On This Day (18th March) – WW2 Shipwreckollections
The SS Nariva (1920-1943) and the SS Southern Princess (1915-1943)
The SS Nariva and the SS Southern Princess were in the middle of convoy HX-229 travelling from New York to Liverpool when attacked by two German U-Boats, U-91 and U-600 on 18 March 1943.
U-600 initially fired four torpedoes into the convoy, hitting both vessels. The Southern Princess caught fire and sank that morning, with 96 survivors being picked up by the Tekoa and the loss of four souls.
As the Nariva lagged towards the rear of the convoy, U-91 fired yet more missiles, finally sinking it. None of the ships complement were lost and all picked up by the HMS Anemone.
All rescued crews of both ships made it back to land.
The crew of the Nariva were landed at Greenock, where the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society provided 82 survivors with £542/5/2s worth of financial support. That’s the equivalent of £22,257.16 in today’s money.
The crew of the Southern Princess were landed at Liverpool, where the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society provided 64 survivors with £565/5/8s worth of financial support. That’s the equivalent of £23,202.22 in today’s money.
The battles around convoy HX 229 and another convoy, SC 122, during March 1943 was the largest convoy battle of World War II and was another key part of the Battle of the Atlantic.
Picture courtesy of the Library of Contemporary History in Stuttgart