Thistlegorm was built by Joseph Thompson & Sons of Sunderland and launched in June 1940. The Thistlegorm was powered by a triple-expansion, 3 cylinder steam engine that generated a very comfortable 365 nominal horsepower. She was one of a number of "Thistles" ships owned and operated by the Albyn Line. With her construction being part funded by the British Government, however, she was destined for war duties from the moment she was launched. The ship spent weeks at sea until they rounded South Africa and entered the Indian Ocean and points north. Waiting its turn to enter the Suez Canal, the Thistlegorm awaited its fate. Heinkel He 111's based in Crete were alerted that a troop transport ship, possibly the Queen Mary, was present in the area, and they were tasked to seek and destroy. At 2250 hours on 5th October 1941 two twin-engine Heinkels crossed the north Egyptian coast heading south-east in search of this prize. Aided by a clear moonlit night, they searched in vain for the big ship until fuel levels became critical. Then, just as they were on the point of returning home empty handed, one of the pilots spotted a ship at anchor. Turning away in order to put the aircraft in the best possible attacking position, the pilot turned again as he continued to lose altitude. He came in low over the sea and, as he approached the bows of the Thistlegorm, he released two bombs right over her bridge. The vessel began to sink, and the crew quickly abandoned ship.
The SS Thistlegorm sits mast and funnel above all others shipwrecks. The pulling power of this single vessel is such that she attracts more divers than any other underwater site, anywhere in the world. Since being rediscovered in the early nineties, the Thistlegorm has consistently remained "The World's Foremost Diving Attraction".
This unique card provides a detailed depiction of the bow of the Thistlegorm wreck. Each waterproof card is printed on both sides, made of durable PVC plastic and is designed to be taken on the dive. They are also 3-hole punched to fit in standard log books.
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