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Canadian War Monument Commemorating Merchant Navy Vessels Lost in WW I and WWII (includes the Victolite)

The Sinking of the Victolite

When first researching information on this ship, I ran across theE.M.Clark which supposedly was the same ship. However, one thing the struck me was E.M. Clark was reportedly sunk on March 18, 1942, by German U-boat U-124. Other research indicated the Victolite was sunk by the German U-boat U 564. There are several websites that report the sinking of this ship on February 10, 1942, at the coordinates listed below. The British Columbia government website recognizes Mount Reid named after a seaman killed on the Victolite: "Named in memory of Canadian Merchant Navy Junior Engineer Officer John Royal ("Roy") Reid, from Notch Hill (near Salmon Arm); enlisted at Victoria in 1939, and served aboard several Canadian Merchant Navy ships; killed in action 10 February 1942 when his oil tanker "Victolite" - bound from Halifax to Las Piedras, South America - was torpedoed and sunk." Some reports indicate that there were 47 crewmen aboard and none survived.

A war diary by R.G. Payne, Lt.-Commander, USNR recorded at 2145 (time) that "S.S. VICTOLITE reported SSS and torpedoed at 36-12N; 67-14W. British time approx. 110130 GCT."

SS Victolite (11,410 GRT) Canadian Imperial Oil tanker was torpedoed & subsequently sunk northwest of Bermuda in position 36.12N, 067.14W, by gunfire from U-564, ObLtzS Reinhard Suhren, Knight's Cross, Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. There were no survivors from her crew of 47. Victolite was sailing in ballast alone from Halifax to Uruguay to load diesel fuel. The ship exploded when hit, due to the explosive vapors in her empty tanks.


Built: 1928 Sunk: Feb. 10, 1942
Type of Vessel: Tanker Owner: Imperial Oil Company, Toronto
Builder: Alexander Stephen & Sons Glasgow Power: Steam
Port of registry: Toronto Dimensions: 510' by 68'


Here is the location of the sinking: 36.12N/67.14W




A listing of the lost crew: Toal Crew Lost: 47, Listed Below: 46 (Source: Veterans Affairs Canada)

ARSENAULT Antoine J. 02/11/42 Boilermaker
BALL John Franklin 02/11/42 F/W
BELL Raymond 02/11/42 Storekeeper
BOURBONNAIS Philippe 02/11/42 A.B.
BOYNTON George William 02/11/42 O.S.
BUCKINGHAM Thomas J. 02/11/42 2nd Engineer
BURKE John Warren 02/11/42 A.B.
BURT George Charles 02/11/42 Engineer
CHISHOLM Edwin Macdonald 02/11/42 Engineer
CROSS Judson James 02/11/42 F/W
DAUPHINEE Wilfrid Eldon 02/11/42 O.S
DEMPSEY Graydon 02/11/42 F/W
DRISCOLL Kenneth 02/11/42 A.B.
ETTINGER Claude W. 02/11/42 3rd Mate
GEDDES Richard Cameron 02/11/42 3rd Engineer
GETSON Frederick 02/11/42 A.B.
GETSON Harold Frank 02/11/42 4th Mate
GOULET Jean Jacques 02/11/42 A.B.
HARRIES David Propert 02/11/42 1st Mate
HILCHEY Eugene A. 02/11/42 Pumpman
LATIMER Fraser H. 02/11/42 Engineer
LEE James C. 02/11/42 Chief Cook
MacMILLAN Peter 02/11/42 Chief Stewart
MARCHAND Arthur 02/11/42 A.B.
MARSHALL Francis 02/11/42 Chief Cook
MARTELL Gerard Roy 02/11/42 O.S.
MATTATALL Albert Lewis 02/11/42 Mess Boy
McCREA Victor 02/11/42 Mess Boy
MUNRO Neil 02/11/42 Chief Engineer
OUELLET Joseph Albert 02/11/42 2nd Mate
PHARAND Roger 02/11/42 Mess Boy
POLYGACH John 02/11/42 Wiper
POMMERELLE John Thomas 02/11/42 Bosun
RAYMOND Fred Charles 02/11/42 A.B.
REID Roy 02/11/42 Engineer
ROWLAND John Thomas 02/11/42 O.S.
SMITH Peter McLean 02/11/42 Master
SODERBERG Fritgof 02/11/42 Wiper
SPOFFORTH Thomas Joseph 02/11/42 5th Engineer
STONE Daniel Ralph 02/11/42 Wiper
STRATTON Reginald A. 02/11/42 Engineer
TAYLOR Frank G. 02/11/42 Chief Radio Officer
TAYLOR Samuel 02/11/42 2nd Cook
TOOKER Charles H. 02/11/42 Saloon Messman
VAUGHAN Owen Havelock 02/11/42 4th Engineer
WRIGHT Donald Albert 02/11/42 A.B.

A.B.=Able-Bodied Seaman
O.S.=Ordinary Seaman

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