Ships hit by U-boats

Friar Rock

Panamanian Steam merchant

Friar Rock under her former name Arsa. Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

NameFriar Rock
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,427 tons
Completed1921 - Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino, Trieste 
OwnerWaterman Steamship Co, Mobile AL 
Date of attack13 Jan 1942Nationality:      Panamanian
FateSunk by U-130 (Ernst Kals)
Position45° 30'N, 50° 40'W - Grid BB 5898
Complement37 (31 dead and 6 survivors).
ConvoySC-64 (straggler)
RouteNew York - Sydney (9 Jan) - Loch Ewe - Archangel 
CargoGeneral cargo and government stores 
History Completed in May 1921 as Italian Arsa for Società Anonima di Navigazione Italia, Genoa. On 10 Jun 1940 the Arsa was interned at New York. On 6 Jun 1941 seized by the US government under an Executive order, renamed Friar Rock by the US War Shipping Administration and registered in Panama. On 11 Oct 1941 assigned to Waterman SS Co at New York under a GAA agreement. 
Notes on event

At 09.48 hours on 13 Jan 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Friar Rock (Master Eric G. Stolt) was hit under the foremost hatches by one torpedo from U-130 and stopped about 110 miles southwest of Cape Race, Newfoundland. The ship had left Sydney in convoy SC-64 on 9 January and was apparently returning to the port after straggling from convoy. At 10.32 hours, a first coup de grâce was fired from a stern tube but it missed because the ship suddenly moved again. A second coup de grâce fired 10 minutes later hit between bridge and funnel and caused the ship to sink quickly by the bow in 45°51N/50°52W. Only seven survivors were rescued by HMS Montgomery (G 95) (LtCdr W.L. Puxley, RN) on 17 January. One of them, the second mate, died ashore.

On boardWe have details of 31 people who were on board

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