Ships hit by U-boats


Dutch Motor passenger ship

Type:Motor passenger ship
Tonnage10,909 tons
Completed1939 - Wilton-Fyenoord NV, Rotterdam 
OwnerNV Nederlandsche-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Mij, Rotterdam 
Date of attack2 Nov 1942Nationality:      Dutch
FateSunk by U-174 (Ulrich Thilo)
Position1° 25'N, 36° 22'W - Grid FB 3622
Complement299 (135 dead and 164 survivors).
RouteBeira - Capetown - New York 
Cargo7000 tons of copper and chrome ore and 600 tons of general cargo 
History Laid down as Schiedam, completed in January 1939 as Zaandam 
Notes on event

At 18.17 hours on 2 November 1942 the unescorted Zaandam (Master Jacob Matthias Stamperius) was hit on the port side in the engine room by one torpedo from U-174 about 300 miles north of Cape Sao Roque, Brazil. At 18.28 hours, a coup de grĂ¢ce hit on the port side between #2 and #3 holds and caused the ship to sink by the bow within two minutes. The ship carried 112 crew members, 18 armed guards and 169 passengers, mostly crew members and armed guards of the Coloradan, Examelia, Chickasaw City, Swiftsure and Firethorn. The survivors abandoned ship in three lifeboats and two rafts and were questioned by the Germans. On 7 November, 106 men in two lifeboats were picked up by the Gulfstate, but two of them died of injuries and a third later died ashore after he was transferred with three other badly wounded survivors to USS Winslow (DD 359) one day after being rescued and landed at Belem, Brazil. On 10 November, a leaking lifeboat with 60 survivors made landfall near Barreirinhas, Brazil where two men died of exposure and were later buried there. Three survivors on a raft were picked up on 24 January 1943 after being 83 days (!) adrift by USS PC-576, which was escorting convoy TB-3 from Trinidad to Brazil. They were fed with liquid food for two days and landed at Pernambuco, where they spent six weeks in hospital. The master, 55 crew members, ten armed guards and 69 passengers were lost.

On boardWe have details of 287 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