SS Carsbreck

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SS Carsbreck.jpg
Career Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Name: SS Carsbreck
Operator: Dornoch Shipping Co Ltd, (Lambert Bros)
Honeyman & Co, Glasgow
Builder: Ayrshire Dockyard Co Ltd, Irvine
Yard number: 518
Completed: 1936
Renamed: Launched as Coulbeg
Renamed Carsbreck in 1938
Fate: sunk on 24 October 1941
General characteristics
Class and type: Steam merchant ship
Tonnage: 3,670 tons
Displacement: 3,670 grt
6,300 dwt.
Length: 352.7 feet
Beam: 50.2 feet
Propulsion: steam, triple expansion, single screw
Speed: 10 knots
Crew: 42

The SS Carsbreck was a British steam merchant ship. She was sunk while carrying supplies to the UK during the Second World War.

Early years and convoy SC-7

Carsbreck was built in the yards of Ayrshire Dockyard Co Ltd, Irvine, North Ayrshire, being completed in 1936 and launched as Coulbeg for Dornoch Shipping Co Ltd, (Lambert Bros).[1] She then entered service with Honeyman & Co, of Glasgow, and by 1938 had been renamed Carsbreck and was homeported in Glasgow.[2] She sailed in a number of convoys during the Second World War to carry supplies to and from Britain. She was part of convoy SC-7 in October 1940, carrying a cargo of timber. The convoy was overwhelmed by German U-boats successfully using wolf pack tactics, and Carsbreck was torpedoed at 02.04 hours on 18 October by U-38, under the command of Heinrich Liebe.[2] She was badly damaged but was able to reach port, escorted by the Flower class corvette HMS Heartsease.

Convoy HG-75 and sinking

Carsbreck later formed part of convoy HG-75, sailing from Almería to Barrow-in-Furness. She carried a cargo of 6,000 tons of iron ore and was under the command of her master, John Dugald Muir.[2] She was sighted at 06:36 hours on 24 October 1941 by Reinhard Suhren's U-564, which fired five torpedoes at the convoy. Suhren duly claimed five ships hit and sunk. In fact only three ships had been hit, but all were sunk.[2] These were the Carsbreck, the Ariosto and the Alhama. 24 of the Carsbreck’s crew, 19 crew members and four gunners and the master, were lost. 16 crew members and two gunners survived to be picked up by the Free French ship Commandant Duboc.[2] They were transferred to the fighter catapult ship Ariguani, but the Ariguani was torpedoed and damaged by U-83 two days later. The Ariguani was abandoned, but later re-boarded and towed to Gibraltar. The survivors from Carsbreck were picked up by HMS Campion, were transferred to HMS Vidette and were taken to Gibraltar. [2]