King Gruffydd (2)

Date of attack

17 Mar 1943

 

Fate

Sunk by U-338 (Manfred Kinzel)


Position

51.55N, 32.41W - Grid AK 8599


Complement

49 (24 dead and 25 survivors).


Convoy

SC-122

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


Cargo

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


History

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.

Merchant Navy War Memorial

Tower Hill

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