SS Centurion

Centurion was a British ship of 5,495 gross registered tons.  On her last voyage her name was covered and she flew no flags.  She had a crew of 44.

U-20 torpedoed the ship after 1:45 p.m. German time (12:25 Greenwich Mean Time) off the coast of County Wexford, Ireland.  The day had been foggy and Kapitanleutnant Walther Schwieger did not want the ship to escape into the fog again and had been too impatient to wait for Pilot Lanz to identify the nationality of the ship before he ordered the torpedo fired.

The torpedo hit the ship under the foremast and Centurion began to sink.  The crew abandoned ship.  An hour later, the small steamer was still afloat and the U-20 surfaced to finish the job.  Schwieger ordered a second torpedo fired to ensure that the ship sank.  This torpedo hit the ship’s bow.  Schwieger did not wait to see the ship sink and left the scene.

References:
“County Wexford.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. 28 April 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/County_Wexford>

Hickey, Des and Gus Smith.  Seven Days to Disaster.  G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1982.

“WWI U-boat Successes:  Ships hit by U-20.”  Uboat.net.  Online.  <http://uboat.net/wwi/boats/successes/u20.html>.

 

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