Bristol City (1920)

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The Bristol City

Bristol City was the third of three British cargo steamers of that name built for the Bristol City Line that plied the route between Bristol and North America. The ship was sunk by a torpedo fired by German submarine U-358 while travelling as part of a convoy in the North Atlantic in 1943.


Bristol City was built by Charles Hill & Sons Ltd. of Bristol in 1920. The ship was of 2,864 gross register tons (GRT), made of steel, and had one 3-cylinder triple expansion engine with a single shaft and one screw. She made 10 knots.[1]


Bristol City at Canons Marsh Wharf, Bristol, 1938.

The ship would have plied the service between Bristol and North America which the Bristol City Line started in 1879 and continued until the 1970s.[2] During the Second World War she was damaged by a bomb in December 1940 while in the Albion Dockyard. After repairs, the ship sailed under Captain Webb OBE and she was part of convoys of merchant ships across the Atlantic.


In April 1943, Bristol City joined Convoy ONS 5 (outward, northbound, slow) from Britain to North America. The convoy was made up of 42 ships, of which 12 or 13 were sunk after the convoy came under sustained attack from German U-boats hunting in packs.[3] On 5 May at 02:25, Bristol City was south of Greenland and east of Newfoundland when she was sunk by a torpedo fired by German submarine U-358, under the command of Rolf Manke. Fifteen of the 44 people on board died.[4] Manke fatally damaged Wentworth not long after. HMS Loosestrife picked up the survivors from both ships who were landed at St Johns in Newfoundland.[5]


  1. ^ SS Bristol City (+1943). Wrecksite. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  2. ^ Pride of Bristol - the Bristol City Line.[permanent dead link] Bristol Post, 17 November 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  3. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Convoy battles ONS-5". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Bristol City". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  5. ^ Malcolm, Ian M. (2013). Shipping Company Losses of the Second World War. Stroud: History Press. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-7509-5371-9.

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Coordinates: 54°00′N 43°55′W / 54.000°N 43.917°W / 54.000; -43.917