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Union JackUnited Kingdom
Name: Davara
Owner: Mount Steam Fishing Co Ltd, Fleetwood[1]
Port of registry: Fleetwood, England[1]
Builder: Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby[1]
Yard number: 517[2]
Launched: 6 January 1912[2]
Completed: March 1912[1][2]
In service: 1912–1939[1][2]
Identification: FD 152[1]
Fate: Sunk by U-27 on 13 September 1939.[1][2]
General characteristics [1][2]
Tonnage: 291
Length: 130 ft (40 m)
Draught: 12.5 ft (3.8 m)
Propulsion: T.3-cyl by Charles D. Holmes & Co Ltd, Hull
Crew: 12

Davara was a British steam trawler during World War II that was sunk by the German submarine U-27. On 6 January 1912, the ship was launched from Selby by the shipbuilding company Cochrane & Sons Ltd. The ship's owner, Mount Steam Fishing Co Ltd. christened her Davara. By March 1912, the trawler was registered and completed and in 1914 she was requisitioned by the British Royal Navy for service in World War I and fitted out for mine sweeping activities. Having survived World War I, she was returned to her owners in 1919 and served as a trawler once more until 13 September 1939 when she was sunk by 35 rounds from U-27's main deck gun. The 12 man crew managed to escape the submarine in a lifeboat while the Davara later sunk at 14:55 from the damage inflicted by U-27's gunfire. Her crew remained in the water "baling and rowing" for five hours before they were picked up by the steamer Willowpool and safely made landfall. Davara was the first British trawler to be sunk by enemy action in World War II.

Construction and design[edit]

Davara was constructed in the city of Selby by the shipbuilder Cochrane & Sons Ltd. On 6 January 1912, the trawler was launched from yard number 517. Christened the Davara by the ship's owner Mount Steam Fishing Co Ltd. she was registered in the port of Fleetwood on 6 March 1912 and completed sometime later that same month.[1] Her official number was 132409 and she had a net tonnage of 116 while her gross tonnage was 291.[2][3] The trawler was 130 feet (40 m) from bow to stern and she had a draught of 12.5 feet (3.8 m) and a breadth of 23.5 feet (7.2 m). Her engine consisted of a T.3-cyl from the company C. D. Holmes & Co Ltd.[1][2]


Early service[edit]

Following completion and registration, Davara began fishing off of the coast of Ireland and Great Britain. Her service as a trawler continued for about two years uninterrupted before she was requisitioned for war service by the British Navy and fitted out for mine sweeping duties In November 1914 as World War I was just beginning. Davara managed to survive the war unharmed and she was returned to Mount Steam Fishing Co Ltd. in 1919. The vessel returned to trawling duties soon after. On 7 August 1930, the trawler was grounded on "Tiger’s Tail" during an approach to Wyre Dock in Fleetwood. She was soon re-floated and safely proceeded into the dock.[2]


On 12 September 1939, Davara left Fleetwood for a routine fishing trip off of the west coast of Ireland under the command of Skipper William Boyles. A day later on 13 September, the German submarine U-27 spotted the trawler about 21 nautical miles (39 km; 24 mi) North West by North of Tory Island near Donegal, Ireland.[4] U-27 then began shelling Davara. A total of 35 rounds were fired at the trawler and despite suffering damage, the Skipper of the trawler managed to get a lifeboat into the water and the entire crew of the ship abandoned ship.[4]

The shelling of the crew-less Davara continued a further thirty minutes. The shelling stopped at 14:55 with Davara's sinking. The crew of the trawler who had abandoned ship earlier remained in the lifeboat for a further five hours. They were eventually picked up by the West Hartlepool steamer Willowpool and taken to the safety of the shore.[4] The sinking of Davara marked the first time that a British trawler was to be sunk in World War II by an enemy submarine. Davara was the 17th ship sunk by a German submarine in World War II.[2][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Helgason, Guðmundur. "Davara (Steam trawler)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "S.T. Davara FD152". fleetwood-trawlers.info. Archived from the original on 5 September 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "Plimsoll ship data". the Lloyds Register searchable database. Plimsollshipdata.org. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "First Trawler Loss of WWII". fleetwood-trawlers.info. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ship losses by month - September 1939". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 

Coordinates: 55°31′15″N 8°37′57″W / 55.52083°N 8.63250°W / 55.52083; -8.63250