The PLM-27 is the shallowest of the four World War II Bell Island Shipwrecks. It is easiest to access, provides the longest bottom times, and is suitable for all levels of divers. It is the only Bell Island shipwreck to have an intact propeller and it receives the most light, making for unbelievable photo opportunities.
If you are interested in exploring this Bell Island wreck, please see our Wreck-Reation tour.
The steam ship PLM 27 - PLM was an acronym for Paris-Lyon-Marseilles - operated under the Free French Forces of General Charles De Gaulle during the Second World War. She was the second ship to be sent to her watery grave on the morning of November 2, 1942. U-518 had just sunk the SS Rose Castle and now had her sights on the PLM 27. Sending a single torpedo towards her, she was hit amidships on her port side and sank in less than a minute, sending twelve crew members to their graves. Survivors were picked up ashore at Lance Cove, Bell Island, located only a few hundred yards away. Residents of the island were shaken from their beds early this Sunday morning and were reminded of the earlier attack on two ore carriers in September. Parents dressed themselves and their children in their ‘Sunday Best’, anxiously awaiting the land invasion of German forces they thought was about to happen, but fortunately was never to occur.
The Wolf, U-518, swiftly set out to open sea after leaving its deadly cargo of torpedoes in the hulls of the ill-fated Rose Castle and PLM 27 but, as was to befall over 85% of the U-Boats in operation, she was to meet her deadly fate at the hands of allied forces on April 22, 1945, Northwest of the Azores. She was lost with all hands.
Being a Free French ship, the PLM 27 carried a multinational crew of not only Frenchmen, but also Vietnamese, Egyptians, and other French colonials. A dilemma occurred when time came to bury the deceased crew members, there being only Catholic and Protestant cemeteries locally and special dispensations were required to intern all crew members. Later on, the French Government repatriated the unfortunate seamen accordingly.
photo credit: John Veber