 Jul 1940

The Convoy30 ships
First sightingOn 30 Jun 1940 by U-26
EscortsWhen leaving Southend on 27 June: British destroyer HMS Vanessa (D 29) (LtCdr E.A. Stocker, DSC, RN) until relieved later that day by the British corvette HMS Clarkia (K 88) (LtCdr F.J.G. Jones, RNR) until 29 June.
Ocean Escort joining on 29 June: British corvette HMS Gladiolus (K 34) (LtCdr H.M.C. Sanders, RNR)


U-26 * (Scheringer) ++, U-65 * (Stockhausen)

* U-boats that fired torpedo or used the deck gun

The battle

The convoy OA-175 had left Southend with 45 ships on 27 June and after passing the Strait of Dover formed nine columns to pass through the English Channel. Until 29 June, 23 ships (mostly coasters) had left the convoy bound for harbors on the south and southwest coast of Britain, but eight additional ships joined off Lizard. The convoy continued into the North Atlantic with 30 ships in six columns, only escorted by a single corvette.

At dawn on 30 June, a lifeboat of Llanarth was sighted and the survivors picked up by HMS Gladiolus. In the evening, U-26 spotted the convoy south-southwest of Fastnet and reported its position, but no other U-boats in the area operated against this convoy as all were already operating on convoy SL-36. Lookouts on the British steam merchant Beaverbrae, the ship of the convoy commodore, had apparently spotted the U-boat shortly before it dived and the sole escort of the convoy went to investigate the sighting report. At 01.18 hours on 1 July, the surfaced U-boat torpedoed the Zarian in station #14 and this alerted the corvette to return at full speed to the convoy. Shortly thereafter, U-26 was severely damaged by depth charges from HMS Gladiolus and the U-boat had to be scuttled when they were located by a Sunderland flying boat the next morning.

The convoy had carried out an emergency turn after the attack, but by chance the homebound U-65 came across the now unescorted ships at 08.00 hours on 1 July. However, the U-boat only had one torpedo left and managed to hit Amstelland in station #44 at 13.55 hours, remained submerged until the evening and then continued her return voyage. The convoy OA-175 again carried out emergency turns, increased the speed to 8 knots and was dispersed shortly after dusk.

Both ships torpedoed in convoy OA-175 were salvaged, repaired and returned to service. The destroyer HMS Vansittart located and sank U-102 while escorting the rescue tug HMS Salvonia to Zarian. The other ship was towed to port by the rescue tug HMS Marauder, escorted by the corvette HMS Calendula.

Article compiled by Rainer Kolbicz

Ships hit from convoy OA-175

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat.Map
1 Jul 1940U-26Heinz Scheringer Zarian (d.)4,871brA
1 Jul 1940U-65Hans-Gerrit von Stockhausen Amstelland (d.)8,156nlB

2 ships damaged (13,027 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.

16 convoys on route OA were hit by U-boats in the war. Read more about them.

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