Ships hit by U-boats


USS Leedstown (AP 73)

American Troop transport



US Naval Historical Center Photograph #19-N-34061

NameUSS Leedstown (AP 73)
Type:Troop transport (Leedstown)
Tonnage9,135 tons
Completed1933 - Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Kearny NJ 
OwnerUnited States Navy 
Homeport 
Date of attack9 Nov 1942Nationality:      American
 
FateSunk by U-331 (Hans-Diedrich Freiherr von Tiesenhausen)
Position - Grid CH 9473
Complement163 (59 dead and 104 survivors).
ConvoyTorch
RouteClyde (26 Oct) - Algiers 
CargoWar material 
History Completed in January 1933 as steam passenger ship Santa Lucia for Grace SS Co Inc (W.R. Grace & Co), San Francisco. In March 1942 transferred to the US War Shipping Administration (WSA) and used as transport. On 6 Aug 1942, acquired by the US Navy and commissioned as troop transport USS Leedstown (AP 73) on 24 September.

USS Leedstown (AP 73) earned one battle star for her World War 2 service. 
Notes on event

On 6 Nov 1942, USS Leedstown (AP 73) (LtCmdr Duncan Cook) entered the Mediterranean as part of a large convoy consisting of 37 transports for the Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa. She landed a detachement of British troops (1st Commando) and the 3rd Battallion of the 39th US Infantry Division with her 24 landing craft off Surcouf and Ain Taya during the night of 7/8 November. About 17.00 hours on 8 November, the Allied ships off Algiers were attacked by 13 German Ju88 torpedo bomber (III./KG 26) and USS Leedstown (AP 73), lying at anchor 3 miles off Cape Matifon, was hit by an aerial torpedo on the starboard side aft. The explosion destroyed her steering gear and flooded the after section. Two German Ju88 aircraft attacked her with three bombs at 12.55 hours on 9 November. One attacker was shot down but the vessel was further damaged by a near miss.

At 14.04 hours on 9 November, U-331 fired a spread of four torpedoes at USS Leedstown (AP 73), heard three hits and sinking noises. In fact, the ship was hit on the starboard side amidships by two torpedoes and was abandoned after ten minutes when she settled by the bow with a heavy starboard list. After an unsuccessful bombing attack, the vessel sank at 16.15 hours. The commander and 103 survivors were picked up by HMS Samphire (K 128) (LtCdr F.T. Renny, DSC, RNR) and landed at Algiers the next day.

 
On boardWe have details of 11 people who were on board


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FIGHT FOR THE SEA

John Frayn Turner

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