Canadian & Newfoundland Merchant Navy Losses –Battle Of Atlantic in WWII
1939 to 1945
By: Roger Litwiller ©
26 August 1939 -Admiralty signals FUNNEL to Commonwealth & British navies. Commonwealth merchant ships placed under naval control.
3 September 1939 -England & France declare war on Germany. Within two hours U30 torpedoes & sinks SS Athenia sailing from the Glasgow and Liverpool in the UK to Montreal, QC. On board were 1,103 passengers, including about 500 Jewish refugees, 469 Canadians, 311 US citizens, 72 UK subjects, and 315 crew. One hundred and eighteen passengers and crew were killed, including 54 Canadians. The Battle Of Atlantic had begun.
Stewardess Hannah Baird was a crew member in Athenia at the time and was killed. She is recognized as the first Canadian Merchant sailor killed in the Second World War.
7 September 1939 -RCN informed by British Admiralty convoys should begin Halifax to UK immediately, Senior Officer (SO) Halifax to provide ships for escorts.
10 September 1939 -Canada Declares War on Germany. First time Canadian Parliament declares war independently from Britain.
16 September 1939 -First Convoy of WWII leaves Halifax for UK waters, consisting of 15 merchant ships and designated HX-1, under escort of HMCShips SAGUENAY and ST. LAURENT.
5 February 1940 -SS Beaverburn (Canadian Pacific Ships) sunk by torpedo from U-41 while in convoy OA-84 in the North Atlantic, one merchant sailor killed and 76 rescued.
15 June 1940 -SS Erik Boye (Canadian National Steamships) torpedoed by U-38, off Land’s End, UK, while in convoy HX-47, all 22 merchant sailors survived. The ex-Danish freighter was placed under Canadian registry.
5 July 1940 -SS Magog (Canada Steamship Lines) shelled then sunk by torpedo from U-99, south-west of Ireland all 23 crew survived. Great Lakes freighter pressed into ocean service.
8 July 1940 -SS Humber Arm (Bowater, NF) torpedoed and sunk by U-99 south of Ireland while in convoy HX-53, no loss of life.
10 July 1940 -SS Waterloo (Canada Steamship Lines) bombed and sunk by German aircraft off Great Yarmouth, England.
22 August 1940 -SS Thorold (Quebec & Ontario Transportation Ltd) bombed and sunk by German aircraft in the Irish Sea off Milford Haven, ten merchant sailors killed.
15 September 1940 -SS Kenordoc (Paterson Steamship Lines) shelled and sunk by U-99 while in convoy SC-3, mid-Atlantic southeast of Iceland, 7 killed.
12 October 1940 -SS St. Malo (Canadian Government) torpedoed by U-101 mid-Atlantic south of Iceland while in convoy HX-77, 29 killed. The ex-French freighter was placed under Canadian registry.
16 October 1940 -SS Trevisa (Canadian Lake Carriers Ltd) torpedoed by U124 mid-Atlantic, south of Iceland while in convoy SC-7, 7 killed.
28 October 1940 -SS Empress of Britain (Canadian Pacific Steamships) bombed by German aircraft and then sunk by a torpedo from U-32 off Ireland, 45 killed.
5 November 1940 -SS Beaverford (Canadian Pacific Steamships) sunk by German pocket battleship ADMIRAL SCHEER while in convoy HX-84 in the North Atlantic.
16 November 1940 -SS Sherbrooke (Canada Steamship Lines) was damaged by bombs from German aircraft in the North Sea off Orfordness. Repaired, Post War sold to Paterson and Sons & renamed Wellandoc.
16 December 1940 -SS Bic Island (Canadian Government) ex-Cape Noli captured by HMCS BRAS D’OR, damaged by bombs from German aircraft in the North Atlantic.
21 December 1940 -MV Europa (Canadian Government) severely damaged by bombs from German aircraft during large air raid at Liverpool, UK.
6 February 1941 -M/V Maplecourt (United Towing & Salvage Co, Montreal) while straggling behind convoy SC-20, was torpedoed by U107, 250 miles west of Northern Ireland. 35 crew & 2 DEMS gunners lost, no survivors.
13 February 1941 -SS Westcliffe Hall (Hall Corporation, Montreal) damaged by bombs from German aircraft in the North Sea, off Whitby. She was a Great Lakes ship pressed into ocean service during WWII.
21 February 1941 -M/V Canadian Cruiser (Montreal Australia New Zealand Line) intercepted by ADMIRAL SCHEER, Indian Ocean, north of Mozambique Channel. Entire Merchant crew taken prisoner, ship then scuttled by German pocket battleship.
22 February 1941 -M/V A.D. Huff (by Atlantic Transportation Ltd, Montreal) sunk by gunfire from German Battleship GNEISENAU, 625 miles east of Cape Race NF, 2 sailors killed, remaining 40 taken prisoner.
