Ships hit by U-boats

City of Alma

American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

NameCity of Alma
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,446 tons
Completed1920 - Merchant Shipbuilding Corp, Harriman PA 
OwnerWaterman Steamship Co, Mobile AL 
Date of attack3 Jun 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-172 (Carl Emmermann)
Position23° 00'N, 62° 30'W - Grid DO 6724
Complement39 (29 dead and 10 survivors).
RouteBombay (10 Apr) - Capetown - Port of Spain, Trinidad (30 May) - Baltimore 
Cargo7400 tons of manganese ore 
History Completed in February 1920 
Notes on event

At 04.10 hours on 3 June 1942 the unescorted and unarmed City of Alma (Master James Joshua Baker) was torpedoed by U-172 about 400 miles northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, while proceeding along a nonevasive course in moderate seas at 9.5 knots. One torpedo struck between the #3 hatch and the fireroom. The explosion blew the hatches off the #3 port hatch and ripped a hole about 40 feet long in the side. She sank within three minutes, so quickly that the radio operator did not send a message and died on board. Of the eight officers, 28 crewmen and three Navy signal men on board, 29 men died, including the master, the second mate, the three signal men, the chief engineer and his three assistants. Only two officers and eight men survived on a lifeboat that had floated free of the ship and were picked up by the American patrol boat USS YP-67 and taken to San Juan four days later.

On boardWe have details of 27 people who were on board

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