Ships hit by U-boats


Soviet Steam merchant

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,284 tons
Completed1917 - Harland & Wolff Ltd, Govan, Glasgow 
OwnerSovtorgflot, Moscow 
Date of attack30 Apr 1942Nationality:      Soviet
FateSunk by U-402 (Siegfried Freiherr von Forstner)
Position34° 19'N, 76° 31'W - Grid DC 1221
Complement47 (0 dead and 47 survivors).
RouteNew York (26 Apr) - Matanzas, Cuba 
History Completed in December 1917 as British steam tanker War Hostage for The Shipping Controller (Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co), London. 1919 sold to Italy and converted to the steam merchant Milazzo for Soc Italiana di Navigazione Transoceanica, Naples. 1922 sold to Navigazione Generale Italiana, Naples. 1924 sold to Britain and renamed Aldersgate for City Gate Line (H.W. Dillon & Sons), London. 1925 renamed Mistley Hall for Charles G. Dunn & Co Ltd, Liverpool. 1934 sold to the Sovietunion and renamed Kutais for Sovtorgflot, Moscow. 1935 renamed Dneprostroy and 1938 renamed Ashkhabad
Notes on event

At 03.36 hours on 30 April 1942 the Ashkhabad (Master Alexey Pavlovitch), escorted by HMS Lady Elsa (FY 124), was hit on the starboard side in the #4 hold by one G7e torpedo from U-402 18 miles south of Cape Lookout. The ship settled fast by the stern when the #4 hold, the deep tank and the engine rooom flooded until hitting the bottom in the shallow water. The crew, including three women, abandoned ship one hour after the hit and were picked up by the escort which prevented the U-boat of finishing off the ship with artillery and later took the survivors to Morehead City, North Carolina.

The Ashkhabad did not sink completely and after an inspection the American salvage tug Relief was sent out, but USS Semmes (AG 24) and HMS St. Zeno (FY 280) (Lt J.K. Craig, RNVR) were not aware of the planned salvage and scuttled the wreck with gunfire as a menace to navigation on 3 May.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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