Convoy battles


8 Jun 1942 - 9 Jun 1942

The Convoy3 ships
First sightingOn 8 Jun 1942 by U-502
EscortsBritish destroyer HMS Churchill (I 45) (Cdr. P.J. Fitzgerald, RN) and Dutch minelayer HNMS Jan van Brakel (M 80) (Lt.Cdr. T.K. van Asbeck, RNN)


U-502* (Kptlt. Jürgen von Rosenstiel)

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

The battle

The convoy TO-5 left Port of Spain, Trinidad for Curaçao on 7 June 1942, consisting of five merchants with two escorts. After two of the merchants bound for Puerto La Cruz were detached the next day the westbound convoy was spotted by U-502, which chased it for several hours and eventually carried out a submerged attack on 9 June. First the tanker Franklin K. Lane was torpedoed, followed shortly afterwards by Bruxelles that sank within a few minutes. The third merchant was Cornish City which fled the scene at full speed while HMS Churchill attacked the U-boat with well placed depth charges. Jan van Brakel picked up most survivors from the tanker and then left to escort the last merchant to Curaçao. The destroyer picked up by the remaining survivors and followed the other ships after scuttling the drifting wreck of Franklin K. Lane.

Article compiled by Rainer Kolbicz

Ships hit from convoy TO-5

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat.Map
9 Jun 1942U-502Jürgen von Rosenstiel Franklin K. Lane6,589amA
9 Jun 1942U-502Jürgen von Rosenstiel Bruxelles5,085beB

2 ships sunk (11,674 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.

This was the only convoy on route TO hit by U-boats in the war.

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