17 March 1941 -SS J.B. White (Atlantic Transportation Ltd, Montreal) was torpedoed by U-99, North Atlantic southwest of Faroes Islands while in convoy HX-112, two killed and 38 survivors.
25 March 1941 -MV Canadolite (Imperial Oil Ltd, Toronto) captured by German raider KORMORAN, Atlantic, southeast of Freetown, South Africa, 44 merchant sailors taken POW. Renamed Sudetenland she was sunk by RAF bombs on 14 August 1944.
7 April 1941 -SS Portadoc ex-James B Foote (Paterson Steamship Ltd, Port Arthur) torpedoed and sunk by U-124, west of Sierre Leone. No causalities, 13 survivors became POW in French Guinea where 1 died in captivity.
3 May 1941 -MV Europa (Canadian Government Merchant Marine) while in Liverpool, UK drydock, damaged beyond repair by bombs during air raid. The ex-Danish freighter was placed under Canadian registry.
20 May 1941 – SS Rothermere (Anglo-Newfoundland Steamship Company) torpedoed by U-98 after dispersal of convoy HX-126 in the North Atlantic, twenty-two killed, thirty-three were rescued later that day.
13 July 1941 -SS Collingdoc (Paterson Steamships, Thunder Bay) hits mine and sinks, 2 sailors killed. She is later salvaged and re-sunk as blockship at Scapa Flow.
15 July 1941 -SS Lady Somers (Canadian National Steamships) torpedoed by Italian submarine MOROSINI in the Bay of Biscay while acting as an Armed Cruiser.
17 August 1941 -SS Kindersley (Canada steamships Line) damaged by bombs from German aircraft in the North Sea, off Blyth.
15 October 1941 -SS Vancouver Island (captured ex-German Weser) torpedoed by U-558, mid-Atlantic, no survivors of the 102 souls on board.
11 December 1941 -SS Colborne (Canadian National Steamships) damaged by bombs from Japanese aircraft off Penang, Malaysia.
24 December 1941 -SS Shanai , ex-Canadian Beaver (G. L. Shaw, Vancouver) captured by Japanese forces, North Borneo off Kuching and renamed Shinai Maru. Crew interned as POW`s by the Japanese, one sailor died in captivity.
19 January 1942 -RMS Lady Hawkins (Canadian National Steamships) torpedoed off North Carolina by U-66, of 321 passengers & crew in the ship, only 71 survive.
4 February 1942 -M/V Montrolite, (Imperial Oil Ltd, Toronto) torpedoed by U-109, mid-Atlantic, northeast of Bermuda, 28 sailors killed, 20 rescued.
5 February 1942 -Liner Empress Of Asia (Canadian Pacific Steamships) bombed and sunk by Japanese aircraft, off Singapore. Of 2651 passengers and crew on board, 16 were killed.
10 February 1942 -M/V Victolite (Imperial Oil Ltd, Toronto) torpedoed and sunk by U-564, mid-Atlantic 250 miles northwest of Bermuda, all 48 merchant sailors were killed.
22 February 1942 -M/V George L. Torian (Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transport Ltd, Toronto) torpedoed by U-129, off Venezuelan coast southeast of Trinidad, 4 survivors and 15 merchant sailors killed. Great Lakes freighter pressed into ocean service.
23 February 1942 -SS Lennox (Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal) torpedoed by U-129, off British Guiana, 2 merchant sailors killed and 18 survivors. Great Lakes ship pressed into ocean service WWII.
10 March 1942 -SS Lady Nelson (Canadian National Steamships) was torpedoed and sunk by U-161 while alongside at St. Lucia killing 18 sailors. Later re-floated and converted to Canadian hospital ship.
14 March 1942 -SS Sarniadoc (Patterson Steamships Ltd, Port Arthur) torpedoed by U-161, central Caribbean, 160 miles west of Dominica. The Great Lakes ship pressed into war service carried a crew of 21, there were no survivors.
1 April 1942 -SS Robert W. Pomeroy, (Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation Co, Toronto) struck a mine and sunk in the North Sea off Cromer, UK, 1 killed.
20 April 1942 -SS Vineland (Markland Shipping, Liverpool, NS) sailing from St. Thomas VI to Portland with bauxite was torpedoed by U-154, north of the Windward Passage. One sailor killed, 35 survivors including 3 RCNVR DEMS Gunners.
5 May 1942 -SS Lady Drake (Canadian National Steamships, Montreal) torpedoed by U-106, north of Bermuda, 12 Killed and 260 survivors.
7 May 1942 -Schooner Mildred Pauline (R.W. Sainthill & Co, North Sydney NS) shelled by U-136, North Atlantic. No survivors from her crew of seven.
