British Motor tanker
|Completed||1927 - AG Weser, Bremen|
|Owner||Hunting & Son Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne|
|Date of attack||5 May 1945||Nationality: British|
|Fate||Damaged by U-979 (Johannes Meermeier)|
|Position||64° 23'N, 22° 37'W - Grid AE 4723|
|Complement||46 (0 dead and 46 survivors).|
|Route||Reykjavik (4 May) - Belfast Lough - Liverpool|
Completed in April 1927 as Biscaya for John T. Essberger, Hamburg. In August 1939 interned at Las Palmas while en route from Hamburg to Port Arthur, Texas. On 7 Oct 1939, left to return to Germany but was intercepted and captured on 19 October by HMS Scotstoun (Capt S.K. Smyth, RN) on Northern Patrol in the Denmark Strait in 66°30N/23°00W. The ship was taken to Leith by a prize crew (LtCdr R.H.A. Clark, RNR) and renamed Empire Unity by Ministry of War Transport (MoWT).
|Notes on event|
At 01.05 hours on 5 May 1945 U-979 fired a spread of three torpedoes at convoy RU-161 and hit the Empire Unity 14 miles west-northwest of Akranes, Iceland. The tanker was struck on the starboard side by two torpedoes, causing the flooding of six tanks. The crew initially abandoned ship, but most soon reboarded the damaged vessel after she was brought to Hvalfjordur by HMS Northern Spray (FY 129). 12 survivors were picked up by HMS Northern Sky (4.41) and taken to Belfast.
On 20 June 1945 the Empire Unity left Reykjavik under tow after temporary repairs and arrived five days later in Methil for permanent repairs.
|On board||We have details of 7 people who were on board.|
If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.