Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of SSHSA Collection, University of Baltimore Library

Type:Steam merchant (Hog Island)
Tonnage5,101 tons
Completed1920 - American International Shipbuilding Corp, Hog Island PA 
OwnerAmerican Mail Line Ltd, Seattle WA 
Date of attack9 Jan 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-124 (Johann Mohr)
Position7° 12'N, 55° 37'W - Grid EO 5266
Complement67 (12 dead and 55 survivors).
RouteNorfolk - New York - Guantanamo - Trinidad (5 Jan) - Rio de Janeiro 
Cargo4000 tons of coal, 1900 tons of steel rails, 2000 tons of Bunker C oil, 112 tons of lubricating oil 
History Completed in April 1920 for US Shipping Board (USSB), Philadelphia.

On 19 Feb 1942, the Collingsworth barely escaped destruction by the Japanese Navy when she left Surabaja, Java and safely reached Colombo unescorted, clearing the Sunda Strait on 22 February. On Java, four men of the Collingsworth volunteered to man the British steam merchant Taiyuan. It was planned to run the blockade of the Philippines with this vessel, but the Japanese had overrun Java before they left and they captured these men. 
Notes on event

At 05.57 hours on 9 Jan 1943, U-124 fired two torpedoes in a second attack on convoy TB-1 about 100 miles northeast of Paramaribo and two minutes later another torpedo. Mohr thought that he had hit three ships, but in fact the first torpedo passed astern of the Collingsworth, the second hit the ship and the third missed also, but hit the Minotaur.

The Collingsworth (Master Barney Kirschbaum) was struck by the second torpedo on the port side between the #1 and #2 holds. The helmsman spotted the third torpedo, swung the ship hard aport and it missed by ten feet but hit a ship in the next column. The engines were secured and an inspection found no serious damage other than flooding to the compartments. But the ship began to settle fast, sinking by the head four minutes after the hit. Her crew of eight officers, 35 men and 24 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and four 20mm guns) abandoned the ship almost immediately. The #1 boat got away with 21 men, but the #3 boat fouled while launching, forcing the men to jump into the water. 34 survivors were picked up by USS PC-577 from the wreckage and one raft 13 hours later. The survivors in #1 boat were picked up by the Norwegian steam merchant Dalvangen 36 hours after the attack. The master, another officer, 6 crewmen and four armed guards did not survive.

On boardWe have details of 12 people who were on board

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