british Eagle Oil & Shipping Co. Ltd., Eagle Tanker Co. SS Empire Norseman (+1943)
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nationality british
purpose transport
type tanker
propulsion steam
date built 1942
is nickname no
weight (tons) 9811  grt
dimensions 153.6 x 20.8 x 11 m
material steel
engine Triple expansioin engines
power 674  n.h.p.
speed 10.5  knots
yard no. 342
IMO/Off. no. 164855
call sign
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 23/02/1943  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties 0
about people
Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Middlesbrough
engine by
Richardsons, Westgarth & Co., Middlesbrough
Eagle Oil & Shipping Co. Ltd., Eagle Tanker Co., London
captain William Sharp Smith
complement 11
no. of crew 41
about the wreck
depth (m.)
war grave
[1] Lloyd´s of London, Lloyd's Register of Shipping
entered by Claes Johnny
entered 23/02/2008
last update Vleggeert Nico
last update 17/09/2013
Claes Johnny23/02/2008
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Claes Johnny23/02/2008At 22.14 hours on 23 Feb, 1943, U-382 (Juli) fired one FAT torpedo and one minute later a spread of two G7e torpedoes at the convoy UC-1 south of the Azores (grid DG 5393). Juli thought that he sank two ships, but only one of these torpedoes struck the Empire Norseman on the starboard side and the tanker stopped. Between 22.17 and 22.20 hours on 23 February, U-202 (Poser) fired four torpedoes at the convoy UC-1 in grid DG 5624 and reported hits on three ships.

The first and second hit the Murena and British Fortitude, which both continued, the third torpedo failed and the last hit the already damaged Empire Norseman on her port side. At 23.45 hours on 23 February, the drifting wreck of the Empire Norseman was sunk by a torpedo from U-558. The master, 41 crew members and eleven gun ners from the Empire Norseman (Master William Sharp Smith) were picked up by the HMS Totland (Y 88) (LtCdr L.E. Woodhouse), transferred to the Dutch merchant Maaskerk and landed at Trinidad
ref. used:
Lettens Jan05/11/2010CONVOY UC 1

On February 23rd 1943, German submarines attack Curacao, N.W.I.-bound convoy UC 1, which is shepherded by four U.S. destroyers, two British frigates and three corvettes.

Despite the proximity of the Anglo-American escort force, U-382 torpedoes Dutch motor tanker Murena, but the latter survives.

Athelprincess is torpedoed twice and sunk by U-522.

U-202 torpedoes British tankers Empire Norseman and British Fortitude, and U.S. tanker Esso Baton Rouge, the last-named ship at 31°15'N, 27°22'W.

British sloop HMS Totland rescues Esso Baton Rouge's survivors, who include 24 of the 25-man Armed Guard and 41 of the 43-man merchant complement.
ref. used: 
 Cressman R. J., Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in WWII

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About Owners
Eagle Oil & Shipping Co. Ltd., Eagle Tanker Co., London

Eagle Oil and Shipping Co. was merged into Shell International Petroleum Company in 1959. In 1960 the Eagle funnel colours were replaced by those of Shell Tankers Ltd.
About Builders
 Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Middlesbrough
The Furness Shipbuilding Co. was part of the Furness, Withy and Co. shipbuilding empire based in Hartlepool in England. It had been built as an emergency shipyard to cope with the repair requirements of World War I. The yard was a massive 90 acres in size and had eight berths and two high tower cranes. -- To start a number of ships were ordered by and manufactured for the British Government along with orders from foreign companies. In mid 1919 the Furness family resigned from the Board of Furness, Withy and Co and a management buyout happened. This meant that during the first half of the 1920s there was a constant supply of orders for Furness, Withy & Co and its subsidiaries.

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Richardsons, Westgarth & Co., Middlesbrough
Richardsons, Westgarth Co of Low Street, Sunderland were marine engineers in Hartlepool 1900 – 1982 --- Hartlepool Engine Works, Hartlepool; Commercial Street, Middlesbrough; Scotia Engine Works, Sunderland
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SS Empire Norseman (+1943)
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