SS Sithonia

Steam Merchant Vessel
Built by J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd.
Completed: 1919 as SS Radnorshire
Owned by H.M. Thomson
Length: 411ft 7in
Beam of 55ft 7in
Service speed: 12 knots
6,723 tons

Nationality: British


Sithonia sailed from Belfast on July 2, 1942 bound for Montevideo with a cargo of 8,500 tons of coal and joined Convoy OS.33. On July 9, 1942, Sithonia reported that she had detected a submarine on her D/F but although one of the escort destroyers dropped depth charges, no attack developed. Together with the South American portion of the convoy, Sithonia was detached on July 11. At 2100, a radio signal was received that the Cortona was under attack after which the Sithonia adopted evasive action and zigzagging. Later a flash was seen on the horizon, after which, the Sithonia altered course to bring the flash astern before gradually resuming her course two hours later until they were back on course by daylight. At 2220 on July 12, when 380 miles West of Fogo Island (Canaries), she was struck amidships on the port side by two torpedoes from U-201 which broke her back. U-201 reported the sinking as grid reference DG 9552 (29N, 25W). The survivors took to two lifeboats and were contacted by the submarine who wanted to know the ship's details. The U-boat also said that they would send out an SOS for them since they had not had time to send one. One lifeboat eventually landed in Las Palmas on August 7, 1942 having sailed 820 miles in 14 days while the other lifeboat landed in Senegal where the crew were interned. From a crew of 54, which included 3 Naval and 2 Royal Artillery gunners, 7 men lost their lives. This was the last casualty from convoy OS.33.