SS Clearton

SS Clearton was a 5,219 gross register tons (GRT) British cargo steamship. She was built in 1919 by Richardson, Duck and Company, Stockton-on-Tees for the shipping firm of R. Chapman & Son, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Her homeport was Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Name: SS Clearton
Operator: R. Chapman & Son, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Builder: Richardson, Duck and Company, Stockton-on-Tees
Completed: September 1919
Fate: sunk 1 July 1940
General characteristics
Tonnage: 5,219 GRT
Capacity: 7,320 tons
Crew: 34

Career and loss

In the Second World War she sailed in convoys, carrying food supplies to the United Kingdom. Her last convoy, SL-36, took her from Rosario, Argentina to Manchester, via Freetown, Sierra Leone, where she arrived on 15 June 1940. She was carrying a cargo of 7,320 tons of cereals, commanded by her Master, John Edward Elsdon.

At 1155 hours on 1 July 1940 German submarine U-102 torpedoed and damaged Clearton about 180 miles west of Ushant. The ship fell behind the convoy and at 1325 hours U-102 torpedoed her again, sinking her 042° 240 miles from Smalls. Eight crew members were lost out of a total complement of 34. The Admiralty-modified W-class destroyer HMS Vansittart sank the submarine, rescued Clearton's Master, 24 crew members and one DEMS gunner, and brought the survivors to Plymouth.


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