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stepping stones of maritime history


At 01.23 hours on 9 Oct 1942 the unescorted Flensburg (Master W.G. de Neef) was hit by one torpedo from U-201 about 500 miles from Surinam. The ship had already been hit by a dud torpedo at 19.46 hours on 8 October, but the U-boat had first to reload from the upper deck containers before they could attack again. The torpedo struck on the starboard side amidships and caused a heavy list to port. All crew members safely abandoned ship in two lifeboats before the ship broke in two and sank rapidly after being hit amidships by a coup de grâce at 07.35 hours.

At dawn the boats set sail for Surinam keeping course with a compass at a speed of 3 to 4 knots. On 13 October, the survivors were spotted by a Yugoslavian merchant that picked them up along with their boats. When they learned that the ship was en route unescorted to Durban they preferred to be again lowered in their boats than to make another Atlantic crossing. They were provided with fresh water and provisions and set sail for Surinam. After two days the boats were sighted by an American aircraft that dropped a packet with emergency rations. Already the next day they reached the mouth of the river Marowijne in Surinam, where they met the Dutch landing craft Prinses Juliana that towed the boats to Albina.


MasterW.G. de Neef,
People on board48
Length472.4 feet (144 m)
Tonnage6421 ton


Down on 21 May

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13 Provinces