HMS Stockforce 1917
HMS Stockforce was a Q Ship also known as a Decoy Vessel. They were heavily armed Merchant Ships where all the guns were concealed until they had the chance to open fire on the submarines attacking them. Often the German submarines would surface to sink the ships with their deck gun in order to save their torpedo’s. At this point it made the submarines an ideal target for the Q Ships.
HMS Stockforce was one of the Q Ship’s successes as it sank the submarine UB98 on 30/7/1918. She had been torpedo’s in the action and subsequently sank. The Q Ships often carried a cargo of wood which also made them difficult to sink often forcing the U-Boats to surface to finish them off..
HMS Stockforce was built in 1917 by the Dundee Shipbuilding Company and was owned by the British Admiralty. She had a gross Tonnage of 732 and was 62m long, 10m wide. Her armaments were 2 x 4 inch guns
For his part in the action her Captain, Harold Auten was awarded the ‘Victoria Cross’ which is the most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He subsequently wrote a book on Q Ships in 1919 called ‘Q-Ship Adventures.
The latest assumed position of the wreck is 50:08.98 003:59.94 some 7 miles south west of Bolt Tail in 62m of water. Until recently the exact position of the wreck has not been known.
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