Location of Sinking
Eric Smith of Polperro Cornwall gave comprehensive information for The Strathallan Story and U-562 which can be found throughout this web site.
He pinpointed the exact location where the Strathallan is lying on the ocean bed 36Æ 52’ North 00Æ 34’ West which is off the coast of Algiers in The Mediterranean Sea. Eric gives the exact date & time as 21st December 1942 at 0231hrs from British records.
German records state Capt. H. Hamm’s torpedo hit Strathallan 0223hrs 21st December 1942 in German map grid position CH8171 which is the same as British records.
An interesting story of a hour lapse was cleared up after 60yrs. Survivor Jim Gormley said that he could swear on a stack of bibles that the torpedo struck at 0130hrs, he was up to his waist in water looking at a clock that had stopped on torpedo impact. He was correct in one sense Eric Smith solved the enigma.
We quote his words “During the war there was such a thing as double summertime but as the time quoted by both Allied and German records are in GMT. It would seem that the ships clock was 1hr behind for that international zone and never reset”.
Basically there was human frailty in not changing times on G deck where Jim Gormley was billeted. An Agatha Christie mystery which put Jims mind at rest after 60yrs.