Ships hit by U-boats


Panamanian Steam merchant

Bushranger under her former name Marisa Thordén

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,536 tons
Completed1922 - J.L. Thompson & Sons Ltd, North Sands, Sunderland 
OwnerAlcoa SS Co, New York 
Date of attack1 Jun 1942Nationality:      Panamanian
FateSunk by U-107 (Harald Gelhaus)
Position18° 15'N, 81° 25'W - Grid EB 2137
Complement43 (17 dead and 26 survivors).
RouteParamaribo - St. Thomas (26 May) - Key West - New York 
History Built as Stakesby 1929 renamed Starck 1935 sold to Finland and renamed Marisa Thordén for Gustaf B. Thordén, Kulosaari. In December 1941 seized by the US, renamed Bushranger under Panamanian flag and handed over to Alcoa SS Co. 
Notes on event

On 6 April 1942 the Bushranger (Master Martin Strandley) had left New York for South American ports with general cargo and was now on her homebound voyage.

At 14.00 hours on 31 May 1942 a periscope was sighted but it disappeared. At 20.55 hours the tracks of two torpedoes were seen crossing the starboard bow close to the ship. At this time the master commenced zigzagging and sent out three SSS warnings but received no answer.

At 03.54 hours on 1 June, the Bushranger was hit by a torpedo from U-107, causing the ship to sink rapidly. No lifeboats were launched and only four rafts were cut loose. 17 crewmen of the 37 crew members and six armed guards on board died, among them the master. Six men clung to a floating vegetable bin which had floated free and were eventually picked up by the raft of the chief mate. The four rafts stayed together for three days but on the fourth day the raft of the chief mate disappeared. On 7 June, the survivors on this raft were picked up by a US Navy Catalina aircraft and were taken to Kingston, Jamaica. On 5 June, the 19 survivors on the remaining three rafts saw a large aircraft circling three times, dropping flares and then left to the west. On 12 June, they were picked up by the US Coast Guard cutter USS Nike in 21°00N/83°30W and taken to Key West.

On boardWe have details of 32 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats