Ships hit by U-boats

Velma Lykes

American Steam merchant

Velma Lykes under her former name Lake Flournoy

NameVelma Lykes
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,572 tons
Completed1920 - McDougall-Duluth Shipbuilding Co, Duluth MN 
OwnerLykes Bros SS Co Inc, New Orleans LA 
Date of attack5 Jun 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-158 (Erwin Rostin)
Position21° 21'N, 86° 36'W - Grid DL 6796
Complement32 (15 dead and 17 survivors).
RouteGalveston - Cristobal 
Cargo3629 tons of general cargo 
History Completed in May 1920 as Lake Flournoy for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1922 renamed Southseas for Lone Star SS Co, Galveston TX. 1929 renamed Velma Lykes for Lykes Bros SS Co Inc, New Orleans LA. 
Notes on event

At 03.32 hours on 5 June 1942 the unescorted Velma Lykes (Master Hans G. Beck) was hit on the starboard side by one torpedo from U-158 about 20 miles off Puerto Juarrez in the Yucatan Channel. The wake of the torpedo had been spotted seconds before it struck at the #3 hatch and killed three men on watch below. The ship sank by the stern after one minute with a slight list to starboard after #3 and #4 holds were flooded. The eight officers, 20 crewmen and four armed guards (the ship was armed with one 3in and two .30cal guns) had no time to launch the lifeboats and rescued themselves on three rafts that floated free. The next day, four officers, nine crewmen and four armed guards were picked up by Ardenvohr after being spotted by a Catalina aircraft which escorted a convoy of 17 ships. On 10 June, this ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-68 (Merten) but all men from Velma Lykes survived the second sinking and eventually landed at Cristobal.

On boardWe have details of 15 people who were on board

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