Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

We don't have a picture of this vessel at this time.

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage7,720 tons
Completed1918 - Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, San Francisco CA 
OwnerLykes Bros SS Co Inc, New Orleans LA 
Date of attack19 Mar 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-332 (Johannes Liebe)
Position35° 05'N, 75° 30'W - Grid CA 7959
Complement35 (5 dead and 30 survivors).
RouteGalveston, Texas - New York 
Cargo11.000 tons of sulphur 
History Completed in July 1918 for US Shipping Board (USSB) 
Notes on event

At 16.19 hours on 19 March 1942 the unescorted Liberator (Master Albin Johnson) was torpedoed by U-332 three miles west of the Diamond Shoals Buoy. The ship had been zigzagging at 10.5 knots, but had discontinued it just before the attack. One torpedo struck on the port side in the engine room about 20 feet below the waterline. The explosion destroyed the engine and vented upward through the deck, destroying a lifeboat and blowing off the #4 hatch cover. One officer and four men on watch below were killed. Sulphur fumes prevented other crew members to enter the engine room to look for survivors. As the vessel quickly filled with black and bluish smoke, rolled to starboard and then listed heavily to port, the survivors among the six officers, 25 crewmen and four armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in gun) abandoned ship within ten minutes in two lifeboats. The ship sank on her port side at about 17.40 hours.
About one hour after the attack, the survivors were picked up by USS Umpqua (AT 25), a witness to the sinking, and landed at Morehead City, North Caroliona.

The master Albin Johnson later experienced another sinking, when his next ship, the Liberty ship John Penn, was torpedoed and sunk by a German aircraft in convoy PQ-18 on 13 Sep 1942.

On boardWe have details of 7 people who were on board

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