Louis Shield 1939

N50 15.800 W3 52.200

The Louis Sheid was a large ship of 6057 tons, 418ft with a beam of 55ft. She was built in 1920 by Nord Werft of Wesermunde as the Ultor for the Rickmers Line before being renamed Kendal Castle for the James Chambers Lancashire Shipping Company of Liverpool, and then finally named again Louis Sheid for the Belgian National Shipping Line. On December 8th 1939 she was being chased by U47 captained by Gunher Prien who had just been presented with the Knights Cross for sinking HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow.

She was homeward bound from Buenos Aires to Antwerp with a cargo of grain, hides, tobacco and honey maned by a crew of forty-six. As a neutral Belgium ship and large marking on the side” BELGIE” she should not have been a target for the Germans. She was also carrying 62 crew and passengers from the “Tajandoen” that U47 had also sunk earlier. In order to try and escape U47 she sailed close to the Devon Coast but with a southerly gale, eventually hit the rocks at Thurlstone. The Salcombe lifeboat was launched and landed the survivors at Hope Cove        Her remains are in the bay near Leas Foot

Nationality:         belgian
Type:     cargo ship
Propulsion:         steam
Date built:           1920
Tonnage:             6057  grt
Dimensions:       127.6 x 16.95 x 8.9 m
Material:              steel
Engine:                 1 x 3-cyl. triple expansion engine, single shaft, 1 screw
Power:                  580  n.h.p.
Speed:  10  knots
Yard no.:              170
IMO/Off. no.:     108