HMS Forfar sunk by Kretschmer’s U-99


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Trevor Ray March 29, 2019 at 1:48 am

Are there any named photos of the crew prior to HMS Forfar being torpedoed in particular John Edward Burke ordinary signalman s/n C/JX187784.
Much appreciated
Trevor Ray

Jarle Hammen Knudsen December 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Kretschmer, Kretscher or Kreschmer?

ramona sturge November 3, 2014 at 3:35 am

my great uncle Henry j Lundrigan was on the Forfar when it was torpedo in 1940..he was a survivor along with another man from same community of Bay Bulls NL Canada..Dermott Crockwell

Editor June 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Richard, many thanks for adding that.

Martin

Richard Dowson June 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm

An interesting Story about the Capture of U-99 – from an old Canadian Press article

Friday, July 4, 1941
U-Boat Attacks and Capture
(By the Canadian Press)

The grim story of an attack by a pack of U-boats upon a large convoy approaching the shores of Britain and the resulting capture of Commander Otto Kretschmer, U-boat ace, is told by a Saint John man who was an eye witness of the attack.
At least three German submarines were accounted for he said.
He is Charles Damery, 50, who was serving as an oilier on a British steamship when the attack occurred.
“Ours was the slowest ship in the convoy and we were having quite a time all the way across,” he said. “We knew we were being trailed by subs and our escort destroyers were keeping a constant, sharp outlook.
“Then, all of a sudden, the attack!
Bold Attack
“It was a bold one. They came in right among us, popping up for a sight, slinging their torpedoes and crash-diving.
“A torpedo struck us in Number 3 hold and we took to the boats. There were about 40 of us and we didn’t find out until later that the explosion ofr the torpedo took the life of the bosun and another man.
“A torpedo passed right under our lifeboat, going for our already stricken ship. But the ship had veered of when the steam was shut off and the torpedo missed her. It struck a tanker in the convoy.
“A destroyer picked us up and then went after the subs with another destroyer. Our depth charges finally caught up with the Jerries.
“Three of the subs surfaced like corks, badly disabled by the explosions. The sea was dotted with Nazi sailors. They kept yelling, ‘Kamerad’ and ‘an secoru’ (help). One of the subs in the distance signaled an SOS with her light.
Commander Taken
“We picked up about 45 survivors from the three subs. When Commander Otto Kretschmer came aboard the destroyer he gave a stiff Nazi salute, arm extended, and said ‘Heil Hitler’.
“The destroyer skipper said, ‘None of that stuff here,’ and Ktetschmer smirked and heiled Hitler again.
“He was a hawk-faced man of about 40, I’d say, and he boasted that he’d have got more of us if he hadn’t run out of torpedoes.
“He kept asking questions about equipment on the destroyer, but outside of that kept pretty mum. If he was happy or sorry about being captured, he didn’t show it. The destroyer crew was mighty happy to have bagged such a big shot. He was ranked next to Gunther Prien, the U-boat commander who’d made the successful attack at Scapa Flow early in the ear, but Prien is now believed dead so that made him the Number 1 prize.
Expected Death
“The rank and file of the German sailors thought they were going to be liquidated for their U-boat activities. When they were told they’d be put in an internment camp in Britain they were surprised.
“One of them said, ‘That’s excellent. But very stupid of you. The Germans are going to own Britain in a few weeks.’”
Damery plans to be off to sea again soon. Another ship on which he had served was lost in an ordinary shipwreck.

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