A Battle of The Atlantic casualty group of three awarded to Donkeyman Ralph F. Hyams, MV Cordelia, torpedoed by U-632 on the 3rd February 1943, comprising 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, 1939-45 War Medal, unnamed as issued with Condolence/Bestowal slip (Ralph F. Hyams) and box of issue. Very fine.
Ralph Hyams served in the Merchant Navy as a Donkeyman and was killed on the MV Cordelia on 3rd February 1943. He was 34 and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial. The MV Cordelia was a tanker weighing 8,190 tonnes which was torpedoed south of Iceland and sunk with the loss of all but one of her crew of 47. She was sailing from New York to The Clyde with a cargo of 12,000 tonnes of Admiralty fuel oil. At 21.54 hours on 3 Feb 1943 the unescorted Cordelia (Master Edward Marshall), a straggler from convoy HX-224, was torpedoed and sunk south of Iceland. The master, 37 crew members and eight gunners were lost. The sole survivor, chief engineer I.C. Bingham, was taken prisoner by the U-boat and carelessly mentioned convoy SC-118 which was reported to the BdU. The convoy was subsequently attacked with the loss of nine ships. The survivor, Bingham, was landed at Brest on 14 February and was taken to the German POW camp Milag Nord.
MV Cordelia was sunk by U-632 (captained by Oblt Hans Karpf). Cordelia was the first ship sunk by U-632. It sunk its second ship on 6th April 1943 (Blitar) but was in turn sunk on the same day by depth charges dropped from a British B-24 Liberator bomber from 86 Squadron. All hands (48 in total) were lost. U-632 was a Type VII C boat and Karpf was its only commander. Karpf was born in Saarbrucken in May 1916 and was only 26 when he was killed. His wife had given birth to a daughter two weeks before Karpf was killed in action.