8 May 1942 -SS Mont Louis (Hall Corporation, Montreal) torpedoed by U-162, off British Guyana, 13 sailors killed, 8 survivors.
9 May 1942 -MV Calgarolite (Imperial Oil Ltd, Toronto) torpedoed and shelled by U-125, northwest Caribbean Sea near Grand Caymans, all 45 crew survived.
21 May 1942 -SS Troisdoc (Paterson Steamship Lines, Port Arthur) torpedoed by U-558, Caribbean, west of Jamaica, all 19 crew rescued.
21 May 1942 -SS Torondoc (Paterson Steamship Lines, Port Arthur) torpedoed by U-69, Caribbean, off Martinique, no survivors of her crew of twenty-three.
22 May 1942 -SS Frank B. Baird (Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Trans, Toronto) sunk by gunfire by U-158, Atlantic, southeast of Bermuda, all 23 crew rescued.
28 June 1942 -SV Mona Marie (Lemuel Ritcy, LaHave NS) shelled by U-126 in Caribbean Sea. Her nine member crew allowed to abandon schooner, 2 were wounded.
25 July 1942 -SV Lucille M (Frederick Sutherland, Yarmouth NS) shelled by U-89 off Cape Sable, 11 crew survived with 4 wounded.
29 July 1942 -SS Prescodoc (Paterson Steamship Lines, Port Arthur) torpedoed by U-160, off British Guyana. Of her crew of 21 only five survived.
17 August 1942 -SS Princess Marguerite (Canadian Pacific Steamship, Montreal) torpedoed by U-83 in the Mediterranean, northwest of Port Said, Egypt.
3 September 1942 -SS Donald Stewart (Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal) torpedoed by U-517, south of the Strait of Belle Isle, NF, 3 killed.
5 September 1942 -SS Lord Strathcona (Dominion Shipping Company, Montreal) and SS Saganaga (British) are torpedoed and sunk by U 513 in a daring night attack inside the harbour at Wabana, Conception Bay, Newfoundland. U 513 under command of KK Rolf Ruggeberg enters Conception Bay submerged, hitting Saganga first with two torpedoes, killing 33 merchant sailors and three DEMS gunners. Lord Strathcona realizing it was a submarine attack, immediately lowered boats for rescue and abandoned their ship, knowing their ship was the next target. This quick action saved the lives of her entire crew.
6 September 1942 -SS John A Holloway (Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Transportation, Toronto) torpedoed by U 164 in the Caribbean, 1 killed.
7 September 1942 –German submarine U-517 attacks Quebec-Sydney Convoy QS-33 off Gaspe sinking SS Oakton (Cdn) SS Mount Pindus and SS Mount Taygetus, 10 dead.
18 September 1942 -SS Norfolk (Canada Steamship Lines, Montreal) torpedoed by U-175, off British Guiana at Venezuelan Border, 6 killed.
9 October 1942 -SS Carolus (Merchant Marine Ltd, Ottawa) torpedoed by U-69, Gulf of St. Lawrence, off Matane, QC while in convoy NL-9, 11 killed.
11 October 1942 -SS Waterton (Bowater, Newfoundland) torpedoed by U-106 while in convoy BS-31, Cabot Strait, HMCS VISION rescues all 27 crew.
14 October 1942 -SS Caribou (Newfoundland Government) Newfoundland to Cape Breton ferry was torpedoed by U-69 in the Cabot Strait, 137 passengers and crew are killed. HMCS GRANMÈRE rescues 101 survivors.
29 October 1942 -SS Bic Island (Canadian Government) ex-Cape Noli, torpedoed by U-224, mid-Atlantic in convoy HX-212, south of Iceland, 165 killed.
2 November 1942 -SS Rose Castle (Dominion Steel and Coal Company, Halifax) and PLM 27 (Free French) torpedoed by U 518, off Belle Island, Conception Bay, Newfoundland. This was the second attack by a U-Boat on the harbour, the first was on 5 September 1942. Following the attack in September, defences in the harbour had been increased with additional shore batteries, searchlights and stationing of a corvette and two fairmilles to provide anti-submarine sweeps. U-518 under K/L Friedrich Wissmann crept into the harbour undetected; his first torpedo missed the four ore ships in the harbour and struck the pier. The next two torpedoes struck Rose Castle killing 28 of her crew, the fourth torpedo struck PLM 27, killing 12 sailors. Following this second bold attack, submarine nets were installed in the harbour.
3 November 1942 -SS Christian. J. Kampmann (Canadian Government) in convoy TAG-18, torpedoed by U-160, Caribbean, west of Grenada, 19 killed.
