Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

US Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH70469

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage3,382 tons
Completed1915 - Maryland Steel Co, Sparrow’s Point MD 
OwnerA.H. Bull & Co Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack7 Jun 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-159 (Helmut Friedrich Witte)
Position14° 33'N, 74° 35'W - Grid EC 4644
Complement31 (2 dead and 29 survivors).
RouteTampa, Florida (30 May) - Puerto Castilla, Honduras - Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 
Cargo1700 tons of general cargo and foodstuffs 
History Completed in July 1915. In October 1918 acquired by the US Navy as cargo transport USS Edith (ID # 3459) for the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, making one voyage to France in November. She made a second trip to Brazil, where she delivered general cargo and returned with sugar cane but was disabled with machinery problems and had to be towed to New Orleans. Returned to owner by the US Shipping Board in May 1919. 
Notes on event

At 22.24 hours on 7 June 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Edith (Master Samuel M. Houston) was hit by one stern torpedo from U-159 about 200 miles southeast of Jamaica, as she was proceeding on a zigzag course at 10.9 knots. The torpedo struck the starboard side about 15 feet below the main deck between the #4 hold and the engine room, causing the ship to sink after twelve minutes. All but the radio operator and one oiler of the eight officers and 23 men abandoned ship in one lifeboat and two rafts. The U-boat surfaced and questioned the survivors, gave them directions to land and before leaving picked up floating case goods, containing salami, shirts, towels, clocks and toys. The most survivors transferred later into the boat and seven remained on a single raft. They arrived at Black River, Jamaica almost seven days later.

On boardWe have details of 3 people who were on board

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