Requisitioned Auxiliary – Sildra

Sildra - Markus Berger



Sildra - Markus Berger
Sildra – Markus Berger


Built By: F. Schichau, Danzig    Completed: 1927

Owner: A/R Seljan

Tonnage: 7313 grt, 11,170 dwt

Length: 441.6 feet

Beam: 57.4 feet

Draught: 34.2 feet

Machinery: 6 cylinder diesel engine by builder

In Admiralty Service (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) from 1940

The ship departed Freetown on the 18 August 1941, bound for Curacao sailing independently.  On the evening of the 19 August she was hit by 4 torpedoes fired from the Italian submarine Enrico Tazzoli, then shelled and sunk in position 05º 30’ N  12º 50’ W.

The crew and 2 passengers managed to abandon the ship safely and once clear of the vessel, observed the Italian submarine surface and commence shelling the Sildra.  The survivors were in 3 lifeboats, and managed to stay together, however during the night contact was lost with one of the boats.

The two remaining boats managed to make land at Manna Point, Sierra Leone on the 21 August, and assisted by locals, managed to contact the District Commissioner to report the loss of the ship and the missing lifeboat.

Patrolling aircraft spotted the missing lifeboat close to shore off Cape St Ann on the 22 August, where they landed that afternoon and contacted the Coast Guard.  All of the 36 Norwegian, 2 British crew and the 2 Canadian Passengers survived.