Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage3,352 tons
Completed1916 - Maryland Steel Co, Sparrow’s Point MD 
OwnerA.H. Bull & Co Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack14 Apr 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-571 (Helmut Möhlmann)
Position35° 15'N, 74° 38'W - Grid CA 8754
Complement29 (29 dead - no survivors)
RouteSan Juan, Puerto Rico (8 April) - New York 
Cargo4508 tons of sugar 
History Completed in April 1916 as Margaret for A.H. Bull & Co Inc, New York. In March 1918 requisitioned by the US Navy as cargo transport USS Chatham (ID # 2510) for the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, making her first transatlantic voyage from New York and carrying Army supplies to France. The ship made four such voyages before she was decommissioned in February 1919 and transferred to the US Shipping Board (USSB) to be returned to the owners under her original name. 
Notes on event

At 21.02 hours on 14 April 1942, U-571 fired one bow torpedo at the unescorted and unarmed Margaret (Master Leonard Logren Davis) about 45 miles east of Cape Hatteras and observed a hit aft after 42 seconds. They had spotted the steamer about three hours earlier on a northerly zigzag course. The torpedo detonation ripped open the hull to the upper deck and caused her to sink by the stern within five minutes after a boiler explosion. Some survivors were seen to leave the ship in a lifeboat and several rafts, but none of the eight officers and 21 crewmen were ever found.

On boardWe have details of 29 people who were on board

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