Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage3,516 tons
Completed1920 - Merrill-Stevens Shipbuilding Corp, Jacksonville FL 
OwnerMarine Transport Lines Inc, New York 
Date of attack9 Apr 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-160 (Georg Lassen)
Position34° 28'N, 75° 56'W - Grid DC 1227
Complement29 (1 dead and 28 survivors).
RouteBaton Rouge, Louisiana - Hopewell, New Jersey 
Cargo3628 tons of soda ash 
History Completed in May 1920 as Chickamauga for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1929 renamed Malchace for Marine Transport Lines Inc, New York. 
Notes on event

At 07.58 hours on 9 April 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Malchace (Master Arnt Magnusdal) was torpedoed by U-160 about 25 miles off Cape Lookout, while steaming a nonevasive course at 10.7 knots. One torpedo struck on the port side forward of the #4 hatch and just below the waterline. The cargo of soda ash cushioned the blast and this lessened the effect of the explosion. The U-boat surfaced and circled the ship slowly, waiting until the crew had abandoned ship and fired at 08.16 hours a coup de grĂ¢ce that struck on the port side aft of the #3 hold. A hole was blown in the bulkhead and the engine room flooded, causing the ship to sink in shallow waters about two hours after the first hit. The eight officers and 21 crewmen abandoned ship in one lifeboat and a raft after the second torpedo hit. This explosion blew four men off the poop deck into the water, one crewman drowned. The survivors were picked up by the Faja de Oro (en route from Tampico to Baltimore) seven hours after the attack, transferred to a US Coast Guard patrol boat inside Cape Henry and landed in Norfolk.

On boardWe have details of 3 people who were on board

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