Ships hit by U-boats

Black Hawk

American Steam merchant

NameBlack Hawk
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,191 tons
Completed1943 - Delta Shipbuilding Co, New Orleans LA 
OwnerUnited Fruit SS Co, New York 
HomeportNew Orleans 
Date of attack29 Dec 1944Nationality:      American
FateA total loss by U-322 (Gerhard Wysk)
Position50° 28'N, 2° 28'W
Complement69 (1 dead and 68 survivors).
RouteCherbourg - Isle of Wight - Fowey, England 
History Completed in February 1943 
Notes on event

On 29 Dec 1944 the Black Hawk (Master William Leroy Bunch) was travelling in the two column convoy TBC-21 as the last ship in the starboard column, when convoy was attacked by U-322 seven miles southeast of Portland Bill Lighthouse. The two Liberty ships Arthur Sewall and Black Hawk were torpedoed and damaged beyond repair, while the U-boat was sunk by the escort shortly after the attack.

The Black Hawk was struck by one torpedo two minutes after the Arthur Sewall was hit 500 yards off the bow. The torpedo struck on the port side at the #5 hatch, set off the after magazine, completely destroyed the after section of the ship and shot flames and smoke 150 feet into the air. The engines were immediately secured as the ship sank by the stern. A crack appeared at the #3 hatch and water entered #3 and #4 holds and the engine room until only the forward two compartments kept the ship afloat. 30 minutes after the attack, the seven officers, 34 men and 27 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) and one Army security officer began to abandon ship in four boats and two rafts. The men were picked up by HMS Dahlia (K 59) (Lt G.V. Ward, RNR) and landed at Brixham at 20.30 hours. Four men were injured and the cook died ashore in a hospital.

A salvage crew later boarded the vessel to prepare her to be towed to Worbarrow Bay, where she was beached an declared a total loss.

Revisions January 2005 by Axel Niestlé:
Earlier it was thought that it was U-772 that carried out an attack on convoy TBC-21 and was subsequently sunk by its escort, but the wreck of this U-boat was now identified as U-322
On boardWe have details of 4 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats