Ships hit by U-boats


Norwegian Motor merchant

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage4,114 tons
Completed1926 - Kockums Mekaniska Verksteds A/B, Malmö 
OwnerA.F. Klaveness & Co A/S, Oslo 
Date of attack11 Feb 1940Nationality:      Norwegian
FateSunk by U-53 (Harald Grosse)
Position58° 40'N, 13° 40'W - Grid AM 1490
Complement36 (2 dead and 34 survivors).
RouteBergen (9 Feb) - Philadelphia 
History Completed in June 1926 
Notes on event

At 11.00 hours on 11 Feb 1940 the neutral Snestad was hit aft by one torpedo from U-53 about 100 miles west of the Hebrides. After the crew abandoned ship in three lifeboats, the ship was hit by a coup de grâce and sank within 3 minutes. Because one of the boats was damaged, the survivors were distributed among the other two lifeboats. They were all picked up after 22 hours by Albert L. Ellsworth on her way to Bergen.

At 01.55 hours on 13 Feb 1940 U-50 (Bauer) fired one torpedo at the Albert L. Ellsworth which detonated prematurely near the bow without damaging the tanker. Nevertheless, all hands abandoned ship in the lifeboats in such a hurry that nine men were left behind and were forced to jump overboard after releasing a raft. Two of the survivors from Snestad were not able to reach the raft and drowned. At 02.05 hours, the U-boat fired a G7a torpedo that was a dud and claimed a hit amidships on the tanker after firing a G7e torpedo at 02.16 hours. However, the torpedo apparently passed underneath its target and detonated a few yards beyond the ship. Bauer thought that the tanker will sink and left. The survivors in the lifeboats remained nearby until dawn, then reboarded the undamaged Albert L. Ellsworth and safely arrived in Bergen.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 3 people who were on board

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