American Steam merchant
|Completed||1919 - Columbia River Shipbuilding Corp, Portland OR|
|Owner||Isthmian SS Co, New York|
|Date of attack||15 Jun 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-502 (Jürgen von Rosenstiel)|
|Position||11.50N, 62.15W - Grid ED 8669|
|Complement||50 (0 dead and 50 survivors).|
|Route||Baltimore, Maryland - Hampton Roads - Trinidad - Table Bay - Suez|
|Cargo||7000 tons of war supplies and coal|
|History||Built for US Maritime Commission, Washington DC, later laid up as part of the reserve fleet. |
|Notes on loss|
At 20.15 hours on 15 Jun, 1942, the unescorted West Hardaway (Master Karl W. Jaenicke) was attacked with a spread of three torpedoes from U-502 while steaming on a zigzag course at 6 knots about 30 miles west of Grenada. One torpedo passed ahead, another astern and the third struck on starboard bow in the #1 hold. Distress signals were sent and the gunners fired five shots at a "slick". The ten officers, 27 crewmen and 13 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four 20mm and two .30cal guns) abandoned ship in four lifeboats and four rafts, but after 20 minutes the gun crew, the second mate and two crewmen reboarded the vessel. The gunners fired another round at the "slick", but the ship was then hit in the #2 hold by another torpedo and sank about one hour later. All hands survived and made landfall on 17 June at Margarita Island, Venezuela and were three days later landed at Trinidad by the Venezuelan steam merchant Maracaibo.
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