Bell Island, Newfoundland, in Conception Bay, is home to four incredible WWII wrecks.
These little-known Nazi German attacks on Canadian shores in 1942 shook the Allies and made it clear that even the Atlantic Ocean would not be large enough to stop the Germans if Britain fell.
On September 5, 1942, the German U-boat U-513 torpedoed and sank the British steamship SS Saganaga at Bell Island, Conception Bay, Newfoundland. She was anchored, waiting for orders to set sail for North Sydney with a cargo of iron ore. U-513 had slid into the bay after dark and was waiting for the right moment to strike. The next morning, at 11:07 a.m., she launched her first salvo of two torpedoes. However, in the excitement of their first action, the torpedo men forgot to turn on the battery switch, and the torpedoes sank to the sea floor. They could still be present with their lethal cargo of 500 pounds of explosives.
The U-513 quickly fired two more torpedoes, which easily hit their target. At 11:07 a.m., the first ‘fish’ struck about amidships on the portside, and the second ‘fish’ quickly followed, sending the Saganaga beneath the waves in less than thirty seconds. She was crewed by 48 men, including three naval gunners. Nineteen members of the crew were later reported missing.