Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

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Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage8,017 tons
Completed1921 - Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Sparrow´s Point MD 
OwnerOre Steamship Corp, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack24 Jan 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-66 (Richard Zapp)
Position34° 50'N, 75° 20'W - Grid CA 7968
Complement41 (17 dead and 24 survivors).
RouteCruz Grande, Chile - Cristobal - Baltimore 
Cargo8000 tons of iron ore 
History Built as steam tanker G. Harrison Smith 1926 renamed Charles G. Black for Standard Oil Co of New Jersey, New York. 1940 converted to the ore carrier Venore
Notes on event

At 02.40 hours on 24 Jan 1942, U-66 torpedoed and sank the Empire Gem and three minutes later fired two torpedoes at the unescorted and unarmed Venore (Master Fritz Duurloo) that followed the other ship two miles behind about 20 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. One missed and the other struck amidships forward of the boiler room and set her on fire. Her master tried to escape zigzagging at high speed, but some of the crew of eight officers and 33 crewmen panicked and launched three lifeboats, of which two disintegrated upon hitting the water and the most men drowned. In the surviving boat were only two men and it made landfall after 49 hours. At 03.24 hours, a second torpedo hit on the port side at #9 hold and the remaining crew abandoned ship in the last lifeboat. The ship capsized to starboard and sank at 04.05 hours, 15 minutes after a coup de grâce had missed. The master, one officer and 15 crewmen were lost. The 21 survivors in the last boat were picked up on 25 January by the Tennessee about 62 miles north of Diamond Shoals and landed at Norfolk. One man was rescued from debris by the Australia on 25 January.

On boardWe have details of 38 people who were on board

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