Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,594 tons
Completed1919 - Columbia River Shipbuilding Corp, Portland OR 
OwnerStates SS Co, San Francisco CA 
Date of attack20 Apr 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-565 (Wilhelm Franken)
Position35° 59'N, 1° 25'W - Grid CH 7682
Complement61 (0 dead and 61 survivors).
RouteNew York (1 Apr) - Oran 
Cargo6300 tons of general military cargo and a deck load of Army gliders 
History Completed in September 1919 as West Hartland for US Shipping Board (USSB). In March 1921, the West Hartland (Master Alwen) collided with the passenger ship Governor during a foggy night in Puget Sound. The bow of the ship opened a large hole in the starboard side of the passenger ship and caused her to sink within 20 minutes. Most survivors rescued themselves by jumping over to the West Hartland from the already sinking ship. 1928 renamed Michigan for States SS Co, San Francisco CA. 
Notes on event

At 07.52 hours on 20 April 1943, U-565 fired torpedoes at convoy UGS-7 about 60 miles west of Oran and sank the Sidi-Bel-Abbès in station #82 and Michigan in station #81.

The Michigan (Master Birger Jacobsen) was hit by one torpedo between the #1 and #2 holds with a muffled explosion. The blast caused extensive damage to the hull and minor to the deck and superstructure and threw water to the height of the bridge. The ship began to settle rapidly by the bow and lost way immediately. The engines were secured and all eight officers, 29 crewmen, 23 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and six 20mm guns) and one passenger abandoned ship in two lifeboats and three rafts within ten minutes. The ship stayed afloat for about one hour before sinking bow first. The survivors were picked up after two hours by HMS Stella Carina (FY 352) (Lt J.V. Lobb, RANVR) and HMS Foxtrot (T 109) (Lt J.B. Bald, RNVR), later transferred to the HMS Felixstowe (J 126) (T/Lt C.G. Powney, RNVR) and landed in Oran. Some of the crew remained in their lifeboats to assist in the rescue of survivors from the other torpedoed ship, which carried Senegalese troops. The crew was later repatriated to New York on the American steam merchant Delnorte.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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