Requisitioned Auxiliary – Thelma







Built by: Gotaverken A/B, Gothenburg

Owner: Tonnevalds Rederi A/S

Tonnage: 8297 grt, 5032 nett, 12,600 dwt

Length: 465.1 feet

Beam: 59.4 feet

Draught: 35.9 feet

Machinery: 8 Cylinder diesel by builders

In Admiralty Service (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) from 1940.

The ship was on passage from Cape Town to the US, via Trinidad for engine repairs when she was torpedoed by U 162, at 23:23 hrs on the 26 August 1942 in position 13º 20’ N 58º 10’ W.  The torpedo hit the ship between No 3 and 4 wing tanks and the ship immediately started to list to Starboard, the engines were stopped and the crew proceeded to abandon ship in 3 lifeboats.

While the crew were getting into the lifeboats, the second torpedo hit the ship amidships, causing severe damage and hampered the lowering of the boats.  About 15-20 minutes after the second torpedo had struck, the wake of a third torpedo was observed heading for the ship, followed by an explosion on the Port side, at about the same time the U boat started to shell the ship, which quickly caught fire.

The crew of Thelma were rescued on the 28 August by a British Naval vessel and landed at Bridgetown, of the crew of 28 Norwegian, 2 Chinese and 1 Swedish seamen, one member of the crew perished, along with a Consulate passenger aboard at the time of the attack.