S.S. Nerissa, the Final Crossing

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S.S. Nerissa, the Final Crossing
S.S. Nerissa, the Final Crossing cover.jpg
Author William Dziadyk
Country Canada
Publisher Independently published
Publication date 2019
Media type Print
ISBN 978-1704113821
S.S. Nerissa, the Final Crossing: The Amazing True Story of the Loss of a Canadian Troopship in the North Atlantic tells the story of the S.S. Nerissa, the only ship transporting Canadian troops which was lost to enemy action during the entire Second World War. Sailing independently, not in escorted convoys, she was sunk by U-552 on 30 April 1941 but the details were highly classified until almost 50 years after the sinking.

The tragic loss of this ship resulted in the third largest loss of life for a ship sunk by U-boats in the approaches to the British Isles. The deaths of 81 Merchant Navy seamen, 98 Canadian, British and Norwegian forces (including three members of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals), 11 American Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) pilots and 17 civilian passengers touched not only Canadian families at the time, but also many families in the allied nations and the neutral United States. Yet, the loss of the S.S. Nerissa is hardly mentioned in official war records or by historians … and the tragic human losses are largely unknown to our current generation.

This book aims to flesh out the events that led up to the sinking by U-552 (Erich Topp) and to include eye witness accounts from many of those that survived and some stories of those that perished. After so many years, their stories still deserve to be told. Much of the material is based on the analysis of: testimony, recollections and/or official reports taken from survivors; and Canadian, British and German source documents which have since been declassified.[1]

The book is available for purchase from Amazon (link).


  1. Amazon