Ships hit by U-boats


British Steam merchant

Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage6,034 tons
Completed1915 - Union Iron Works, San Francisco CA 
OwnerW.H. Cockerline & Co, Hull 
Date of attack2 Mar 1941Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-95 (Gerd Schreiber)
Position59° 21'N, 13° 36'W - Grid AM 1472
Complement35 (34 dead and 1 survivor).
RouteNew York - Halifax (13 Feb) - Grangemouth 
Cargo9000 tons of steel scrap 
History Completed in November 1915 for A/S D/S Pacific (Vilhelm Torkildsen), Bergen. 1922 sold to Argonaut SS Line Inc, New York. 1935 transferred to American South African Line Inc, New York. 1940 given to Britain and taken over by Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). 
Notes on event

At 00.46 hours on 2 March 1941 the unescorted Pacific (Master Alan Francis King) was hit on the port side in the engine room by one torpedo from U-95 while steaming at 8.5 knots about 105 miles north of Rockall and sank by the stern in less than 90 seconds. The ship had been in station #33 of convoy HX-109, but became a straggler after the steering gear broke down in heavy weather. The U-boat had spotted the vessel about two hours earlier and missed with a first torpedo at 00.44 hours. The only survivor later reported that the ship sank so rapidly that none of the lifeboats could be launched and he just found himself pulled down by the suction of the sinking ship. He managed to reach the surface, clung to a hatch cover for about an hour until swimming to a raft that had floated free. The sinking was observed by the nearby Icelandic fishing trawler Dora, which had been spotted by U-95 shortly before Pacific was sighted and ignored due to the small size of the vessel. A lifeboat launched by the trawler picked up one crew member, who informed them that he had seen another survivor while waiting for rescue, but nobody else was found during an extensive search of the area. The master, 32 crew members and one gunner (the ship was armed with one machine gun) were lost. The survivor was landed at Fleetwood on 5 March.

On boardWe have details of 35 people who were on board

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