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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Report on San Emiliano
  • 3 Report on Submarine U-155
  • 4 Main Contributors

This page contains a transcript of the U.S. Navy Department do***ent entitled " Summary of Statements by Survivors". The copy I have seen also has written manually on it U-155. It also contains a one-page history of U-155 including its fate.

Click on this link to see the main Guide entry on San Emiliano: San Emiliano

Click on this link to see the Guide entry containing a survivor's report: San Emiliano (survivors report)

Report on San Emiliano[edit]

EMILIANO Owners: Eagle Oil & Shipping Co. London, England. Operated by British M.o.W.TReport of interview with:

Sunk by: Torpedo without warning from submarine at about at 0130 GCT on August 9th, 1942.

Position: 07.30N 54.45W:Voyage: Trinidad to Capetown

Cargo: 11,500 tons of 100 octane aviation gasoline


Draft: 27ft 7ins forward 27ft 4ins aft

Confidential books: Burnt with the ship

Crew: 48

Casualties: 40 killed

The ship immediately caught fire, and burnt violently for approximately 10 hours, then sank, stern first.

The tanker was on course 100°(T), speed 11½ knots in 60 fathoms, radio silent, not actually zigzagging at the moment of attack as the Master was on the bridge, was using all possible speed to clear himself from the Red Cross Ship, NEWFOUNDLAND, which, fully lighted, had just passed close aboard, crossing the San Emiliano's bow from the port side. Previous to this time the ship had been using zigzag diagrams numbers 9 and 37 during daylight hours. One look-out was stationed on top of the bridge, while three gunners were at their post on the after gun platform. The ship was being conned by the Third Mate, who had the watch, but the Master was on the bridge. The weather was clear, slight sea running, wind East force 2 to 3, visibility good, no moonlight. At the time of attack the lights of the Red Cross Ship Newfoundland were visible, about 10 miles distant on the starboard bow.

The first torpedo struck on the starboard side of numbers hold, 15 feet below the water line. The explosion seemed to split the ship in two, and gasoline was thrown over the entire ship. About 30 seconds later a second torpedo hit in starboard in number 3 hold and ignited the gasoline which had been strewn over the ship which immediately became a raging inferno. The first torpedo made a hissing noise as it approached the ship. No distress signals could be sent. There was no opportunity to offer a counteroffensive as the aft gunners were enveloped in flames.

The crew numbered 48 and all but 12 were burnt to death before there was any opportunity to abandon ship. One lifeboat was launched with eight survivors, and four other members of the crew dived overboard, were picked up by the lifeboat; but were so severely burned these four died within a short time. The eight survivors were picked up by the GENERAL THOMAS S JESSUP on August 10th, and landed at Paramaribo on August 11 th. Planes of the U.S Army Air Force dropped supplies and medicine to the survivors and directed the rescue vessel to the lifeboat.

The sub which was seen only for a moment, was over 800 feet long, painted a dark blue, with a light grey conning tower, which had a dark blue band near its top.

Note: The U.S Naval Observer at Paramaribo commented that the San Emiliano was the most valuable of 20 ships that left Trinidad in convoy, bound Gibraltar, Capetown, Brazilian ports and Paramaribo, and "That is seems logical to deduct that the enemy knew what cargo the San Emiliano had aboard and where she was bound, also exact information as to where and when the convoy would disperse, for the ship was attacked about 18 hours after dispersal of the convoy by a submarine that apparently was waiting for her, as the ship's speed of 11½ knots seems somewhat above reported speeds that the submarine could make submerged had she attempted to trail the ship".

Report on Submarine U-155[edit]


Flag: German

Type: DC C

Built: AG Weser (Bremen

Launched: 01/10/40

Commissioned:: 23/08/41

Total Patrols:: 10

Tnis Patrol: 3

Sailed from: Lorient on 09/07/42

Arrived at: Unit this patrol:Lorient on 15/09/42

U-Flotilla 10

Successes this patrol:GRT (Sunk) GRT (Damaged):

28/07/42 WEIRBANK(Br) 5150

28/07/42 PLAVE (Br) 2347

29/07/42 BILL (No) 2445

30/07/42 CRANFORD (U.S) 6096

01/08/42 KENTAR (Du) 5878

01/08/42 CLAN MacNAUGHTON (Br) 6088

04/08/42 EMPIRE ARNOLD (Br) 7045

05/08/42 DRACO (Da) 389

09/08/42 San Emiliano (Br) 8071

10/08/42 STRABO (Du) 383

Fate: 08/03/43 bombed by a Catalina of VP.-53 Swn U.S.N in 12.38N 52.39W(East of Barbados) and lost with all 52 hands.

Main Contributors[edit]
  1. Stan Mayes - provision of data
  2. Benjidog - organisation of data and OCR conversion of source do***ents
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