Extra: U-Boat Commander Apologizes for Sinking Ship! Later Attends Reunion! (You can’t make this stuff up.)

In 1984, Karl Merten was invited, and attended, a reunion of some of the survivors of the City of Cairo. (Most of those aboard the ship survived.) Seventeen survivors attended. Most had been small children when Merten torpedoed the ship. “We couldn’t have been sunk by a nicer man”, one of the survivors said.

Merten survived the war and ended up as a shipbuilder. He held the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and is the 7th highest scoring German U-Boat ace of World War Two. He died age eighty-seven in 2003.

Karl-Friedrich Merten meets some of the survivors.

1984 re-union aboard HMS Belfast.

(Left) Esther Langley nee Simms, (Center) Karl-Friedrich Merten, (Right) David Simms.

1984 re-union aboard HMS Belfast

[Images courtesy of SS City of Cairo.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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