American Steam merchant
|Completed||1919 - Downey Shipbuilding Corp, Arlington NY|
|Owner||Sword SS Line Inc, New York|
|Date of attack||20 Sep 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-255 (Reinhart Reche)|
|Position||75° 52'N, 0° 20'W - Grid AB 1648|
|Complement||64 (1 dead and 63 survivors).|
|Route||Archangel - Iceland - New York|
|Cargo||5000 tons of hides and chrome ore and a deck cargo of wood pulp|
|History||Completed in July 1919 as New Britain for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1934 renamed Silver Sword for Sword SS Line Inc, New York. |
|Notes on event|
At 18.15 hours on 20 Sep 1942 the Silver Sword (Master Clyde Wellington Colbeth) in convoy QP-14 was hit on the port side by two torpedoes from U-255 in the Greenland Sea. The first struck in the bow and the explosion knocked down the forward part of the bridge, while the second hit the stern, blowing off the stern post, the propeller and the rudder and caused the after magazine to explode. The seven officers, 29 crewmen, twelve armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, two .50cal and two .30cal guns) and 16 passengers abandoned ship in two lifeboats and one raft. 55 survivors were picked up by the British rescue ship Rathlin and nine by the Zamalek and taken to Glasgow, but one oiler later died of wounds aboard. They were repatriated on the British passenger ship Queen Mary, arriving in Boston on 15 October.
The passengers were survivors from ships lost in the ill-fated convoy PQ-17: 15 survivors from Honomu and one survivor from the American steam merchant Peter Kerr, which had been sunk by German aircraft on 5 July.
|On board||We have details of 2 people who were on board.|
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