Ships hit by U-boats

Jonas Lie

American Steam merchant

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NameJonas Lie
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,198 tons
Completed1944 - Southeastern Shipbuilding Co, Savannah GA 
OwnerAgwilines Inc, New York 
Date of attack9 Jan 1945Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-1055 (Rudolf Meyer)
Position51° 45'N, 5° 27'W - Grid AM 9818
Complement69 (2 dead and 67 survivors).
RouteSwansea - Milford Haven (9 Jan) - New York 
History Completed September 1944 
Notes on event

At 18.15 hours on 9 Jan 1945 the Jonas Lie (Master Carl Lionel Von Schoen) in station #35 of convoy ON-277 was torpedoed by U-1055 at the entrance to the Bristol Channel. One torpedo struck on the starboard side in the #3 deep tank and ripped open the bulkhead between the engine room and the #4 hold, killing two men on watch below. The explosion created a hole 20 feet long at the waterline and broke steam and electrical connections. As the ship lost way she listed 10° to port and 25 minutes after the attack the majority off the 41 crew members, 27 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) and one passenger (US Army security officer) abandoned ship in three lifeboats. The current swept the boats away from the freighter and these men were picked up by HMS Huddersfield Town (FY 197). The skeleton crew (master, chief officer, bosun and one seaman) left the ship three hours after the attack by order from the British Admiralty officials and were landed at Milford Haven the same evening. One survivor, which had been blown overboard by the explosion, was picked up by the Norwegian motor merchant Fosna and landed in New York on 23 January.

On 10 January, the master and 13 men departed on the tug HMS Stormking (W 87) to board the Jonas Lie, but overnight the vessel had drifted into a minefield. The next day, they boarded the vessel and the tug took her in tow, but on 12 January, the cable parted in heavy seas. The British tug Empire Sprite came to assist, but to no avail. At 13.00 hours on 13 January, a lifesaving boat took the boarding party off and landed them at St. Mary´s Island. The vessel foundered the next day.

On boardWe have details of 12 people who were on board

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