King Gruffydd (2)

Date of attack

17 Mar 1943



Sunk by U-338 (Manfred Kinzel)


51.55N, 32.41W - Grid AK 8599


49 (24 dead and 25 survivors).



Route New York (5 Mar) - Loch Ewe - Hull


5000 tons of steel, 500 tons of tobacco and 493 tons of high explosives


Launched as War Trooper for The Shipping Controller, completed in December 1919 as Greek Ambatielos for N.E. Ambatielos, Argostoli. 1923 sold to Britain and renamed King Gruffydd for Dodd, Thomson & Co Ltd, London.

On 14 Sep, 1939, the King Gruffydd was requisitioned by the Admiralty as Q-ship HMS Maunder (X 28). From 12 Mar, 1941 until 22 Aug, 1941, the vessel was used as armed merchant cruiser and then transferred to the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). The ship was reverted to the steam merchant King Gruffydd and returned to the owner in December 1941.

Notes on event

At 03.05 hours on 17 Mar, 1943, U-338 fired a spread of two torpedoes at the convoy SC-122 southeast of Cape Farewell and Kinzel thought that he had hit one ship, but in fact the Kingsbury in station #51 and the King Gruffydd in station #52 were hit and sunk. At 03.06 hours, a second spread of two torpedoes was fired, one of them struck the Alderamin in station #61, which sank later in 51°30N/34°55W. At 03.07 hours, the stern torpedo was fired, which missed the intended target, the Alderamin, but damaged the Fort Cedar Lake in station #124.

The master, 21 crew members and two gunners from the King Gruffydd (Master Hywell Griffiths) were lost. 18 crew members and seven gunners were picked up by the British rescue ship Zamalek (Master Owen Charles Morris, DSO) and landed at Gourock on 22 March.

On board

We have details of 23 people who were on board.

Official Number

Ship Builder

Engine Builder

Engine Type


Hong Kong & Whampoa

Hong Kong

Hong Kong & Whampoa

Hong Kong

Steam 3 Cyl


2500 IHP



The following names are listed at the

Merchant Navy Memorial at Tower Hill

Torpedoed and Sunk in The North Atlantic - 1943

King Line Steamship Co
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