Daily Event for August 13, 2011

Built at Swan Hunter in 1918 the cargo ship City of Brisbane was owned by the Ellerman Line, but operated by Ellerman's Hall Line of Liverpool. She was launched on Oct. 19, 1917 and completed in March of 1918, on August 13, 1918 she was in the English Channel about 8 miles SSE of Brighton, England when she was located and sunk by SMS UB-57. I don't have any details about the sinking or how the survivors were landed. Fortunately none of the crew were lost. Somewhere in an archive there must be statements from the survivors, so the British side of the story must be documented, however the German side will never be known.

Following the sinking UB-57, under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Johannes Lohs, began the return voyage to Zeebrugge, Lohs sent a radio signal at 2215 on Aug. 14 stating his intentions to return and giving his route. He was going to move through a channel that had been swept, an hour later a signal was sent to him letting him know that an escort had been arranged, however he did not respond. It was not until eight days later when his body and the bodies of some of the other crewmen washed up on the Belgium coast that the fate of UB-57 was learned, the boat hit a mine and sank with all hands.

Ellerman built another City of Brisbane in 1920, her fate was also to be a war loss, she was sunk by German aircraft in the Thames Estuary on Aug. 4, 1940.
© 2011 Michael W. Pocock

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