Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,929 tons
Completed1914 - Cantiere Navale Triestino, Monfalcone 
OwnerMadrigal & Co, Manila, Philippines 
Date of attack14 Oct 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-221 (Hans-Hartwig Trojer)
Position53° 41'N, 41° 23'W - Grid AJ 9327
Complement59 (38 dead and 21 survivors).
RouteNew York - Cardiff 
CargoGeneral cargo, including valuables and mail 
History Completed in April 1914 as Austro-Hungarian Erny for Unione Austriaca di Navigazione SA, Trieste. Since 1914 interned at Boston MA, she was seized by the US government in April 1917 and taken over by the US Shipping Board. 1919 renamed Warszawa for Polish American Navigation Corp, New York. 1922 taken over by the US Shipping Board because the owner went bankrupt. 1923 renamed Stanley Dollar for Dollar Lines (R. Dollar Co), San Francisco. 1936 renamed Susana for Madrigal & Co, Manila. 
Notes on event

At 00.04, 00.12 and 00.13 hours on 14 Oct 1942, U-221 fired torpedoes at ships in convoy SC-104 northeast of St. Johns and claimed the sinking of three ships with 13,000 tons. Trojer observed how the first ship broke in two and sank after 10 minutes, a second ship developed a list and sinking noises were heard from a third. However, only the Susana was hit during these attacks. At 00.32 hours, a fourth attack was made in which the Southern Empress was hit and later sunk by a coup de grĂ¢ce at 03.21 hours.

The Susana (Master Jose Ayesa) was hit by a torpedo on the starboard side forward of the #5 hold. The stern settled rapidly and caused the ship to sink in six minutes. The master, 42 crew members and 16 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four .50cal and two .30cal guns) had to abandon ship immediately in rough seas, so only six armed guards managed to launch a lifeboat and the remaining survivors had to jump overboard. The British rescue ship Gothland was not able to launch a boat and had to maneuver carefully to pick up the men directly from the water, saving 15 crew members and six armed guards within one hour. The master, 27 crew members and ten armed guards were lost.

On boardWe have details of 37 people who were on board

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