SS Volo

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Name: SS Volo
Operator: Ellerman´s Wilson Line Ltd, Hull
Builder: Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Newcastle upon Tyne
Launched: 1938
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk on 28 December 1941
General characteristics
Class and type: Cargo Vessel
Tonnage: 1,587 tons
Crew: 38

The SS Volo was a cargo vessel built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1938 for Ellerman´s Wilson Line Ltd, of Hull. She was homeported in Hull.

Career and sinking

During the Second World War she took part in a number of convoys, mainly from the UK to the Mediterranean. One convoy took her from Egypt to Malta, departing Alexandria on 9 July. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Dainty, HMS Jervis, HMS Juno and HMS Diamond, and travelled in company with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Plumleaf and the merchant ship SS Cornwall. On 30 July the ships came under heavy air attack and the SS Cornwall was badly damaged. On 1 September Dainty and Diamond were detached to escort the Volo and Plumleaf to port.

Her last voyage was as part of Convoy ME-8 in December 1941, from Tobruk to Alexandria, empty apart from her ballast. She was commanded by her Master, George Ronald Whitfield. The convoy was attacked in the early morning of 28 December by U-75. The U-boat reported two ships sunk and another damaged. This was the last radio message from the U-boat, which was sunk after a two and half hour hunt by the convoy escorts HMS Legion and HMS Kipling. However the only ship hit was the Volo, which had been torpedoed and sunk about 45 miles (80 km) northwest of Mersa Matruh, Egypt. Out of her crew of 38, the master, 20 crew members and three gunners were lost. Nine crew members and five gunners were picked up by the British landing craft HMS LCT-11 and taken to Alexandria.