MV Fishpool – sunk 23rd July 1943

M.V. Fishpool was apparently an unlucky ship. She was bombed in the  North Atlantic  in November 1940 on her maiden voyage.  Captain Hill, 10 officers and 16 men were killed. She was abandoned and eventually towed back to the Clyde.

On 9th May 1941 she was bombed whilst in Barrow.

 The Fishpool was bombed again, set alight and sank by German aircraft in July 1943. She was carrying 1,000 tons of aviation spirit and 4,000 tons of munitions.

MV Fishpool
MV Fishpool sunk 25th July 1943, Syracuse, Sicily

The following is courtesy of Tony Wilding:

SS FISHPOOL (2), 4,950grt, built 1940, (ON. 160785) Sunk in an air raid at Syracuse on the 26th July 1943 while discharging ammunition and aviation spirit brought from Alexandria killing 23 crew and 5 DEMS gunners. 18 survived. Earlier in the war on the 14th November 1940 the Fishpool had been sailing from the Tyne to Vancouver in ballast when she was hit by seven incendiary bombs South-West of Rockall killing several crew. The ship was abandoned and one lifeboat with 15 crew was never seen again. The ship was taken in tow and repaired. Also on the 9th May 1941 while loading stores at Barrow-in-Furness the ship was again damaged by a parachute mine, which detonated next to the ship killing 2 crew.


6 thoughts on “MV Fishpool – sunk 23rd July 1943

  1. My Father Paul Antoine Pfisterer (Swiss father) was one of those unlucky crew who perished on 23rd July 1943, he missed his own ship and was put on the Fishpool only days before it sunk. he was 34 years old. Through the internet in the last few years I have finally been able to know what actually happen to him on that fateful day, I was only four years old when he was killed.

    • Thanks for getting in touch Joan. If you have any information about Fishpool or any further details about what happened that I haven’t included, please let me know and I will update the site.

    • Adrienne

      Thanks for the comment. I wonder if your grandfather was Canadian at the time he was on the ship or gained Canadian citizenship later? The reason I ask is I have read somewhere that some MV gunners were Canadian. My own great uncle on my mother’s side emigrated to Canada and joined a Canadian regiment. He then fought in the First World War and was killed in France. His descendants moved to Buffalo.

  2. The photograph is not of the 1940 Fishpool. It is of the Fishpool built in 1912 by Ropner & Sons Ltd, sold in 1938 and renamed Atlantic Scout. She ran aground at Cap Gris Nez 8 January 1940, refloated on 9 January 1940 and beached at Boulogne where she remained throughout the war. The wreck was finally destroyed by explosives in 1949.

    • Bob

      Thanks for this – I would never have known it otherwise! If you have an image of the ship that my uncle was on, I would be extremely grateful. I am going to Sicily in May to visit his grave, the first relative to do so I believe.

      Bob Cummings

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