The Focke Wolf Condor bomber was operating far out into the Atlantic, capable of attacking ships itself but also playing an important role in spotting for U-Boats. The Empress of Britain was amongst its victims. From the Air Situation for the week ending 28th November 1940:
A total of 39 day and 414 night sorties were flown by Bomber Command during the week. In addition, a number of bombing sorties were made by aircraft of the Coastal Command. The principal features of the week’s operations have been the concentrated attacks which have been carried out against industrial and communication targets in the Cologne area, and a heavy attack on the aerodrome at Bordeaux, at which the Focke Wolf Condor aircraft are reported to assemble for operations against shipping in the North-Western Approaches. Military objectives in the Berlin area were attacked on two occasions.
On the night of the 22nd/23rd twenty-four heavy bombers attacked the aerodrome at Bordeaux; twenty-nine tons of high explosive and two thousand eight hundred incendiaries were dropped. The attack appears to have been most successful. Direct hits were obtained on hangars and barrack blocks, and many aircraft on the aerodrome were seen to be on fire. The hangars on the south-west side of the aerodrome were completely burnt out.