Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage3,279 tons
Completed1919 - Submarine Boat Corp, Newark NJ 
OwnerParry Navigation Co, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack15 Aug 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-705 (Karl-Horst Horn)
Position55° 23'N, 24° 32'W - Grid AL 4527
Complement45 (14 dead and 31 survivors).
RouteNew York - Reykjavik 
Cargo4000 tons of general cargo composed mainly of lumber and steel pipe 
History Ordered as Absolona for the US Shipping Board (USSB), laid down as Tripp and completed in October 1919 as Marsodak for American Range Lines Inc, Philadelphia. 1941 renamed Namarib for Arnold Bernstein Shipping Co, New York. 1942 renamed Balladier for Parry Navigation Co, New York. 
Notes on event

At 00.00 hours on 15 August 1942, lookouts on Balladier (Master Ernest G. Hellsten), in the Iceland section of convoy SC-95, spotted U-705 and forced her to dive with 20mm gunfire. With determination, Horn continued to stalk the ship and fired a torpedo at 03.58 hours, which struck on the starboard side at #3 hatch and the engine room. The armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, two 20mm and four .30cal guns) had no second chance to fire on the U-boat because she began rapidly to sink with heavy starboard list. She sank within seven minutes about 550 miles southeast of Iceland. The most of the eight officers, 26 men and 11 armed guards abandoned ship in one lifeboat, two rafts and a float.

The American steam merchant Norluna witnessed the attack and in spite of danger rescued the survivors. They left the dead first mate in the lifeboat and two others died on board. In all, three officers, nine crewmen and two armed guards died. On 18 August, the ship arrived in Reykjavik and the Naval authorities expressed surprise because the commanding officer of the escorts had reported the sinking of Balladier and Norluna.

On boardWe have details of 15 people who were on board

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