6th May 1941
– HMS Camito torpedoed

camitoOn 1st May 1941 the Italian tanker Sangro, a blockade runner, was captured by the British ocean boarding vessel HMS Cavina in the north Atlantic. She was then escorted to the UK by the ocean boarding vessel HMS Camito (F 77) (A/Cdr Barnet, RNR). The German U-boat U-97 had spotted the two ships on 5th May, west-southwest of Cape Clear, but had problems keeping contact in heavy seas and bad visibility. A first attack at 02.02 hours on 6th May 1941 with a spread of two torpedoes and a stern torpedo missed the British vessel. Then at 02.40 she was hit just aft of amidships by another torpedo, but continued at slow speed. U-97 then chased the tanker, which caught fire after being hit by one torpedo. The submarine’s captain thought that Camito might be a Q-ship and left the badly-damaged ship, which later sank: six officers and 22 ratings were lost. The survivors of both ships were later picked up by HMS Orchis and landed at Greenock.

Camito 1915Camito had been completed in June 1915 by Stephen’s of Glasgow, for Elders & Fyffes. She was 426 feet long with a service speed of 14 knots, 6,833grt. She had also been requisitioned in the Great War and commissioned as an escort vessel. In World War II she was commissioned in September 1940 and had been defensively armed with two 6-in guns and an anti-aircraft gun.