Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of SSHSA Collection, University of Baltimore Library

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,732 tons
Completed1908 - Workman, Clark & Co Ltd, Belfast 
OwnerUnited Fruit SS Co, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack19 May 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-506 (Erich W├╝rdemann)
Position28° 53'N, 91° 03'W - Grid DA 9197
Complement62 (36 dead and 26 survivors).
RoutePuerto Barrios, Guatemala - Corpus Christi - New Orleans 
Cargo1500 tons of bananas and coffee 
History Completed in July 1908 as Heredia for Tropical Fruit SS Co Ltd (United Fruit), Glasgow. 1914 transferred to US flag. 1933 renamed General Pershing for States SS Co, San Francisco CA. 1937 returned to United Fruit SS Co and renamed Heredia
Notes on event

At 08.56 hours on 19 May 1942 the unescorted Heredia (Master Erwin F. Colburn) was hit by three torpedoes from U-506 two miles southeast of the Ship Shoal Buoy, while proceeding on a nonevasive course at 13.5 knots. The first and second torpedoes struck the port quarter aft at the #3 and #4 holds. The third torpedo struck amidships on the starboard side, causing her to sink within three minutes. The explosions blew the decks up, stopped the engines and destroyed two lifeboats and two rafts. The survivors of the eleven officers, 37 crewmen, eight passengers and six armed guards (the ship was armed with one 3in and two .30cal guns) had no time to launch boats and only two rafts got away. 23 survivors were picked up by the shrimp trawlers Papa Joe (1), Conquest (2), J. Edwin Treakle (10) and Shellwater (10) and landed at Morgan City, Louisiana. A seaplane picked up three other survivors and landed them at New Orleans. Six officers, 24 crewmen, one passenger and five armed guards were lost.

On boardWe have details of 42 people who were on board

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