An Emotive WW2 Atlantic Convoy Casualty Group of 3 awarded to Donkeyman George Harrison, Merchant Navy, who was Killed in Action on the 5th May 1943, Convoy ONS-5, when the S.S. Lorient was torpedoed by U-125 just south of Greenland comprising, 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, 1939-45 War Medal, unnamed as issued, Condolence/Bestowal slip (George Harrison) and box of issue. Lightly toned very fine.
George Harrison’s medals were sent to Mrs M.A. Harrison, 12, Hungerford Street, Stepney, London E1. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, there are 4 men in either the Royal or Merchant Navy who died in WW2, however, only Donkeyman George Harrison of the S.S. Lorient has the next of kin of a Mrs M.A. Harrison of Whitechapel/Stepney London E1.
The S.S. Lorient was completed in September 1921 as the vessel French Lorient for Compagnie Delmas-Vieljeux, Paris. On the 18th February 1941, the Vichy French ship was captured by the British Ocean Boarding Vessel H.M.S Marsdale west of the Canary Islands and was taken to Gibraltar, where she was taken over by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT).
As the British cargo ship S.S. Lorient she sailed from London on the 10th April 1943, on a voyage in ballast to New York. She called at Oban and left there on the 22nd April in Convoy ONS-5, but no subsequent information was received. The ship carried a crew of 41 and five gunners.
She was torpedoed by U-125, Kapitanleutnant Ulrich Folkers, on the 4th of May 1943. The position was south of Cape Farewell, Greenland. All the crew were killed.
On the night of the 6th May the destroyer, H.M.S. Oribi located U-125 in a heavy fog with its radar set just before 03.00hrs and rammed her while doing some 20 knots. The U-Boat was severely damaged and the British believed her sunk.
But U-125 survived and at 03.31 Folkers radioed U-Boat Command (BdU) with an urgent request for help and U-552, U-381, U-413 and U-260 were ordered to assist. The boats searched for the damaged U-125 until the morning of the 7th.
The Corvette H.M.S. Snowflake got a radar contact at 03.54 and had soon closed to 100 meters. The starlights were turned on and revealed a heavily damaged U-Boat which was apparently sinking. The Corvette tried to ram but the U-Boat escaped the turn. The crew of U-125 scuttled their boat with 5 explosive charges whilst alongside H.M.S. Snowflake and then waited in the water to be rescued. Another Corvette, H.M.S. Sunflower had by this time reached the scene, the Commander of Sunflower radioed the escort commander, H.M.S. Tay but was given the shocking reply “Not approved to pick up survivors “. The two Corvettes turned away leaving the men in the water.
Sold with U-boat information and copy photograph of Kplt. Folkers.