Ships hit by U-boats


Panamanian Steam merchant

Cocle under her former name Jacob Ruppert

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,630 tons
Completed1920 - Western Pipe & Steel Co, San Francisco CA 
OwnerNorth Atlantic Transport Co Inc (US Lines Inc), Panama 
Date of attack12 May 1942Nationality:      Panamanian
FateSunk by U-94 (Otto Ites)
Position52° 37'N, 29° 13'W - Grid AK 9198
Complement42 (5 dead and 37 survivors).
RouteNewcastle-upon-Tyne (30 Apr) – Loch Ewe – New York 
CargoGeneral cargo 
History Completed in April 1920 as West Cahokia for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1926 renamed Pacific Fir for Dimon SS Corp, New York and later returned to the USSB and laid up as part of the reserve fleet. 1933 renamed Jacob Ruppert when leased as flag ship for the Second Antarctic Expedition of Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, USN (retired). 1935 returned to the USSB and again laid up. 1941 renamed Cocle and registered in Panama. 
Notes on event

At 03.40 hours on 12 May 1942 the Cocle (Master Gottfried Sandnes) in station #84 of convoy ONS-92 was hit by two G7e torpedoes from U-94 about 740 miles southeast of Cape Farewell. The ship tried to evade the attack by turning away at full speed after lookouts spotted a periscope and then the torpedo tracks, but the torpedoes struck amidships and further aft and caused her to sink slowly by the stern. The third engineer and three crew members were lost. The surviving crew members and gunners (the ship was armed with one 4in and four machine guns) abandoned ship in the lifeboats and rafts in fine weather and smooth sea after the radio operator sent a distress signal without receiving a reply. The 38 survivors were picked up by the British rescue ship Bury (Master Lawrence Edwin Brown, OBE) and landed at St. Johns on 16 May. One of the rescued men was so badly injured that he had to be lifted aboard the rescue ship in a stretcher and was immediately operated by the doctor, but died whilst under ether anesthesia and was buried at sea later that day in 52°04N/33°26W.

On boardWe have details of 3 people who were on board

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