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Photo. City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-2711


Built: 1919

Tonnage: 5,293 / 8,350 tons

Cargo: 6,280 tons of coal 

Route: Barry - Milford Haven - Freetown

Sunk 10 NOV 42 by U-128 on pos. 13° 12'N 27° 27'W

2 Dead

45 Survivors

Launched as War Warbler for The Shipping Controller, completed in June 1919 as Bretwalda for Hall Brothers SS Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 1935 renamed Start Point for Gowan Shipping Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 1937 sold to Cereal Trade & Shipping Co Ltd, London.

At 14.02 hours on 10 Nov 1942 the unescorted Start Point (Master David George Evans), dispersed from convoy ON-141, was hit amidships by one of two stern torpedoes from U-128 and sank by the bow southwest of the Cape Verde Islands after being hit near the bridge by a coup de grâce at 14.21 hours.

The Germans questioned the survivors in two lifeboats and were told that the master went down with the ship. The chief officer George S. Johnson and chief engineer J.O. Jones were taken prisoner, transferred to U-462 (Vowe) the same day, landed at St. Nazaire on 7 December and taken to the POW camp Milag Nord. One crewman died in one of the lifeboats. 38 crew members and seven gunners were picked up after 12 days by the British steam merchant Eskdalegate and landed at Pernambuco.

According to the second officer, the master and the chief officer were raving drunk and obnoxious most of the time and the conditions on board appalling. Apparently the master fell overboard when leaving the ship and drowned. He also claims that the chief officer was responsible for losing the motor lifeboat through his incompetency and that he tried to convince the other survivors to tell the Germans that the second officer is the chief officer.

By Start Point (British Steam merchant) - Ships hit by German U-boats during WWII -



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