March 12, 2009
Subject: "rescue info"
today I found your site and was surprised over the things one can find.
for I was browsing the internet looking for information about a couple of Dutch merchant navy ships a nephew of my sailed in, I came across the fact that when he was torpedoed south-west of cape town, they were rescued by an Australian destroyer.
can you find out what ship that was and maybe some facts about the rescue?
the name of the Dutch ship was the "Gaasterkerk" she was torpedoed on the 8th of October 1942 in pos. 34.2 south and 18.10 east.
the whole crew was saved and put ashore in cape town, that's all I know of the event.
I hope you have something for me, I'm making a short story about my nephew's life during WWII as merchant-day sailor.
thanks in advance for your effort.
regards sven harmenzon email@example.com
09 October 1942
HMAS NIZAM and HMS FOXHOUND, (destroyers), picked up survivors from the Dutch ship GAASTERKERK, torpedoed off Cape Town by German submarines
09 October 1942
Gaasterkerk was sunk by U-Boat U-68:
SHIPS SUNK (9) - (56,330 TONS) - Fifth Patrol (20 August 1942 - 6 December 1942) Name Nationality Tonnage Date
ss TREVELLEY British 5,296 12 September 1942
ss BREEDIJK Dutch 6,861 15 September 1942
ss KOUMOUNDOUROS Greek 3,598 8 October 1942
ss SARTHE British 5,271 8 October 1942
ss GAASTERKERK Dutch 8,679 8 October 1942
ss SWIFTSURE American 8,207 8 October 1942
ss EXAMELIA American 4,981 9 October 1942
ss BELGIAN FIGHTER Belgian 5,403 9 October 1942
ss CITY OF CAIRO British 8,034 6 November 1942
Metens's five patrols in U-68 sunk a total of 27 (confirmed) allied merchant ships at a total tonnage of 170,151 tons.
U-68, under the command of Albert Lauzemis, was sunk north west of Madeira, Portugal on 10th April 1944 by aircraft from the USS GUADALCANAL. Lauzemis and 55 crew members died. There was only one survivor.
Courtesy of Louis M. Bonicelli
This is a piece of one of the ballast tanks that floated up when the U-68 was sunk. The tanks were pulled aboard the ship, cut up, and made into "paperweights".
Gaasterkerk (1) 1922 built by Scheepsbouw Mij. De Nieuwe Waterweg, Schiedam | ex- Gaasterdijk 1922 built for Holland Amerika Lijn (HAL), 1931 purchased renamed Gaasterkerk, 1933 rebuilt 8,679 BRT, 1942 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U 68 in Indian Ocean. 8,373
See "HMAS Nizam" and "HMAS Nizam Memorial at Cape Leeuwin"
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