MV Languedoc

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Career (France) Civil and Naval Ensign of France.svg
Name: MV Languedoc
Operator: Société Française de Transports Pétrolièrs (SFTP), Paris
Builder: Burmeister & Wain's Maskin & Skibsbyggeri A/S, Copenhagen
Completed: 1937
Out of service: Seized by Britain after the fall of France in 1940
Transferred to the Ministry of War Transport
Career (UK) Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Name: MV Languedoc
Owner: Ministry of War Transport
Operator: John I. Jacobs & Co Ltd, London
Fate: Sunk on 17 October 1940
General characteristics
Class and type: Motor tanker
Tonnage: 9,512 tons
Crew: 39

The MV Languedoc was a motor tanker which initially sailed under the French flag prior to the Second World War. She was taken over by the British after the fall of France in 1940 and sailed for them in a number of convoys, before being sunk by a German u-boat later that year.

Early career

The Languedoc was built in 1937 by Burmeister & Wain's Maskin & Skibsbyggeri A/S, of Copenhagen as MV Actor. She entered service with Société Française de Transports Pétrolièrs (SFTP), Paris in 1938 and was renamed Languedoc. On the outbreak of war she sailed in a number of short convoys from Verdon to Casablanca carrying fuel, as well as sailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Liverpool in September 1939. She was part of convoy KS-74 in March 1940, sailing from Casablanca to Brest, the last one she was to be part of under the French flag. After the fall of France she was seized by the British and taken into service by the Ministry of War Transport. They assigned her to be operated by John I. Jacobs & Co Ltd, of London. She was homeported in the capital.


Her first and last convoy under the British flag was as part of the ill-fated convoy SC-7. She sailed from Trinidad to Sydney, Nova Scotia to join the convoy assembling there, departing there with the convoy on 5 October. She was bound for the Clyde carrying a cargo of 13,700 tons of fuel oil under the command of her master John Thomson. The convoy was overwhelmed by a number of u-boats successfully employing wolf pack tactics, and many of the merchants were sunk. The Languedoc was an early loss. She was sighted by U-48 under the command of Heinrich Bleichrodt, who fired three torpedoes at three ships of the convoy at 05.53 hours on 17 October as they passed 160 miles northwest of Rockall. He reported two ships sunk and a third damaged. In fact only the Languedoc and the Scoresby were hit, by a single torpedo each, and both were sunk. The master and 38 crew members abandoned ship, and were picked up by the escorting corvette HMS Bluebell. The damaged Languedoc was assessed and decided to be beyond salvage. The Bluebell scuttled her with gunfire and went on to land the survivors at Gourock on 20 October. There were no casualties.


Coordinates: 59°14′N 17°51′W / 59.233°N 17.85°W / 59.233; -17.85