19 May 1943 -SV Angelus (Canadian Government) stopped and shelled by U161, 375 miles south of Nova Scotia. Crew of ten were allowed to abandon the Barquentine, sadly only two survivors were picked up five days later. Angelus was French owned and employed in the fishing and shipping trade. She was taken as a prize by HMCS PRESCOTT on the Grand Banks on 31 August 1941 after France had surrendered to Germany.
6 July 1943 -SS Jasper Park (Canadian Government) torpedoed by U-177, Indian Ocean, west of South Africa. First Park Ship lost to enemy action.
11 July 1943 -SS Duchess of York (Canadian Pacific Ships) bombed and sunk by German aircraft in convoy OS-51 North Atlantic. HMCS IROQUOIS rescues 628 of the 819 survivors from Duchess of York, there were 908 souls on board when she was lost.
2 December 1943 -SS Fort Athabaska (Canadian Government) is lost when ammunition ship near her explodes, while being bombed by Italian aircraft in Bari Harbour, Italy, 39 are killed.
26 January 1944 -SS Fort Bellingham (Canadian Government) torpedoed by U-360 and U-957 while in convoy JW-56A in the Barents Sea, 26 sailors killed of her crew of 75.
15 February 1944 -SS Fort St. Nicolas (Canadian Government) torpedoed by U-410 in the Mediterranean Sea off western Italy, all 63 on board survived.
22 March 1944 -SS Watuka (Nova Scotia Steel & Coal Company, New Glasgow, NS) while in convoy SH-125 was torpedoed by U-802, sinking in 5 minutes, 15 miles southeast of Halifax, 1 killed and 25 rescued.
14 April 1944 -SS Fort Crevier (Wartime Merchant Shipping Ltd, Canada) severely damaged by massive explosion from munition ship SS Fort Stikine at Bombay (now-Mumbai), India. 800+ killed, 2500 wounded, 13 ships lost.
19 May 1944 -SS Fort Missanabie (Canadian Government) torpedoed by U453 while in convoy HA-43 in the Mediterranean Sea, forty-nine of the 61 on board survived.
18 June 1944 -SS Albert C. Field (Upper Lakes & St. Lawrence Trans Co, Toronto) torpedoed by German aircraft in the English Channel, south of Bournemouth.
26 July 1944 -SS Fort McPherson (Wartime Merchant Shipping Ltd, Canada) damaged by German Glider Bomb at Victoria Dock, London., while undergoing repairs from attack by German aircraft on 11 June 1944 in the English Channel.
18 August 1944 -SS Fort Gloucester (Wartime Merchant Shipping Ltd Canada) was damaged by torpedo from German E-Boat while in convoy FTM-70 in the English Channel.
3 September 1944 -SS Livingston (Bowater Paper, Newfoundland) torpedoed by U-541 off Cape Breton, 14 killed and 14 survivors.
3 December 1944 -SS Cornwallis (Canadian National Steamships) torpedoed and sunk by U-1230 in the Gulf of Maine, 43 killed and 5 survivors.
15 December 1944 -SS Fort Maisonneuve (Canadian Government) struck mine and sinks in Scheldt Estuary, Netherlands, 4 killed & 6 severely injured.
4 January 1945 -SS Nipiwan Park (Park Steamship Company) lost her bow when torpedoed by U-1232 while in convoy SH-194, 30 miles off Halifax, 2 killed.
23 February 1945 -M/V Point Pleasant Park (Park Steamship Company Montreal) torpedoed and sunk by U-510, in the South Atlantic, 430 miles NW of Cape Town, South Africa, 9 sailors killed and 49 survivors.
6 March 1945 -SS Green Hill Park (Park Steamship Company) explosion and fire, burning for several days in Vancouver Harbour, 8 killed 19 wounded. Fire was the result of sailors siphoning over-proof whiskey from cargo.
13 March 1945 -SS Taber Park (Canadian Government/Park Steamship Company, Montreal) torpedoed by Seehund midget submarine, North Sea, off Southwold.
12 April 1945 -SS Silver Star Park (Park Steamship Company) damaged in collision and caught fire off Halifax, 15 merchant sailors & 1 DEMS Gunner killed, 29 survivors. Ship was a constructive loss.
7 May 1945 -SS Avondale Park (Canadian Government/Park Steamship Company, Montreal) torpedoed by U-2336, Firth of Forth, Scotland, two of Avondale Park’s crew killed. She is last merchant ship lost in Battle Of Atlantic, just 1 hour before German surrender.
8 May 1945 -Germany formally surrenders and Admiral Donitz orders the German U-Boats to surface and surrender, ending the Battle of Atlantic.
Cover Photo: Marc Magee’s painting of HMCS NAPANEE alongside the torpedoed tanker, SS Scottish Heather, during the Battle for Convoy ON-154.