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SS Loreto (1912)
Career (France, Italy)
Name: Astrée (1912–33)
Loreto (1933–42)
Owner: G Lamy & Cie, Caen (1912–33)
Giovanni Longobardo (1933–34)
Giuseppe Parisi (1935)
Achille Lauro (1937–42)
Operator: Société Navale Caennaise (1912–33)
Lauro Lines (1933–42)
Port of registry: France Caen
Kingdom of Italy Naples
Builder: Sunderland Shipbuilding Co, Sunderland
Yard number: 268
Completed: 1912
Identification:

Italian official number 390
code letters NWHE (1933)
ICS November.svgICS Whiskey.svgICS Hotel.svgICS Echo.svg
call sign IPOK (from 1934)

ICS India.svgICS Papa.svgICS Oscar.svgICS Kilo.svg
Fate: sunk by torpedo, 1942
General characteristics
Tonnage: 1,069 GRT
tonnage under deck 864
427 NRT
Length: 223.0 ft (68.0 m)
Beam: 33.0 ft (10.1 m)
Depth: 13.8 ft (4.2 m)
Installed power: 127 NHP
Propulsion: 3-cylinder triple-expansion steam engine; single screw
Speed: 11 knots (20 km/h)

SS Loreto, formerly Astrée, was a 1,069 GRT cargo steamship that was built in England in 1912 for French owners and bought in 1933 by Italian owners who renamed her Loreto. In 1942 a Royal Navy submarine sank her in the Tyrrhenian Sea, killing 130 British Indian Army prisoners of war who were aboard.

Building and career[]

The Sunderland Shipbuilding Company of Sunderland, County Durham built the ship in 1912 as Astrée for G Lamy et Compagnie of Caen, France. She was managed for G Lamy by the Société Navale Caennaise. In 1933 Italian owners bought her, renamed her Loreto and appointed Lauro Lines to manage her.[1] She passed through at least two individual owners[2][3][4] until by 1937 Lauro Lines itself owned the ship.[5]

The ship had a three-cylinder triple-expansion steam engine built by the North Eastern Marine Engineering Company of Newcastle.[3] It developed 127 NHP, drove a single screw[3] and gave the ship a speed of 11 knots (20 km/h).[1]

Loss[]

On 9 October the UK Government Code and Cypher School intercepted an enemy signal about Loreto and transmitted an Ultra warning:

"Loreto will sail from Tripoli at 9.00 a.m. of the 9th, speed 7 knots, and should arrive to Naples at 07.30 a.m. of the 13th. It will transport 350 POWs."[6]

On 13 October 1942 Loreto was in the Tyrrhenian Sea about 8 nautical miles (15 km) west of Capo Gallo, near Palermo, Sicily.[1] At 1732 hrs the British U-class submarine HMS Unruffled torpedoed and sank her, killing 130 British Indian Army POWs who were on the cargo ship.[6] Unruffled may not have received the signal, or she may not have identified Loreto before firing.

See also[]

  • Sebastiano Veniero, an Italian merchant ship that a Royal Navy submarine sank in December 1941, killing at least 300 UK and Dominion PoWs.
  • Nino Bixio, an Italian cargo ship that a Royal Navy submarine sank in August 1942, killing 336 UK, Dominion and Allied PoWs.
  • Scillin, an Italian cargo ship that a Royal Navy submarine sank in November 1942, killing 830 Allied PoWs.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Vleeggert, Nico (12 March 2014). "SS Loreto (+1942)". WreckSite. wrecksite.eu. http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?156598. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  2. Lloyd's Register, Steamships and Motor Ships. London: Lloyd's Register. 1932. http://www.plimsollshipdata.org/pdffile.php?name=32b1049.pdf. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Lloyd's Register, Steamships and Motor Ships. London: Lloyd's Register. 1933. http://www.plimsollshipdata.org/pdffile.php?name=33b0539.pdf. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  4. Lloyd's Register, Steamships and Motor Ships. London: Lloyd's Register. 1935. http://www.plimsollshipdata.org/pdffile.php?name=35b0504.pdf. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  5. Lloyd's Register, Steamships and Motor Ships. London: Lloyd's Register. 1937. http://www.plimsollshipdata.org/pdffile.php?name=37b0535.pdf. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Greene & Massignani 1994, p. 183

Sources[]

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