Captain George King, who has died aged 92, was a midshipman of the Blue Funnel Line when he helped fight a U-boat for two days in late 1942.
King was serving in the Nederlandsche Stoomvart Oceaan’s Polydorus, manned by Dutch and British officers, on passage from Liverpool via the Cape to Egypt, loaded with war stores, and commanded by Dutch Captain Hermanus Brouwer.
Polydorus was steaming unescorted at 15 knots, a fast ship for her era, when she was detected by the German submarine U-176 under command of Kapitänleutnant Reiner Dierksen. Little did Dierksen know that he had run into one of his most stubborn victims of the war.
King first became aware of the presence of a U-boat when he saw two torpedoes explode prematurely some distance away. Brouwer called his ship’s company to action stations and commenced a wide zigzag, but no further attack developed during the day until that evening,...
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